Canberra, Jan 6 (IANS) Australia has set a new record for Covid-19 booster vaccines amid successive record days of surging infections across the country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.
He said that a record of 222,565 booster vaccines were administered on Wednesday, two days after the minimum recommended interval between second and third jabs for the population was reduced from five to four months, reports Xinhua news agency.
“So the booster program is up and running,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
The vaccine rollout will open up to children aged between five and 11 years old January 10.
Australia on Thursday reported a new record of more than 70,000 coronavirus cases and 13 deaths, which marks the fourth consecutive day the country has set a new record for infections.
The new figures increased the overall infection tally and death toll to 684,614 and 2,302, respectively.
Morrison on Wednesday evening revealed a plan to make rapid antigen tests (RATs) free for pension and welfare recipients amid supply shortfalls as a result of unprecedented demand.
Responding to the announcement, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said it was “too little, too late”.
“If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. And that is what we are seeing here. We are seeing Australians are anxious, they are concerned about the health of themselves and their families,” he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) TV on Thursday.
“And the easiest and simplest way is to make free tests available for all, just like PCR tests are available and free,” he said.