Tasmanians have done an excellent job so far in rolling up their sleeves, with over 50 per cent of people aged over 16 now fully vaccinated, and nearly 70 per cent having had one dose.
Our super-six week vaccination blitz which concludes next week has helped us to achieve these results but the next few weeks will be vitally important to ensure we can hit our targets as quickly as possible.
This is a race, and that’s why we are asking Tasmanians to ‘Spring into Summer’ so we are able to begin preparing to live with COVID in a careful and responsible way, informed by Public Health advice.
We’ll be aiming to get 80 per cent fully vaccinated by Melbourne Cup Day on November 2, and 90 per cent by the first day of summer on December 1. This is where I want our State to be so that we can confidently open up for Christmas and summer.
Under the national plan, there needs to be an average of 80 per cent of eligible people vaccinated before any state can open up and reduce travel restrictions and we expect the country to hit that mark sometime later in November.
Currently we have border restrictions in place with New South Wales and Victoria and following the release of Victoria’s reopening plan we will consider this and also NSW’s plan and provide further detail on Tasmania’s plan.
The additional steps we are taking to achieve our targets include opening up the availability of Pfizer and Moderna to those aged 60 and over.
The amount of Pfizer available to GPs has also now doubled and Moderna vaccine is now available in Tasmania for people aged 12 and over, for the first time. By the 1st of October it will be widely available across more than 50 community pharmacies across the state.
Right now, state clinics have provided more than 50 per cent of doses to eligible Tasmanians, but to hit our targets we will need all our GP clinics to lift to at least, if not above, 50 per cent dose supply.
The Tasmanian Government is open to providing support to help GPs and Pharmacies to open after hours to provide more vaccinations, and we will work with them in coming weeks on how we can help them to achieve this.
Tasmanians have been doing a fantastic job, but we need a spring surge to hit these targets, and we continue to ask all Tasmanians to do the right thing and get both your COVID vaccinations, so we can return to a more normal way of living.