Covid SA: South Australia reaches 80% vaccination target

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South Australia has reached the magic goal of 80 percent fully vaccinated, as two new cases were revealed, along with concerns about a new mutant strain.

South Australia has reached the magical 80% full vaccination target for people aged 16 and over, after the Prime Minister urged people to get vaccinated when new fears arise about a worrying new African variant.

SA Health reported that the state had achieved the double vaccination target, three days after the borders have been reopened eastern states.

Prime Minister Steven Marshall praised South Australians for reaching the big milestone and said “if we work together, we will map a way out of the pandemic”.

SA Health reported on Friday two new cases of Covid – man and woman, both in their 20s who arrived from the interstate

One is in quarantine in SA while the other has returned to his home state.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had previously praised South Australians for their efforts to vaccinate and assured them that a new heavily mutated Covid-19 strain discovery in South Africa was not yet a variant of concern for Australia.

Mr Morrison said the “best protection” against “all new variants” was vaccination, and called on unvaccinated South Australians to help the state reach the 80 per cent double dose milestone.

“Today here in South Australia we have half a percent left, so if you have not received your second dose of vaccination, let’s go out and take that sting,” Mr Morrison said as he visited the Tonsley Innovation District in Adelaide on Friday. .

“Let’s make this an 80% double-vaccinated condition.”

The Prime Minister is also sending a letter to all Australian homes, urging people to book their third jab, as Covid is wreaking havoc across Europe.

Federal authorities review new variant B. 1.1.529, first discovered in Botswana, before spreading to South Africa and then Hong Kong.

Researchers said the new variant has at least 10 mutations, compared to two for Delta and three for Beta.

SA authorities also monitor the new tribe.

A spokesman for Police Commissioner Grant Stevens, who approves all legal instructions as Covid State Coordinator, said officials “will respond if there is a need to do so if this particular tribe were to directly affect South Australian society”.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said all travel changes would be provided via the government’s Smart Traveler database as the World Health Organization held crisis talks on the highly mutated strain.

If it turns out to be a great new variant, it will be given the signal of the Greek alphabet NOW.

Hunt said he was briefed by the federal chief physician, Professor Paul Kelly, and the head of the scientific and technical advisory group, Professor Brendan Murphy.

“They are investigating and reviewing the South African variant in collaboration with the WHO and our international partners,” he said.

“As we have always been, we are flexible. And if the medical advice is that we need to change, we will not hesitate.

“That is what we have done as a country … our approach is to look at the medical evidence and to act quickly, and we will continue to do so.”

He said all travelers from South Africa will be quarantined at NT’s Howard Springs facility. It was a return flight last week.

But Mr Hunt said there were no “immediate extra flights likely”.

“So the last flight has been, already seeing people go through an entire quarantine period,” he said.

WHO’s technical leader for Covid-19, Maria Van Kerkhove, said the variant was worrying.

“The concern is that when you have so many mutations, it can have an impact on how the virus behaves,” she said.

“It will take a few weeks for us to understand the effect of this variant on any vaccines.”

British authorities have already cut back on travel to Africa.

British Health Minister Sajid Javid said all flights from South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe would be canceled from noon on Friday and that all six countries would be added to the country’s red list.

He said the new variant identified in South Africa “may be more transmissible” than the Delta strain and added “the vaccines we currently have may be less effective”.

On Thursday, three new cases were announced in SA and three Qantas flights were listed as exposure locations, giving the total number to 15. See all exposure locations in the table above.

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