Home / World News / Victoria records 10,589 new Covid instances, as Premier hints third jab mandate on horizon

Victoria records 10,589 new Covid instances, as Premier hints third jab mandate on horizon

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has criticised anti-vaxxers, labelling them “wrong”, while hinting it will only be a matter of time before a third-jab mandate is implemented.

The state reported 10,589 new infections and 20 deaths on Sunday.

Currently only 31 per cent of Victorians have received a booster shot, despite hundreds of thousands of appointments now being available and 2.1 million people now eligible.

Mr Andrews said movement around third dose mandates would likely happen in the next week or so.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before the relevant federal agencies confirm that it is three doses to be protected,” he said.

“There’s already been some mandating done for third doses, and there will be more.

“Those who are not vaccinated have made the wrong choice. They’ve made a choice that puts so many other people at risk. I could not be more clear about that.”

Dan Andrews - COVID Update
Camera IconVictorian Premier Daniel Andrews says it’ll only be a matter of time before it will be required to have three Covid doses. Credit: News Corp Australia, NCA NewsWire / Ian Currie

Thousands of anti-vax protesters have taken to the streets of Melbourne in recent weeks rallying against jab mandates and Covid restrictions.

The Victorian opposition has also come out against a third dose mandate, with Liberal leader Matthew Guy questioning when the rules would end.

He called on the government to rule out a mandate on boosters for the general community, suspend QR code check-ins for low-risk settings and lift the work from home recommendation.

“Victorians need a new approach that treats them with respect and backs them – not berates them – to make the right choices,” Mr Guy said.

“For two years, families and local communities have trusted the system and followed the rules. Now is the time for the government to trust them and let them get on with their lives.”

But Mr Andrews on Sunday rejected the criticism, telling reporters he would continue to make “unpopular decisions” to keep Victorians safe.

“The notion that this is a bad thing, the use of anti-vax language, it doesn’t make any sense to me,” he said.

“The vaccinated economy is here, mandates are here – we didn’t get to 93 per cent fully vaccinated without mandates.

“It’s all about keeping us safe, whether that’s popular or not, that’s not my concern. You’ve got to make difficult decisions and push forward from there.

Camera IconProtesters have rallied against vaccine mandates during demonstrations in Melbourne. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

In the latest reporting period, 4479 of the new cases were reported from PCR tests and 6110 cases were from rapid antigen tests.

The total number of active cases in the state was 78,294, down from 79,836 reported on Saturday and 101,605 on Friday.

There were 889 patients in Victorian hospitals being treated with the virus.

Of those in hospital, 111 people are being treated in intensive care, with 35 people on ventilators.

Victorian health authorities said on Saturday they had detected cases of the new Omicron subvariant.

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