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Victoria has recorded one new local coronavirus case as its borders closed to South-East Queensland and Perth.
The new locally acquired case is a primary close contact who has been in isolation throughout their infectious period.
Victorian authorities classified 11 local government areas in Queensland, including the Gold Coast as “red zones” at 1am on Wednesday, as well as the Perth and Peel regions in Western Australia.
The Greater Darwin area remains a red zone, as does Greater Sydney, while the ACT and the rest of NSW has been declared an “orange zone”, except for communities in the border bubble.
People in red zones who are residents of Victoria are barred from entering the state without an exemption, while residents can return they also have to obtain a permit and quarantine for 14 days at home upon their arrival.
People in orange zones have to obtain a permit to enter Victoria and then get a COVID-19 test and isolate until they receive a negative result.
Victoria’s tourism towns are packed as residents travel close to home to avoid the red and orange zones.
The state also recorded one new coronavirus case in hotel quarantine in the 24 hours to midnight on Tuesday.
More than 20,000 Victorians received their COVID-19 vaccine doses in the past 24 hours, while nearly 30,000 test results were processed.
AMA urges under-60s to wait for Pfizer vaccine
The new case was recorded as younger Victorians appeared to respond positively to the news that the AstraZeneca vaccine would be made available to all Australian adults on Wednesday, with some booking in immediately to get the jab.
But later on in the day, the Australian Medical Association urged people under 60 to wait for a Pfizer vaccine if they can.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement on Monday that any Australian over 18 will be able to access the AstraZeneca vaccine came without warning, surprising even the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, which provides expert advice to the government on vaccines.
The announcement also blindsided the Australian Medical Association, with president Dr Omar Khorshid urging younger people to continue to follow ATAGI advice and hold out for the Pfizer vaccine.
Earlier this month, ATAGI changed its clinical guidance to limit the AstraZeneca vaccine to over 60s due to the severity of a number of non-fatal cases of a rare blood clotting condition in people in their 50s.
“They’ve done the work to do the risk analysis for us, you don’t have to do it yourself, and they’ve recommended that people under the age of 60 get the Pfizer vaccine,” Dr Khorshid said on Tuesday.
“I don’t have any objection to a younger person deciding to get the vaccine they can get now. But I believe we should follow ATAGI’s recommendation because they’re the experts.”
The prime minister said the Commonwealth would introduce a new no-fault vaccine injury indemnity scheme for GPs this week, allowing doctors to administer the vaccine to anyone aged over 18 without the threat of legal action.
With Melissa Cunningham, Aisha Dow, and Mary Ward
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