50 per cent vaxxed is not enough to safely lift restrictions: Doherty Institute
It is unclear whether NSW has reached the peak of its Delta outbreak. Picture: Brook Mitchell/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
If NSW reaches its target of 6 million Covid-19 vaccinations by the end of the month it will still be “a long way” from being safe from the virus, according to the Doherty Institute.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison released the modelling the federal government based its plan out of Covid-19 on, but it contained bad news for locked-down Sydneysiders.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Tuesday the state must administer 6 million vaccinations in less than a month in order to ease greater Sydney’s lockdown by August 28.
The 6 million jabs would mean about 50 per cent of NSW’s eligible population were vaccinated.
“‘Once you get to 50 per cent vaccination, 60 per cent, 70 per cent, that triggers more freedoms. We can turn this around in four weeks,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Tuesday NSW must administer 6 million new Covid-19 vaccinations if greater Sydney’s lockdown was to be eased by August 28. Picture: Brook Mitchell/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
But according to the Doherty Institute, this is not even close to where Australia needs to be in order to be safe from the virus.
“At 50 per cent and 60 per cent we anticipate a rapidly growing outbreak that would be difficult to control and would require stringent measures,” Doherty Institute Covid-19 chief Jodie McVernon said.
“To actually control outbreaks all together, we need to reach the dotted line that crosses one at which epidemics do not grow.”
“You can see at 50 or 60 per cent coverage we're still a long way from that line.”
‘We need to reach the dotted line that crosses one at which epidemics do not grow,’ Jodie McVernon said. Picture: Doherty InstituteSource:Supplied
Professor McVernon said the vaccination rate would need to be closer to 70 per cent to keep Australians safe.
“At 60 per cent to 70 per cent, the need restore stringent measures for the whole of state we believe will be substantively reduced,” she said.
“At 80 per cent of coverage we would be more confident that some greater social freedoms might be allowed with that level of immunisation.”
Mr Morrison echoed Professor McVernon, saying death, hospitalisation and infection rates at 80 per cent would be similar to “what you expect to see with something like the flu”.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison echoed Professor McVernon, saying death, hospitalisation and infection rates at 80 per cent would be similar to ‘what you expect to see with something like the flu’. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia
But chief medical officer Paul Kelly said the modelling didn’t necessarily mean NSW was doomed to remain in lockdown.
“The model is based on a national picture … it will look at more localised effects of various scenario,” Professor Kelly said.
“What I think what seeing in Sydney right now is different to what has been modelled.”
NSW recorded 199 new Covid-19 infections on Tuesday, with the Premier warning authorities did not know if the state had reached the worst of the Delta outbreak yet.
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