ACT year 12 students given jab priority

·2-min read

Year 12 students in the ACT will get priority access to Pfizer vaccines ahead of their exams as Canberra records 18 new coronavirus cases.

The nation's capital is also set receive between 65,000 and 68,000 doses as part of a newly announced swap with the UK for four million jabs.

Doses are divvied up between jurisdictions on a per capita basis, meaning Chief Minister Andrew Barr expects to receive about a week-and-a-half's worth of vaccines.

"That means we can bring a lot (of doses) forward, depending of course on exactly when it arrives," he told reporters on Friday.

Separately, most of the 8344 doses allocated to the ACT under an earlier announced vaccine swap with Singapore will go to final-year students and teaching staff in direct contact with them.

They can access a pool of 5500 Pfizer jabs from Monday until September 17 to help ensure exams can be held safely.

Other teachers and early childhood educators will be able to book in for Pfizer jabs in coming weeks.

Canberra recorded 18 new infections on Friday, taking its active infection count to 255.

Of the new cases, 15 were in the community for at least some of the time while infectious and all but five were linked to known cases or clusters.

There are 10 people in hospital, the youngest of which is 18.

Three patients are in intensive care including a man in his 20s on a ventilator.

Children and younger adults make up the majority of the ACT's coronavirus cases.

It's also Australia's most vaccinated jurisdiction, followed closely by Tasmania, with 44.55 per cent of Canberrans aged 16 and older double-dosed.

Slightly more than 67 per cent have received one dose.

Mr Barr is optimistic the territory's vaccination rate will exceed 90 per cent.

He blasted as "madness" talk of reopening the country once 70 per cent of adults are fully vaccinated, given the scale of NSW's outbreak.

That state sparked Canberra's twice-extended lockdown and recorded a new daily high of 1431 cases on Friday.

Slightly more than 37 per cent of over-16s across the country have received two vaccine doses as Pfizer remains in short supply and amid continued hesitancy about AstraZeneca vaccines.

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