March 23, 2023

Live news update: Scott Morrison repeats that Australians have ‘had a gutful of governments in their lives’; Peter Cundall dies at 94

Gardening legend Peter Cundall dies aged 94; PM repeats that Australians have had a ‘gutful...

Gardening legend Peter Cundall dies aged 94; PM repeats that Australians have had a ‘gutful of governments in their lives’; Labor rules out governing with Greens; flash flood warnings for Queensland; Victoria and NSW won’t close border due to Omicron; Omicron cases continue to climb in Sydney as NSW records 286 locally acquired Covid-19 cases, one death; Victoria records 980 cases, seven deaths – follow all the day’s news live

  • ‘Provisional approval’: Australian children aged five to 11 set to receive Pfizer Covid vaccine from mid-January
  • Analysis: Labor warms up election campaign attacks on ScoMo while the PM does a hot lap of Bathurst
  • As Sydney comes back to life, scars of lockdown linger in the west
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Hunt is asked whether states, like Queensland, will hold off opening state borders until at least 80% of kids aged five to 11 are vaccinated given today’s announcement.


There is no reason for that. The Doherty modelling was set out very clearly on the 80% rates for double dosed across the country for 16 plus, and what we have seen now is that in terms of the 12 to 15-year-olds, we have now had an extra 1.8 million vaccinations over and above the Doherty modelling. The Doherty modelling was based on an 80% national rate for double dosed and didn’t include 12 to 15-year-olds.

A bit over a fifth of all cases of Covid are actually in the under 12s. Indeed, some of the early data with Omicron suggests it may actually be higher for the Omicron variant … While most kids to get fairly mild infection and only a limited number end up in ICU, is great, there are bigger impacts.

Unfortunately about one in 3,000 of the kids who get Covid actually end up with this funny immunological condition called multi-system inflammatory condition. Those kids can end up being very sick for months. It is not the same as long Covid but it has some things in common, and it has a whole range of symptoms where the kid is just not well. That is one of the things we are protecting against by vaccinating children…

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