NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has urged the state’s residents to get their coronavirus vaccine booster shots as he insisted the government was taking a “balanced and cautious” approach to reopening the state.
Mr Perrottet said 26 of the 33 people in intensive care in the state with COVID-19 were unvaccinated. (He did not specify the vaccination status of all of the 261 people in the state’s hospitals).
NSW recorded 2501 new cases of the virus today, slightly down on Sunday’s record 2566 cases.
“The evidence is clear. The numbers do not lie. Getting vaccinated protects you and your family,” he said. “The numbers speak for themselves.”
He said “booster shots are crucial to keeping people safe” and urged adults who received their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine five months ago to get their booster shot now.
“Other places around the world … are having to close down because they don’t have the vaccination success that we do.”
He said that while some GPs would take time off over the weeks ahead, “our vaccination centres aren’t going on holidays”.
Infectious diseases experts have urged Australian governments to reintroduce mask mandates in response to the highly transmissible Omicron variant of the virus.
Masks are required in shops in Victoria, Queensland and Tasmania but NSW eased its mask mandates last week.
In NSW, masks are only required on public transport, in airports and on planes, and for unvaccinated indoor hospitality staff. Masks remain strongly encouraged in settings where people cannot maintain social distancing.
Mr Perrottet said 95 per cent of NSW residents had received a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. According to NSW Health, 93.4 per cent of residents aged 16 and up have received two doses of a coronavirus vaccine and 94.9 per cent have received one dose. Adults are now eligible for a booster shot if their second dose was at least five months ago.
NSW counts the vaccination rate for 12 to 15-year-olds separately. Among that age group, 78.1 per cent have received two doses and 81.5 per cent have received one dose.