Allison Langdon has called out a health expert for arguing Melbourne should wait until 90 per cent of its residents are vaccinated against Covid-19 before ending lockdowns for good – as Victoria recorded 603 new cases of the virus and one death.
The daily rise in cases is the highest in the state since August 1 of last year.
Victoria’s Department of Health on Tuesday morning said the positive results came from 48,829 tests, as 40,811 vaccine doses were administered overnight.
Burnet Institute modelling shows Victoria’s Covid-19 cases will peak at between 1,400 and 2,900 per day between October 19 and 31.
A University of Melbourne study meanwhile has claimed a state with the population of Victoria would still need to lockdown for 58 per cent of the year at 80 per cent double dose to keep the annual death rate below 1,000.
Epidemiologist Tony Blakely, the report’s co-author, said lockdowns could only be a thing of the past once 90 per cent of all Australians over the age of five are vaccinated.
The Today show co-host on Tuesday though questioned if such a goal could even be achieved when no country in the world had yet reached a 90 per cent vaccination rate.
‘Can I ask why you’re confident that we will get to 90 per cent when we’ve seen no country anywhere in the world reach that point?’ she asked.
Professor Blakely said countries such as Singapore, which has an 81 per cent double-dose rate, were on their way to reaching that figure.
‘I believe we will get there, but it won’t be overnight,’ he said. ‘It will be slower progress from 80 to 90 per cent than it has been so far.’
The new study claims social distancing rules will still be needed during 2020 to keep case numbers low, including mandatory mask orders, hospitality and office density limits and strict restrictions on the unvaccinated.
However, researchers claim only at a 90 per cent full immunisation rate would the virus’s spread reach an acceptable level -about 190 Covid hospitilisations a year.
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