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  • DEC

    Returned Tassie traveller from Vic dodges quarantine

    A construction worker at Hobart's Derwent Entertainment Centre who skipped home quarantine having been in Victoria, has escaped with just a caution. His Tas e-Travel application stated he had simply transitted through the COVID "high-risk" state, when in fact…
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    Vic scramble to find Delta virus link

    A man who was infected with the Delta COVID-19 strain mistakenly opened his room door soon after entering hotel quarantine in Melbourne. But Emma Cassar, the head of COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria, says this incident is unlikely to be the reason for the Delta…
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    NSW locations declared "high-risk" by Tas Health

    Victoria's coronavirus cluster is now threatening to impact New South Wales, after confirmation an infected person with the highly infectious Indian variant visited several sites in the state's south. It's prompted a swift high-risk declaration of five…
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    Ardern, Morrison writing COVID rules in NZ

    The Australian and New Zealand leaders say they'll write new pages in the COVID-19 rulebook when they meet for formal talks on Monday. Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern are in Queenstown for the annual Australia-New Zealand Leaders Forum. Mr Morrison is…
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    Victoria to enter 7 day circuit breaker lockdown from midnight

    Victoria will begin a seven-day lockdown from midnight, in an effort to contain a COVID-19 outbreak in the northern suburbs that has grown to 26 cases. One of those infected people is in intensive care and Acting Premier James Merlino said they are "not in a…
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    Melbourne set to learn COVID lockdown fate

    Melbourne residents are about to find out if a growing coronavirus cluster in the city's north will trigger another lockdown in the Victorian capital. Acting Premier James Merlino raised the prospect of a shutdown on Wednesday after the so-called Whittlesea…
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    Victorian outbreak sparks vaccine calls

    All eligible Australians are being urged to get vaccinated against coronavirus as a fresh outbreak threatens to spread across Melbourne. Victoria's cluster of cases has climbed to 15, with authorities naming dozens of exposure sites including the MCG where an…
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    Pfizer vaccine coming for 40-49s in NSW

    Around a million people in NSW aged between 40 and 49 could get a Pfizer COVID-19 jab at the new purpose-built vaccination hub at Sydney Olympic Park within weeks. Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the "exciting" development at the opening of the…
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    Vic plane passengers wait for test results

    About 15,000 people are isolating in Victoria, including 38 in hotel quarantine, as the state continues to deal with the fallout from Western Australia's coronavirus outbreak. Victoria's testing commander Jeroen Weimar has revealed it took more than half a…
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    Bubble not burst yet

    Tasmanian and New Zealand Health officials will meet on Wednesday to discuss any possible implications of a new coronavirus case at Auckland airport. It comes only a day before the first direct flights between Hobart and Auckland begin again after 20 years.…
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    US reviews J&J COVID-19 vaccine

    The United States is reviewing reports of a handful of potential cases of severe side effects among people who received Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, as well as those that led to a pause in its use, a top US public health official says. US health…
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    National cabinet meets to discuss vaccine

    The meeting of the national cabinet will aim to get the nation's vaccine program back on track and discuss ways to ease international border restrictions, perhaps later in the year. One route in and out of the country has already eased, after restrictions on…
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    PM, premier urge calm after NSW clot death

    Scott Morrison and Gladys Berejiklian have warned against rushing to conclusions after the death of a NSW woman who developed blood clots a day after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. The NSW premier also reiterated her enthusiasm to receive her second…
  • PA Hospital

    COVID-19 found in Brisbane hospital ward

    Engineering consultants are inspecting a Brisbane hospital's infectious diseases ward after traces of coronavirus turned up in testing there, one week after it was deep cleaned. The Princess Alexandra Hospital's Ward 5D was shut from March 30 and deep cleaned…
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    Qld man aged in his 80s dies from COVID-19

    Australia has recorded its first COVID-19 death for 2021 after a man in his 80s died in a Brisbane hospital. Health minister Yvette D'Ath said the Australian man succumbed to the disease on Monday night after returning from the Philippines. It follows the…
  • coronavirus update

    Second case of rare blood clots identified

    Australia's medicine regulator has identified a second case of rare blood clots believed to be linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Therapeutic Goods Administration released a safety alert announcing the possible link on Tuesday. The blood clots affected a…
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    US breaks daily vaccine record with 4.6m

    The US continues to make rapid strides with its vaccination programme, announcing that health care workers have carried out more than 4.6 million vaccinations in one day. "A new record," Cyrus Shahpar, the person responsible for vaccination data at the White…
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    Under-50s AstraZeneca jabs on hold in Tas

    Tasmania has halted first-dose injections of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for people aged under 50 years, following federal health advice. The decision comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison late on Thursday received recommendations from the Australian…
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    Australia's vaccine rollout plans in chaos

    Australia is facing a major delay in its coronavirus vaccine rollout after new bombshell advice plunged the program into chaos. Health supremos have recommended not administering the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under 50 because of an extremely rare but…
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    Aus monitoring AstraZeneca concerns

    The Morrison Government is now considering next steps in regard to the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine rollout, after the UK began offering people aged under 30 an alternative formula. It comes after the European Medicines Agency confirmed the jab can cause…

National cabinet meets to discuss vaccine

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The meeting of the national cabinet will aim to get the nation's vaccine program back on track and discuss ways to ease international border restrictions, perhaps later in the year.

One route in and out of the country has already eased, after restrictions on two-way travel between Australia and New Zealand were loosened on Sunday night.

"It is another significant milestone for Australians," federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told reporters in Melbourne on Sunday.

"That is the first step of a progressive opening ... guided by safety, and in partnership with the states and territories and the Australian people."

The national cabinet will meet on Monday for the first of what will be twice-weekly gatherings following the vaccine rollout being thrown into disarray.

Included in discussions will be changes to Australia's vaccination policy, including state vaccination implementation plans, in the wake of new advice around the AstraZeneca vaccine and additional supplies of Pfizer doses.

Just over a week ago health authorities recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be given to those over the age of 50 after blood-clotting was linked to younger people.

A woman who died from blood-clotting last week was the third case linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine in Australia. The first two cases are still in hospital.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said Australia is now approaching 1.5 million vaccinations after some 330,000 jabs were completed in the past week.

He said GPs continue to be the cornerstone of the program but going forward, with very strong support from governments around the country, national cabinet will consider ways the states can assist with larger vaccination clinics.

From Wednesday, Victorians aged over 70 will be able to show up to a vaccine centre and get jabbed without an appointment as the state prepares to scale up its rollout.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that three family members diagnosed with COVID-19 in NSW hotel quarantine picked up the virus from fellow returned travellers.

Health authorities believe the three picked up the virus from a family of four who stayed in the adjoining room of the Adina Apartment Hotel at Sydney's Town Hall.

"This latest story again just reinforces the need for a speedy and effective rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines," Labor's health spokesman Mark Butler told reporters in Adelaide.

"But still Australia is not even in the top 100 nations of the world per head of population in vaccinations. We need to do better."

© AAP 2021

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