Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says the government remains committed to vaccinating all Australians by the end of October.

He said as of last night, 41,907 doses had been administered around the country, including to 13,348 aged care residents.

Follow the latest updates as they happen live.

Live updates

By Daniel Smith

WA border extension would be ‘immense overreach’

The WA Liberal Leader, unsurprisingly, has come out against Premier Mark McGowan’s statement about the possibility of continuing the state’s “controlled border” beyond the pandemic. 

Mr McGowan indicated he was considering extending the controls to slow drug importation, but Opposition Leader Zak Kirkup slammed the idea.

“I think it’s an immense overreach, it’s something that I don’t support.”

By Daniel Smith

Just 10 active cases left in Victoria: CHO

We’ve just got the regular update from Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Brett Sutton.

He said there were just 10 active cases left in the state, and it’s the fourth day in a row of no new cases.

A total of 1,156 COVID-19 vaccination doses were administered yesterday at hospital vaccination hubs across Victoria. This brings the total number of vaccine doses administered in Victoria since the program started on Feb 22 to 5,020.

By Daniel Smith

No overseas travel for a while yet

Don’t go packing that suitcase and planning that Europe trip just yet – laws banning Australians from travelling overseas have been extended until at least the middle of the year.

The Biosecurity Act gives the Commonwealth sweeping powers to issue emergency directions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those powers have been extended until June 17.

That means cruise ships can’t dock in Australia and overseas travel will continue to be banned.

By Daniel Smith

NSW numbers

Hey blog fam!

How long has NSW gone without a local case?


Hey Positivity! Today marks 44 days since NSW had a local case.

By Daniel Smith

Government committed to vaccination timeframe

When asked whether Australia would meet its target of vaccinating everyone by the end of October, Mr Hunt said it remained the government’s objective.

“That remains our objective and timeframe. What this is about is a ramp-up… This is a progressive rollout, done that way for reasons of safety and security. We will continue rolling it out and these arrivals of vaccines are very good and continued expansion of the program is good.”

He also said he hadn’t heard WA Premier Mark McGowan’s comments on border controls, but that “our history has been of a single united country since Federation”.

“This year, and the last 12 months, pretty much 12 months now, has been about an extraordinary national emergency and I think we should all be aware that we belong to a country which, under its constitution, is committed to open borders. I’m unaware of the Premier’s proposal, so can’t address that directly. But we have friends, family, loved ones, weddings, funerals, palliative care, births, all of the human elements mean that families across borders visit each other. People are part of a single unified country. That is the principle I would apply.”

By Daniel Smith

Key Event

More than 41,000 vaccine doses administered: Health Minister

Health Minister Greg Hunt is currently speaking and said Australia had received another shipment of Pfizer vaccine doses, bringing the total to 443,000 in addition to the 300,000 AstraZeneca doses. That means we have a total of 733,000 doses that have arrived from overseas.

“In terms of the distribution to the states, I am very pleased to be able to announce that over the current 10-day period, we will make almost 300,000 doses available to the states and that will be the two distributions of Pfizer and one of AstraZeneca.”

He said the number of doses distributed to the states would be as follows:

  • NSW: 86,000

  • Vic: 76,000

  • Qld: Around 60,000

  • WA: 30,000

  • SA: 29,000

  • Tas: Just over 9,000

  • NT: 3,700

  • ACT: 5,100

“As we speak, as of last night, there had been 41,907 doses administered around the country. That included 13,348 Commonwealth aged care residents at 158 facilities.”

By Daniel Smith

Aussie-made AstraZeneca production ahead of schedule

More than one million Australian-produced doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine are ready to be released by the end of the month.

Melbourne-based company CSL is manufacturing the vaccine and said its current March timeline was well ahead of schedule.

Christopher Larkins, a senior vice president of manufacturing operations at Sequirus, a subsidiary of CSL, told a Senate committee that when the vaccines were released, they would be assessed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and then by AstraZeneca before being sent out.

By Daniel Smith

Victoria’s state of emergency looks set to continue

Victoria’s state of emergency powers look set to be extended for another nine months, after negotiations between the Andrews government and the crossbench.

A debate on the laws, which give the Chief Health Officer wide-ranging powers to enforce public health orders including hotel quarantine and mask wearing, is taking place in the Upper House this afternoon. The bill has already passed the Lower House.

The amended laws were circulated to MPs just hours before the debate was about to begin. They include reducing penalties for young people who are fined for COVID-19 breaches, and changes to the appeals processes for people with detention orders.

The state of emergency laws were due to expire on March 16. If the bill is passed, a state of emergency can remain in place until December 16. Victoria has been under a continuous state of emergency since March last year.

By Daniel Smith

Key Event

SA records no new locally-acquired cases

South Australia has recorded two new COVID-19 cases, both women in their 60s who recently returned from overseas. They have been in a medi-hotel since they arrived. 

SA Health said testing showed one of the cases involved an old infection.

By Daniel Smith

Canada advises against AstraZeneca for over-65s, while France changes to allow it

Dan the Delightful! That’s a first.

Anyway, back on topic, we’re seeing some flip-flopping over the AstraZeneca vaccine and over-65s overseas.

France has changed its stance on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, saying it can now be given to certain people over 65. They previously restricted its use to younger people, but the data coming through from Britain indicates the vaccine is highly effective in reducing death and serious illness, including in the elderly.

Meanwhile, Canada has become the latest country to advise people over 65 against getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Canadian authorities said trial data for seniors was too limited to recommend its use, the same cited by a number of European countries. The recommendation from a national advisory body is not binding, and Canadian authorities say some positive real-world data has started to emerge.

By Dannielle Maguire

It’s time for me to disappear

But don’t worry, Dan the Delightful is going to keep you company for the rest of the day. 

Thanks for sticking with me!

By Daniel Smith

Decision to delay second vaccine helping save elderly in UK

Data from England indicates that many elderly people have been saved by the British government’s policy to delay giving second COVID vaccine shots.

The decision was taken so that more older people could get immediate protection from the first jab. Figures show that hospital admissions among those who had received just their first shot have fallen by 80 per cent.

England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van Tam said a second jab was still necessary, but that the latest findings were very encouraging.

“It shows us, gives us those first glimpses of how if we are patient and we give this vaccine program time to have its full effect, it is going to hopefully take us into a very different world in the next few months.”

By Dannielle Maguire

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.

ABC analyst Casey Briggs talks through the vaccine stats explaining that, so far, Australia has fallen short of its targets.

By Dannielle Maguire

20,000 AstraZeneca doses for SA

South Australia has been allocated just 20,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine which will arrive in Adelaide tomorrow.

It’s a fraction of the 300,000 doses which were first flown into Australia at the weekend. The federal government released 200,000 to the states.

SA’s Health Minister Stephen Wade says the new vaccines are most likely to be deployed to frontline workers in regional areas.

“The AstraZeneca is a great addition to our suite of vaccines,” he said. 

“The great benefit to AstraZeneca is it doesn’t have the high cold chain requirements that the Pfizer has.”

The AstraZeneca vaccines are expected to be rolled out nationally this coming Monday. 

By Daniel Smith

Key Event

WA’s ‘controlled border’ could be extended past pandemic

WA Premier Mark McGowan spoke not all that long ago, indicating he’s considering extending the state’s “controlled border” beyond the pandemic to slow drug importation.

The Business Council of Australia stated Australia’s economy should be reopened in line with each phase of the vaccine rollout, describing border closures as “economically damaging”, but Mr McGowan disagreed.

“We have the strongest economy in the nation, recovered virtually all of the jobs lost during the pandemic, we avoided a recession. We have the strongest business confidence, consumer confidence, retail, hospitality, construction, building industries in the country, the strongest mining industry in the country. The reason we could do all of that was because we kept COVID out, our borders did that.”

He pointed to a reduction in methamphetamine importation into WA and said this unexpected side effect could be a reason for tightening border controls beyond the pandemic.

He also didn’t rule out keeping the current G2G pass system in place, which was introduced to protect the state against COVID-19 and allowed the government to track people who enter WA.

By Dannielle Maguire

Another vaccinated Aussie saying that the shot doesn’t hurt…

I’m hearing a lot of talk about how painless the COVID-19 vaccines are. Like, people say it doesn’t hurt at all. 

Here’s Cliff, saying pretty much the same thing as everyone else who has had the shot:


I hope that’s comforting for all of you who don’t do well when it comes to needles!

By Daniel Smith


Hey blog friends! My name is Dan Smith and I’m joining Dannielle to bring you all the latest on the coronavirus situation both here and abroad. 

Don’t go anywhere, there’s plenty more to come.

By Dannielle Maguire

A bit of positivity from the Blog Watchers:

We seem to have covid under control for the moment in all states, let’s hope it continues hey.


I think we have all done incredibly well to be perfectly honest, had some hiccups along the way but that’s life with this pandemic, hopefully the vaccine will help.


By Dannielle Maguire

Key Event

50 days with no community transmission in QLD

It’s really nice to read how well NSW and Vic are doing with the virus or lack there of. Having said that, isn’t QLD doing incredibly well. The best state in the land.


Look, I’m just answering a question here. And, hey, just because I’m a Queenslander, doesn’t mean I’m endorsing Mike’s stance that Queensland is the “best state in the land”. He’s entitled to his views. 

Now that that’s out of the way, the Sunshine State chalked up a half-century today. 


By Dannielle Maguire

State versus state…

Not really, but kinda. 

Here’s a quick snapshot of how each of the states are tracking in the vaccine rollout. 

The dark green bar is how many vaccines were administered, while the light green bar represents the number of doses allocated to each state and territory

ALSO: the Federal bar refers to the national vaccination program for administering doses in aged and disability care.

Tasmania is clearly nailing it by delivering pretty much its entire allocation. Here’s where the other states are on the leaderboard: 

ACT: 84 per cent

NSW: 74 per cent.

Federal: 72 per cent

NT: 64 per cent

WA: 62 per cent

SA: 35 per cent 

Victoria: 30 per cent

Queensland: 22 per cent