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Andrew Barr at ACT Labor conference

 

Canberrans aged 30 to 39 may soon be able to receive a Pfizer vaccine after the ACT government expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 shots.

Key points:

  • Canberrans aged 30 to 39 will be able to register for a Pfizer vaccine from Wednesday
  • More than 46 per cent of ACT adults have received at least one vaccine dose — the highest rate in Australia
  • Thirteen university students from Sydney have been fined after they entered Canberra despite being refused an exemption

From Wednesday, July 21, people in this age group will be able to register their interest online.

At present, the Pfizer shot is only being offered to Canberrans aged 40 to 59, though younger people can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine from their GP.

ACT residents who register for the dose are expected to be notified about bookings next month.

Speaking at ACT Labor’s annual conference today, Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he was dropping the age of eligibility in anticipation of increased supply from the Commonwealth.

“As soon as the vaccine supply arrives in arrives in the territory, we’ll be able to start making those bookings,” Mr Barr said.

“This is an important way we can streamline the process for people aged 30 to 39, allowing them to make their bookings online in an efficient way.”

Canberrans are being vaccinated at a significantly faster rate than most Australians.

More than 46 per cent of Canberrans aged 16 or older have already received at least one vaccine dose — the highest rate of all states and territories.

By comparison, the national rate is just under 35 per cent.

COVID-19 vaccines are being delivered across NSWCOVID-19 vaccines are being delivered across NSW

 

The ACT’s COVID-19 vaccination rate is the highest of all states and territories.

“We want to see more people vaccinated. We know that’s the way forward for the country.

“What we need is more vaccines, and we are really relying on the Commonwealth to deliver, very belatedly, on what we need to keep our community safe.”

The ACT government is also working to set up another mass vaccination site to complement the existing centres at Garran and the airport.

Police crack down on health order breaches

Meanwhile, a Canberra man was arrested on Friday after he allegedly refused to check in at a store in Civic.

The shop’s staff called police for help after the 34-year-old man allegedly verbally abused them when they asked him to use the Check In CBR phone app.

ACT Policing said officers told the Campbell resident that signing in was required by law, but he “continually refused to check in, repeatedly abused staff and used offensive language”.

The man was arrested and charged with using offensive language in a public place and failing to comply with a public health direction.

Police also fined 13 university students from the Greater Sydney region on Friday, saying they entered Canberra without permission.

Under ACT law, non-Canberrans who have been in Greater Sydney  — including the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong areas — in the past fortnight must not enter the territory unless they have been granted an exemption.

Canberrans who return home after entering these areas must self-isolate for 14 days.

The ACT government had rejected the 13 students’ applications for an exemption, but police said they travelled to Canberra anyway.

Each of the students received a $1,000 fine. They are completing their isolation period in their university residences.

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