Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has asked citizens to “continue to press forward” for Covid-19 vaccination targets as the country battles the third wave of infections.

Under Morrison’s pathway out of the pandemic, Australia will start to reopen in phases when 70 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated, reports Xinhua news agency on Monday.

“I encourage everybody from tomorrow over 12s, 12 to 15 year olds will be able to get the vaccine,” he said in a press conference.

“So we now need to continue to surge forward in these final weeks and months of the programme to get us to those vaccination targets set out in the national plan.”

On Monday morning, Australia reported 1,745 new locally acquired cases of Covid-19, taking the overall infection tally to 73,605, while the death toll stood at 1,091.

New South Wales (NSW), Australia’s most populous state and also the current epicentre of the pandemic, reported 1,257 new cases and seven deaths.

Victoria, the second-most populous state, reported a further 473 new local cases.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which is leading the nation in its vaccination rate, recorded 13 new cases.

However, only two of the cases were in quarantine for their entire infectious period and the sources of six cases are under investigation.

It means that whether the Canberra lockdown that began on August 12 would end as planned on Friday is still uncertain.

Till date, about 67 per cent of Australians aged 16 and older had received at least one vaccine dose and 42 per cent were fully vaccinated, according to the Department of Health.

–IANS

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