Alright NSW folks, we have a vaccination target: six million jabs by the end of August.

At the daily 11am presser, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the targets would be crucial in seeing “what life looks like on 29 August”, which is when the current lockdown is set to lift.

“We know if we encourage people to get vaccinated to provide them with additional freedoms that that is the best motivator of all,” she said.

Six million jabs is roughly half the population with at least one of the two jabs needed to be fully vaccinated, Berejiklian said.

“We’re at 3.9 million [vaccinations],” she said.

“I suspect we’ll be at four million by the end of the week or in the next few days and that’s a target I’d like to set for New South Wales and I’m really urging everybody to come forward, to listen to the health advice.”

It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison set some big vaccination targets to trigger the ‘phases’ of Australia’s post-pandemic life. Right now, we’re in Phase A.

  • Phase B (70% vaccination): Large-scale lockdowns are a thing of the past. However, there’s a catch: each state and territory only moves to Phase B when it achieves 70% vaccination, as well as the country being at 70% in total.
  • Phase C (80% vaccination): International borders reopen and fully vaccinated people aren’t subject to domestic travel restrictions.

If you’re not following us on Instagram, we’re providing a daily update on the country’s vaccination rates, btw:

It also comes as the Federal Government released government area-specific vaccination rates for the first time, which showed that south west Sydney (currently under the strictest lockdown conditions in Australia) has the lowest rate of vaccinations in the city.

When asked if the state had “failed” people in south west Sydney, Berejiklian replied:

“That’s why we’re having a lot of community outreach programs. The age population of that [group] is younger than the state average as well. Until recently, health advice precluded a lot of people coming forward and getting vaccinated. Now the health advice has changed, given the outbreak, we have concerted efforts, whether it’s mobile clinics, going to community to vaccinate, ramping up pharmacy access.”

She added that it was crucial for people aged 20 to 40 in those communities to come forward and get vaccinated, given their mobility and therefore links between the older and younger generations.

“Unfortunately, [they are] getting the disease and spreading it,” she said.

Of course, high vaccination rates aren’t the only factor here: NSW (and more broadly, Australia) has been pursuing a target of COVID zero, which is beginning to look unlikely when facing the Delta variant.

On August 3, NSW recorded 199 new COVID cases, with 50 cases known to be infectious in the community. In addition, 32 cases were in isolation for only part of their infectious period, while 47 cases remain under investigation.

It brings the total number of locally acquired cases in this wave to 3,832.

“I’ve said as close to zero as possible for some time but what life looks like on 29 August will be determined by what the case numbers are doing, what the case numbers are, and also by our vaccination rate,” Berejiklian said.

“Obviously the closer you get to zero – you can go to life before the outbreak.”

She also said she was “concerned” to read reports about how long it’s taking some people to book a vaccination, and that they’re “definitely looking […] at making it as easy as possible”. So that’s something, I guess.

All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine through a GP. Talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you.Alternatively, you can triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine here.The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.