South Australia will become the first Australian state to make both Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccination appointments available to all people aged 16 and over at state-run clinics from Monday, Premier Steven Marshall has announced.
The appointments will open from Monday 16 August, with 127,000 extra booking slots to become available for inoculations in September and October once more Pfizer shots arrive in Australia.
"This nation-leading move is a huge milestone in our vaccine rollout with South Australia leading the way as the first state in the nation to open up to everyone aged 16 and older," SA Premier Steven Marshall told The Advertiser.
"While our COVID recovery plan remains focused on supporting business, protecting jobs, and shielding South Australians from the health threat posed by the pandemic, vaccination is our pathway out of the pandemic and we are determined to ensure everyone has access to the vaccine as soon as possible to keep our state safe and economy strong.
"Thanks to the increase in supply and massive interest from our community, we can expect to see a significant increase in the number of vaccinations delivered over the coming weeks and months."
It comes just days after a vaccination clinic in Adelaide briefly opened up its calendar to any South Australian aged 16 and over wanting to get a Pfizer jab - a move described as an "error" by SA Health.
That clinic in Highgate Park mistakenly made appointments available to SA's adult population according to the state's health authorities, as it was previously only vaccinating aged care workers.
At the time, workers at the clinic said the decision to open up eligibility for Pfizer appointments was made because of an oversupply of the mRNA vaccine.
However, texts sent out today to those who booked in at Highgate Park on Monday clarifies that anyone aged over 16 who managed to secure an appointment during the brief window availabilities were open will see their booking honoured.
SA also eased COVID-19 restrictions today, increasing density limits for venues and shops, and allowing private gatherings outside of home.
The new restrictions are as follows:
- Density limits for seated activities have increased to three people per 4sqm. This includes for the seated consumption of food and beverages at cafes, restaurants and pubs.
- Density limits for standing activities, such as retail shops, or mixed standing and seating, are now one person per 2sqm.
- All private gatherings outside the home are capped at 50 people (home gatherings remain capped at 10).
Queensland opens up to South Australia
Today's news comes as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced travellers from South Australia would be permitted to enter the sunshine state from midday today, as long as they fly in.
In addition, anyone from South Australia currently in home quarantine in Queensland will be able to leave isolation as long as they have a negative test result.
Updated at 9.53am AEST on 12 August 2021.
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