Saturday was Australia's worst day for new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic started, as many more vaccine doses are arriving within weeks including 10 million doses of the Moderna vaccine.
The first doses of Moderna are due to be offered through community pharmacies and workplaces. The balance of the 25 million dose order will serve as booster vaccines in 2022.
As more state and territory leaders conclude that elimination will not work with the Delta variant, their focus has shifted from stronger lockdown restrictions to increasing the vaccination coverage.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said vaccination records were being set almost every day, and with new doses arriving in coming months everyone aged 12-18 years of age would have access to a vaccine during 2021.
The nation's medicine regulator on Saturday granted provisional approval to the Moderna vaccine, known as Spikevax, for 12- to 17-year-olds. It was previously given a green light for adults.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration's provisional approval was based on safety and efficacy, Mr Hunt added.
Advice is expected within the next week from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation on how the Moderna product for younger recipients should be incorporated in the vaccine program.
"The approval was based on evidence of strong ability for these vaccines to raise just as good, if not stronger, immunological responses as it does in young adults and older groups," the TGA's John Skerritt said on Saturday.
Moderna's vaccine has also received regulatory approval for use by 12- to 17-year-olds in the UK, Canada, the European Union and Switzerland. The recommended dose interval is 28 days apart.
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Australia's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd, said more than 37 per cent of over 16s have had two vaccinations and 62 per cent have had one.
"There are 1.7 million more vaccines to go in the over-16 cohort until we have 70 per cent of the eligible population having received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 3.7 million until we have 80 per cent of people having received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine," Professor Kidd said.
Labor's health spokesperson Mark Butler seized on the rising case numbers to condemn the federal government's handling of the pandemic as an "unmitigated disaster that continues to get worse every single day".
"It's been another terrible day for Australia in the fight against COVID with more than 1700 new cases being reported."
"That is by far the record number of new cases we've seen through this 18-month long pandemic."
He asked when the new Doherty Institute modelling - presented to the national cabinet meeting on Friday - would be released.
Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said state and territory leaders that wanted to keep up hard borders to fellow Australians should think about how they would provide certainty to business. The national plan provided that, he said.
"I think the Australian people are voting with their arms, turning out and getting vaccinated."
- With AAP
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