NSW records 239 COVID-19 cases, Premier issues vaccination challenge for August

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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged people to “make August the month we get vaccinated” as the state records 239 COVID-19 cases.

Twenty-six of today’s cases were infectious in the community, while 35 were in isolation for part of their infectious period and the isolation status of 98 cases remains under investigation.

The source of 124 infections were not linked to a known cluster or case.

The Premier said the state was on track to administer 500,000 jabs a week.

“The challenge for us is getting as many people vaccinated in August as possible, so by the time August 28 [when lockdown was extended to] comes around, we have options as to how we can ease restrictions,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Ms Berejiklian said she wanted to see vaccination rates “break records” in August because that was the state’s “ticket to freedom”.

The Premier said 10 million jabs needed to be administered to reach the state government’s target of 80 per cent.

Residents in the Hunter local health district, north of Greater Sydney, have had their vaccine appointments cancelled after Pfizer shots were re-directed for 19,000 Year 12 students.

The Premier said she felt for those people but Pfizer was the recommended brand for those adolescent age groups and AstraZeneca remains a safe option for people over 18 years old.

She said vaccinating younger people was a “mitigation” strategy so authorities could focus on the key hotspots.

“It is a small number of doses that are reallocated which means that some people have to wait a few extra weeks,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Unfortunately younger people now account for about 60 per cent of cases in NSW.

“What that means is that vulnerable people, older people, are more likely to die but the people who are unfortunately getting and spreading it are under 39.”

Vaccinations, like this one being administered by a pharmacist in Carnes Hill, has become key to exiting lockdown.(

ABC News: Tim Swanston

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NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, however, told ABC Insiders on Sunday morning he wasn’t sure the current outbreak would be brought under control by August 28.

“If you find something concrete in the middle of a Delta pandemic, you send me the guidebook,” he said.

“I’m not going to postulate that at this stage. We’re focused on getting our vaccine up. We are quite concerned at the numbers continuing to remain relatively high, they’re bouncing around.”

Ms Berejiklian said she was beginning to see the virus was being mostly contained in the regions which were under enhanced lockdown orders.

“The one positive take out is at the virus has not [breached the] outside of those eight local government area’s of concern,” she said.

NSW Health’s Jeremy McAnulty said 110 of the cases recorded today were in Sydney’s south-west, 51 were in Western Sydney, 69 were in the Sydney local health district.

The remaining cases were spread out across Sydney’s south-east, north and in the Blue Mountains.

Health authorities, however, found nine residents had contracted the virus at a Summer Hill aged care facility, in Sydney’s inner-west.

“As I understand it, the ones with vaccinations are doing relatively well,” Dr McAnulty said.

He said there were also increasing reports of infections linked to childcare.

“We are also seeing stories of people where their neighbours are doing babysitting or grandma is looking after the kids in a different household,” he said.

“You must not have visitors in your household, even to babysit your children. We have also seen a number of outbreaks and cases particularly among adults in childcare centres.”

There have been 3,893,122 vaccines administered in NSW to date.

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