National plan out 'too dangerous' under Delta, new modelling shows.
New modelling has found at least 90 per cent of all Australians, including children, should be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the country can open up safely.
The third wave, driven by the more infectious Delta strain, is taking hold in younger and unvaccinated age groups.
Research released on Tuesday shows children will directly benefit from vaccination.
"If we could achieve 75 cent vaccination coverage among children and adolescents, we could prevent 12,000 hospitalisations in these age groups," Quentin Grafton from the Australian National University said.
Addendum: What happens if we achieve 90% coverage in adults AND vaccinate children?— Dr Zoë Hyde (@DrZoeHyde) August 23, 2021
Even at our minimum recommended target, we still expect an eventual 5,000 deaths & 40,000 cases of long COVID.
However, these outcomes are far superior to the 70% & 80% targets.
Let’s aim high.
Some 6.9 million cases with symptoms, 154,000 hospitalisations, and 29,000 fatalities could be the result of lifting restrictions at 70 per cent adult vaccination coverage, even with a 95 per cent vaccination level for those aged 60 years and over, the research found.
Scott Morrison says Australia "has to move forward" and open up when 70 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated.
"We will live with this virus like we live with other infectious diseases," he said on Monday.
Researchers Zoe Hyde from the University of Western Australia, Tom Kompas from the University of Melbourne and Professor Grafton say the prime minister's current national plan "puts too many lives at risk".
State and territory governments are also pushing back against the plan that national cabinet signed off in July, before the Sydney outbreak seeped into other areas.