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States battling for right (and cash) to become nation's disease HQ


A bidding war could erupt among state premiers vying to host a new US-style centre for disease control for Australia.

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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Thursday signalled possible funding for the new centre – an election promise – in the October budget after discussing the facility with state and territory counterparts in a national cabinet meeting.

“I have already had discussions with at least a couple of premiers who are very keen to have it located,” he told reporters in Canberra.

“We’ll provide funding for our commitments like other commitments in the October budget.”

Albanese would not be drawn when pressed for further details, saying to “stay tuned” for announcements in the upcoming budget.

It follows signs the COVID-19 winter wave may have peaked earlier than expected.

Albanese said he remained hopeful a spike in cases being recorded would stabilise, as the number of people in hospital with the virus also continues to fall.

But Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly warned the current wave would not be the last, and urged people not to become complacent in doing their bit to stop the spread of the virus.

The Moderna vaccine has been approved for some children aged between six months and five years.

The rollout of the jab will begin from September 5, but only for children who are immunocompromised or have complex health conditions.

Up to 70,000 children will be eligible for the vaccine.

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