Business groups urge Australians to vaccinate as doctors warn against hasty reopening

Business groups led by the Business Council of Australia are urging Australians to get vaccinated under a new campaign, "One shot closer".

Business groups led by the Business Council of Australia are urging Australians to get vaccinated under a new campaign, "One shot closer".

Business groups call on Australians to get vaccinated in new campaign called "One shot closer". Source: AAP

Business organisations are clubbing together to urge Australians to get vaccinated under a new campaign called "One shot closer".

The Business Council of Australia says when it comes to getting vaccinated, big and small businesses are speaking with one voice.

"Every person we get vaccinated brings us one shot closer to bringing Australians back together and letting us all get on with our lives," Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

She said the campaign is supported by Facebook and endorsed by the Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia, the Food and Groceries Council and the Restaurant and Catering Association, along with some of the biggest employers in the country.

"This is critical to the economy and the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians," Ms Westacott said.

But the nation's doctors are calling for caution when easing restrictions on reaching vaccination rates of 70 and 80 per cent under the national recovery plan.

Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid says the updated Doherty modelling released late on Friday underlines the need to be cautious when easing restrictions.

"When implementing the national plan we must be realistic, careful and test each change and the impact of measures before moving to the next phase, given that there are thousands of COVID-19 cases in the community," he said.

Dr Khorshid said the Doherty modelling does not show the impact on hospitals, which are already under extraordinary pressure.

"The health system needs to be much better prepared to deal with the growing burden of COVID-19, as well as be able to deliver non-COVID-19 related care," he said.

The Doherty Institute, whose modelling the nation's recovery plan is based on, was asked to undertake additional "sensitivity analyses" of the scenarios presented in its initial report.

It was asked to test the robustness of the recommendation to transition to Phases B and C of the national plan at 70 and 80 per cent vaccination coverage if COVID-19 infection was already established in the community.

The institute says its findings confirm its earlier strategic advice that even high levels of vaccination will not be sufficient to stop COVID-19 in its tracks.

The institute's Professor Jodie McVernon and University of Melbourne's Professor James McCaw are set to further discuss its findings in a press conference on Monday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters that as of Saturday, 71.7 per cent of Australians have had one jab, while 46.7 per cent are fully vaccinated with two doses.

He also said the Therapeutic Goods Administration has given the all-clear to a Moderna shipment secured from the European Union, which he expects will be rolled out to 1,800 pharmacies this week.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews released his long-awaited road map out of lockdown as the state recorded 507 new cases and another death, bringing its toll from the latest outbreak to 11.

The road map includes scrapping the nightly curfew once 70 per cent of Victorians are fully vaccinated.

But substantial changes will not be made until 80 per cent of people are immunised, which is forecast to occur around 5 November.

NSW reported 1,083 new virus cases on Sunday and 13 deaths, bringing its toll to 231 since its Delta variant outbreak began on 16 June.

The ACT, the third jurisdiction currently under lockdown, reported 17 new virus cases.

Published 20 September 2021 at 6:06am, updated 20 September 2021 at 7:47am
Source: AAP - SBS