The Western Australia’s authorities reported on the lowest-ever vaccination pace. In their efforts to make the life easier and safer, people receive the jabs, setting 90 per cent vaccination target for reopening.
The fully-immunized Western Australians now able to travel freely in more populated east, state leaders said Friday. The largest state covers a third of Australia’s land area. It also has the nation’s lowest vaccination rates, in part because the state has had few pathogens and life has been relatively normal throughout the outbreak, The Week reports.
Now, Western Australia is the only state or territory that does not intend to reopen this year. Immunized Australians have been free to travel globally through east coast airports in covid-affected Sydney and Melbourne since Monday when a 20-month-old international travel ban was lifted.
PM Mark McGowan on Friday set a vaccination target of 90per cent of the population aged 12 and older for the border restrictions to be relaxed. The milestone was forecast to be reached in late January or early February.
Once that reopening date was set, it would stand even if the vaccination rate fell short of 90per cent by then. “As far as world standards go, a rate of 90per cent will be an amazing achievement,” PM explained said.
Only 63.7 per cent of the target population in Western Australia was fully vaccinated, according to state data. The difference in easing border controls at 90per cent rather than 80per cent is 200 West Australian lives are saved, prime minister told journalists on Friday.
If the state falls short of the 250,000 additional people it needs to get vaccinated to reach the 90per cent target, additional covid measures will be required on the date it reopens, McGowan said.