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Our vaccine confidence is growing, with 80 per cent now intending to get jab

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The proportion of Australians intending to get vaccinated for COVID-19 has soared over the past month.

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As Prime Minister Scott Morrison prepared to meet with state and territory leaders on Friday to discuss the pandemic response, a survey by the federal health department showed 79 per cent of Australians were likely to get, or already were, vaccinated.

This was up nine points on the survey result in July.

The national cabinet has set a goal of 70 per cent vaccination before some restrictions can start to be eased and 80 per cent for a major step forward in reopening.

The survey also showed concern about the general COVID-19 situation has risen to its highest level (45 per cent) since September last year when it was at 47 per cent.

Concern over the pandemic had dipped as low as 28 per cent in March.

The national cabinet will receive a detailed update on the vaccine rollout, as coronavirus continues to seep out of Sydney’s outbreak epicentre with cases detected in Melbourne and Canberra joining swathes of regional NSW in lockdown.

The NSW government is resisting calls for a statewide lockdown but has extended restrictions in the Hunter and New England regions.

The ACT on Thursday entered a seven-day lockdown after Canberra recorded four local cases, the first in more than a year.

Federal parliament adjourned on Thursday and is scheduled to return on August 23, with many MPs and senators opting to stay in locked-down Canberra for the non-sitting week.

ACT health authorities haven’t established where the virus has come from but expect genomic sequencing to be completed on Friday.

Surging case numbers in NSW remain stubbornly high with 345 new local infections and two deaths reported in the past 24 hours.

Sydney and surrounding regions will be in lockdown until at least August 28.

Northwest NSW, Dubbo, Armidale, Tamworth, Byron Bay and the Hunter region are also under snap restrictions.

There were 21 new local cases in Melbourne where a lockdown has been extended until at least next Thursday.

Brisbane’s cluster grew by 10 local cases but Queensland health authorities believe the outbreak is under control.

Just under 14.5 million vaccine doses have been delivered, with 24.36 per cent of Australians over 16 fully vaccinated.

Tasmania leads the way with 30 per cent of its adults vaccinated, while WA drags the chain on 21.3 per cent.

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