Australia news live: over 50s now eligible for AstraZeneca vaccine; WA considers longer-term mask measures

Good morning! It’s Matilda Boseley here, ready to kick off the news week.

Now, while I’m still a way off the jab, I have no doubt that a decent section of the people reading this right now has woken up, suddenly eligible for a vaccine.

Yes, from this morning every Australian over 50 years old is now able to book in for a dose of AstraZeneca as Australia’s vaccine rollout truly begins to ramp up.

All those eligible can organise to get their jabs with their GP, and in several states, such as Victoria, mass vaccination hubs will also be opening their doors. (Sorry NSW boomers – and older Gen-X: while your doctor can give you the jab, your mass vaccination hubs won’t expand their booking criteria to you for another three weeks.)

If you are getting vaccinated tweet me a photo on Twitter @MatildaBoseley and I’ll share your good fortune with the blog! (And be quietly jealous, as my 24-year-old self has all but given up on being vaccinated in 2021.)

Some of the big names rolling up their sleeves today include Western Australia premier Mark McGowan and health minister Roger Cook.

Speaking of McGowan, this all comes as the Western Australian government weighs up the prospect of an extended period of mask-wearing as contact tracers race to contain the latest outbreak and avoid another coronavirus lockdown.

McGowan yesterday confirmed no new locally acquired Covid cases had been detected, after a hotel quarantine security guard and two of his housemates tested positive – the second minor hotel outbreak in as many weeks.

Sunday’s AFL western derby between West Coast and Fremantle at Optus Stadium was played with empty stands, nightclubs were closed and Perth and Peel residents were ordered to return to wearing masks indoors and outdoors.

How to Wear a N95 Mask

McGowan flagged that face coverings might become “a longer-term measure in coming weeks”.


And that is unfortunate because I know how uncomfortable and difficult it is but that may be one of the measures that we put in place to provide additional protection.

A number of high-risk locations have been released as contact tracers continue to work through the movements of the three infected men but so far all 16 “high-risk” close contacts have returned negative tests.

Some other things worth looking out for:

  • The federal government is standing firm on its threat to jail travellers trying to return from India.
  • Tasmania’s Liberal party is edging closer to forming a majority government but the final seat tally from Saturday’s election may not be known for a week.
  • Western Australia is facing growing calls to stop locking up children as young as 10, with a new report exposing the dire over-representation of Aboriginal youth in custody.
  • More than 50 health and medical groups have penned a letter to Scott Morrison, senior members of his government and Labor MPs to reduce decarbonise the healthcare sector by 2040.

And remember if there is something you reckon I’ve missed or think should be in the blog but isn’t, shoot me a message on Twitter @MatildaBoseley or email me at [email protected].



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