A quarter of Australian adults are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called current jab rates “world class”, claiming they rival even those achieved in the United Kingdom.
Just one month ago, the percentage of Australians who were double vaccinated stood at 11.6 per cent.
“That just demonstrates how quickly this vaccination program is gathering pace all around the country,” Mr Morrison said.
Yesterday saw another daily record set with 270,000 doses administered.
“It is equivalent in per capita terms to the fourth best day they had in the UK ever,” the prime minister said.
“So the vaccination rates now being achieved under Operation COVID Shield right across the country are now hitting those world-class marks.
“I think that gives all Australians great hope about the path ahead.
“Australians are charting that course. Australians are making that path ahead for our nation out of COVID-19 with every step they take into those vaccination clinics.”
New South Wales’ recent vaccine push amid its spiralling outbreak means it has now vaccinated more than half its population with at least one dose, joining the ACT and Tasmania.
But Mr Morrison said Tasmania was “leading the charge”, with 52.5 per cent of its population having had at least one vaccine and more than 30 per cent having received two.
More than half of Australians aged over 70 are now fully vaccinated.
Vaccine rollout commander Lieutenant-General John Frewen said the “sense of momentum is very real” in the ongoing jab campaign with falling rates of vaccine hesitancy an “encouraging” sign.
“Recent surveys indicate to us that 79 per cent of Australians are prepared to get vaccinated and another 14 per cent are still deciding whether they will,” Lieutenant-General Frewen said.
Chief Medical Officer Professor Kelly said data from the UK and Singapore, two highly-vaccinated populations, showed the clear protection vaccines provided.
He said while both countries had undergone spikes in COVID-19 cases recently, high levels of vaccination had, to a great extent, prevented widespread hospitalisations and deaths.
The coronavirus has claimed 39 lives in Australia so far this year, most of them in NSW.
Greater freedoms for those who have been vaccinated are also looking increasingly likely, the prime minister saying they “stand to reason”.
“If you are vaccinated, you presented less of a public health risk to yourself and to others around you – your work colleagues, your community – so … it only stands to reason that you would have different arrangements,” Mr Morrison said.
“That is not unlike the sorts of things we have been talking about for some time, where people are vaccinated, and an exemption has been granted, but the vaccination aids that exemption being given on public health grounds,” Mr Morrison said.
However, he said such measures would not be permanent under the national plan, with vaccination levels of 70 per cent and 80 per cent meaning border restrictions could be discarded entirely.