NSW mass vaccination hubs have delivered a record number of COVID-19 jabs as the virulent Delta strain continues to spread through the state, testing ambulance service resources.
There were 1035 new local infections and two more deaths reported overnight, taking the state's death toll from the current outbreak to 83.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard says a record 61,778 people received a vaccine at state hubs and another 94,387 from GPs and chemists in the 24 hours to 8pm Friday night.
"As we have said many times, vaccination is a critical path out of our current situation," he told reporters on Saturday.
The two people who died were a western Sydney woman in her 80s in Westmead Hospital and one in her 70s from the Blue Mountains at Nepean Hospital after acquiring her infection there earlier this month.
It's the fourth death linked to an outbreak at the hospital.
There are currently 778 COVID-19 cases in NSW hospitals, with 125 in intensive care and 52 on ventilators.
Mr Hazzard said there was a "lot of misinformation" on social media about the vaccine, particularly targeting people who want to have children.
It suggested there were some negative aspects of being vaccinated in terms of fertility, he said.
"I just want to confirm that the most senior health advisory service in Australia has confirmed absolutely, that there is no evidence whatsoever that a woman's fertility or a man's fertility would be in any way affected by having the vaccine," Mr Hazzard said.
"Young women and girls who are contemplating having a child should understand that if they don't have the vaccine, and they do get the virus, they may suffer from long COVID or from symptoms that would actually make it more difficult to be able to have children, and to have as many children as they would like."
NSW Ambulance Commissioner Dominic Morgan has said there had been so many calls for ambulances in the past three days it was the equivalent demand on paramedics as the "busiest New Year's Eve".
On Friday alone, Mr Morgan said 450 patients required paramedic assistance for suspected or actual COVID-19.
"When we receive calls that do not require an ambulance immediately, it can have dire consequences," he said, noting an instance of an ambulance taking 25 minutes to get to an 18-year-old suffering from cardiac arrest.
The health minister announced that from 12.01am on Friday this coming week people are allowed to get married with up to five guests, in addition to people "obviously necessary for the actual service".
Meanwhile, communities living on the hard border between Queensland-NSW won't get their checkpoints moved south anytime soon.
The Queensland government on Friday said NSW had come to the table on the plan but within hours NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the government "vehemently opposes" moving the border check point south.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday unveiled a plan to get kids back to school for term four.
HSC exams for NSW Year 12 students in 2021 will be pushed back to November 9, and all people working on school campuses must be vaccinated by November 8.
It comes as the Pfizer jab is officially approved for use by Australian health authorities in children aged 12 to 15.
Australian Associated Press
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