Canberra on cusp of 50 per cent jab rate

By Georgie Moore
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr plans to release details of easing current restrictions next week. (AAP)

Canberra will be the first jurisdiction in Australia to vaccinate half of its over-16 population as the territory records 15 more coronavirus cases.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr on Thursday expected the threshold to be reached within 24 hours and labelled the next eight weeks a vaccination race.

Details of easing current restrictions will be revealed on Tuesday.

"It is the government's intention to make gradual steps forward to manage our current outbreak so that we will be able to ease public health restrictions as our vaccination rate increases," Mr Barr told reporters.

The lifting of lockdown in parts of regional NSW and further planned easing of restrictions in that state will be factored into the ACT's decisions to a degree.

"It's a factor, but not the predominant factor. So local conditions, local vaccination rates, local epidemiology will be the major driving force behind our next steps," Mr Barr said.

The ACT is on the cusp of 50 per cent full vaccination coverage for people 16 years and over. (AAP)

Canberra remains in lockdown until at least midnight on September 17 and closed to NSW, with some exceptions for border towns.

All but two of Canberra's latest locally acquired cases are linked through household contacts or known clusters.

At least eight people were out and about for some of the time while infectious.

There are 227 cases active in the ACT and nine patients in hospital, two of them in intensive care including one person on a ventilator.

The reproduction rate of the virus remains under one, meaning each infected person will pass the virus onto less than one other person on average.

Once Canberra reaches a 70 per cent full vaccination rate, Mr Barr expects first doses to be at 90 or 95 per cent.

He foreshadows the gap between 70 and 80 per cent full coverage amounting to about five days of vaccinations.

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