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  • coronavirus update

    Border reopening to SA after Adelaide scare

    Tasmania's border will reopen to South Australia at 12:01am Thursday. It'll be classified as a low-risk jurisdiction, meaning arrivals won't have to quarantine - unless they've been in a specific hotspot identified by South Australian Health as connected to…
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    SA drops quarantine for Vic travellers

    South Australia has opened its border to Victoria, clearing the way for people to cross the state line without needing to quarantine. The change comes as SA also reduces some local coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday that were imposed because of the latest…
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    Two vaccines available in US 'in weeks' -sharenews

    People in the US could have access to their first two vaccines against the coronavirus before Christmas, Health Secretary Alex Azar says. The Food and Drug Administration's outside advisers will meet on December 10 to consider authorising Pfizer Inc's…
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    SA looks to step back virus restrictions

    South Australia has revised a range of COVID-19 restrictions, including opening the border with Victoria, after reporting no new cases linked to the worrying Parafield cluster. The requirements for Victorians to quarantine when they come to SA will be…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    No virus cases in Victoria for four weeks

    Once overrun with almost 8000 active cases, Victoria has officially eliminated COVID-19. Friday marks four weeks without a new case of coronavirus. Some 9828 Victorians were tested in the past 24 hours. Health authorities say 28 days with no new cases means…
  • Coronavirus latest news2

    New SA COVID case part of existing cluster

    A COVID-19 infection which has closed an Adelaide high school is thought linked to a cluster which prompted a shortlived lockdown in South Australia. The Woodville High School will remain closed until further notice as deep cleaning is conducted and while…
  • Humpback whale with her calf

    Tangled whale warning

    Those on the state's east coast are being urged to keep an eye out for an entangled whale calf. The baby humpback and its mother were spotted near Schouten Island on Tuesday heading south, the juvenile apparently trailing ropes and buoys. An extensive aerial…
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    WHO experts keen to visit Wuhan in China -sharenews

    Researchers led by the World Health Organisation would like to go back to a wholesale food market in Wuhan in China to follow up initial cases of COVID-19 which emerged in the city and investigate how the virus likely first spread from bats. Peter Ben…
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    Sweeping reforms to SA hotel quarantine system

    South Australia will make sweeping reforms to its hotel quarantine system after a cluster of COVID-19 cases was linked to one facility in Adelaide. Premier Steven Marshall says anyone who tests positive while in a medi-hotel will now be moved to a dedicated…
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    Queensland to open border to Vic on Dec 1

    Queensland is looking forward to welcoming Victorians back into the state on December 1, the same day NSW residents will be able to visit again without quarantining, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says. The premier announced the change on Wednesday after the…
  • HAfire

    Fish frenzy over escapees

    A fish farming campaigner wants a full EPA probe into yesterday morning's mass Huon Acquaculture salmon escape due to an electrical fire in one of its D'Entrecasteux Channel pens. Huon has spun the incident as good news for local fishers with minimal…
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    'Key' week for curbing SA virus cluster

    South Australia remains on track to ease coronavirus restrictions before Christmas but health officials say this week is crucial in combating a cluster of COVID-19 infections. One more case was added to the so-called Parafield cluster on Monday, taking the…
  • airport covid pexels anna shvets 3943882

    COVID-19 passports likely for travellers -sharenews

    Qantas is part of a push by world airlines to require international travellers to prove they've had the coronavirus vaccination before entering or leaving a country on a flight. A vaccination against COVID-19 could become available earlier in the new year,…
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    Victoria reaches no active cases milestone

    Victoria has hit another coronavirus milestone, with no active cases for the first time in nearly nine months. The state's last active case, a man in his 90s, was discharged from hospital on Monday. After its second wave ballooned to 7880 cases on August 11,…
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    NSW-Victoria border opens, flights resume

    The NSW-Victoria border is fully open for the first time in more than four months with flights between the states resuming. The border opened a minute after midnight, allowing Victorians to freely visit NSW for the first time since July 8 without having to go…
  • coronavirus update

    COVID-19 victims maintain immunity -sharenews

    Australian researchers have discovered that patients who've been infected with COVID-19 retain immunity against the virus and the disease for at least eight months. The research is the strongest evidence yet that vaccines against the virus will work for long…
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    Victoria dumps mandatory outdoor masks

    Victorians can breathe a sigh of relief, with months of compulsory face mask-wearing coming to an end as part of a further lifting of COVID-19 restrictions. Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday announced the changes to take effect from midnight. "Masks will be…
  • Steven Marshall 20201117001503789252 600x400

    SA COVID-19 close contact 'lied'

    A person closely linked to Adelaide's COVID-19 cluster lied to contact tracers in "completely and utterly unacceptable" conduct, Premier Steven Marshall says. But SA will ease the statewide lockdown immediately to allow family groups to exercise with…
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    Most Australians plan to get virus vaccine -sharenews

    Most Australians plan to get vaccinated against the coronavirus once it's available, but new surveys also show hesitancy in the community. Australian National University analysis released on Friday shows close to three-in-five people would get the jab, while…
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    Vic shuts border with SA

    Victoria will close its border with South Australia for 48 hours, after fragments of COVID-19 were detected in wastewater along freight corridors. Premier Daniel Andrews on Thursday announced a "hard border" will be in place from 11:59pm for 48 hours, before…

Elderly, health workers first for vaccine -sharenews

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Elderly people, aged care employees and health workers will be first in line to receive coronavirus vaccines with the first jabs expected in March.

Health Minister Greg Hunt believes Australia is on track to meet its timeline to start vaccinating people in the first quarter of next year.

He said health workers, the elderly and aged care staff would be the priority before making it progressively available to the general population.

"We are on track to deliver vaccines to Australians, commencing in March of 2021. That is I think extremely important news," the minister said.

US pharmaceutical behemoth Pfizer and German company BioNTech this week reported a 90 per cent effectiveness rate during late-stage clinical trials.

Australia has a deal for 10 million Pfizer doses and more than 33 million of the Oxford-AstraZeneca, another promising candidate.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will discuss the government's vaccination policy with state and territory counterparts at Friday's national cabinet meeting.

He said premiers and chief ministers would learn about actions needed to disseminate the vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine uses genetic information to tell the body how to develop an immune response to coronavirus.

That means it needs to be stored at minus 70 degrees.

Therapeutic Goods Administration head John Skerritt said cold chain logistics would be used to transport the Pfizer vaccine.

"They're very sophisticated eskies which require dry ice. They actually last for 14 days and they can be refilled twice," he said.

Adjunct Professor Skerritt said the two refills allowed a month and a half of storage without the need to connect to power.

"Even in a country the size of Australia you can get anywhere much quicker than that," he said.

The TGA has given the Pfizer and Oxford candidates pre-approval provided they meet stringent final checks.

There have been six cases of community transmission in Australia over the past week.

Deaths and infections are soaring across America and Europe with the world averaging 500,000 new cases a day.

© AAP 2020

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