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National 80 per cent vaccine rate imminent

Australia remains on track to reach the milestone of 80 per cent of the population over 16 being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in a matter of days.

The latest vaccine figures show 78.1 per cent of over-16s are fully dosed, while more than 88 per cent have received one dose.

Meanwhile, Western Australia is now no longer the least vaccinated jurisdiction in the country, with the Northern Territory now taking that title.

Just 63.9 per cent of the NT’s population over 16 have had two doses, just behind WA’s 64 per cent.

Pressure has been mounting on states with zero COVID cases to boost their vaccination rates in order to reopen internal borders safely.

COVID-affected jurisdictions continue their vaccination surge, with NSW now on the cusp of 90 per cent fully vaccinated.

There were more than 186,000 vaccines administered nationwide on Monday.

It coincides with American manufacturer Novavax submitting their vaccine to the Therapeutic Goods Administration for final approval.

If it gets given the green light by the regulator, it will become the fourth COVID vaccine to be made available in Australia.

The federal government has purchased more than 50 million doses of the vaccine.

While it is unknown when Novavax will be available to be rolled out across the country, the federal government previously indicated it would be administered from early 2022.

It’s expected Novavax could be used as part of a booster shot program.

Booster shots have started being rolled out to the general public, with residents in aged care and disability care being prioritised to receive the top-up.

The increasing vaccine rates across the country have led to some jurisdictions bringing forward the date for when COVID restrictions can be eased.

Restrictions intended to be rolled back in December in NSW will now be eased on November 8, which include a scrapping on household gathering limits, stadiums at full capacity and nightclubs reopening.

Those who are unvaccinated will have to wait until the state reaches 95 per cent fully vaccinated, or December 15 at the latest.

NSW reported 173 new cases and four deaths on Tuesday, while Victoria had nine deaths and 989 cases, the first time since September the state had fewer than 1000 cases.

Eight new infections were reported in the ACT.

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