Snap lockdowns will continue until we hit a 70% vaccination target.
That 70% vaccination target is for both doses and when asked during the press conference when we, as a nation, would hit that target, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was not able to give a clear-cut answer. However, he did say that he hopes we would hit the target by the end of the year and thus be making our way out of phase A.
He said, ”I believe we can get there by the end of the year to 70%. The UK has got there. Israel has got there.”
And on how we would get there, he said it would be ”done as a team effort” and likened vaccinating the country to the team spirit our Olympians are showing in Tokyo. ”We will hit these targets with what I believe will be a gold medal run to the end of the year.”
“So, it is like a two-key process. To get to that next phase, all of Australia has to get there together on average and then beyond that, each state or territory will pass into that second and third phase space when they reach those thresholds,” Morrison said.
Until we hit the 70% target, Australians can expect there to still be snap lockdowns. Even still, one state premier said that lockdown could still occur up until the 80% mark. WA Premier Mark McGowan said, ”when we hit the 80% target, it would only be for unusual circumstances in specific locations” but that states ”still reserve the right to lockdown in specific locations … a country town, a local government area.”
The 80% vaccination target, which pertains to Phase C, signifies that broad lockdowns would not be used in major cities, caps on returning Australias would be eased and restrictions on vaccinated travellers leaving the country would be scrapped.
”So if you get vaccinated, there will be special rules that apply to you. Why? Because if you’re vaccinated, you present less of a public health risk. You are less likely to get the virus. You are less likely to transmit it,” Morrison said. Now, that’s some extra motivation.
These magic numbers, or rather targets, come on the back of a national cabinet meeting that considered scientific modelling from the Doherty Institute and economic advice from Treasury.
Bear in mind, though, that as the situation progresses, things might change. Nonetheless, we’re just glad to have some targets to hit because now we know what we’re aiming for.
For more info on Australia’s National Covid Response, see here.