Australia's Victoria state reaches 80% vaccination rate

SYDNEY (Xinhua) – Australia’s Victoria state on Sunday (Oct 31) officially passed the milestone of having 80 per cent of the population over 16 fully vaccinated, as daily case numbers continued to drop.

Victoria reported 1,036 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 and 12 deaths in the 24 hours to midnight on Saturday, an encouraging drop from 1,355 new cases reported on Saturday and 1,656 on Friday.

Currently 702 Covid-19 patients in the state are in hospital, with 128 in intensive care and 80 requiring ventilation.

The state’s death toll in its latest outbreak is 305.

Meanwhile, the Australian state of New South Wales recorded 177 new locally acquired cases and one death in the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday night.

The authorities have touted optimism that the state’s high vaccination rate has effectively kept case numbers and hospitalisations low.

“Our vaccination rate has been the key to our freedom. We’ve opened up and as we’ve opened up, we have been able to do so safely,” said state Premier Dominic Perrottet, adding that the cases and hospitalisation numbers are both below expectations.

The latest data showed that 93.5 per cent of New South Wales’s over-16 population have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and 87.5 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

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