New vaccine deal needed for COVID-19 fight

Australia is being urged to remain vigilant and work closely with vaccine manufacturers as new COVID-19 variants emerge.

Jane Halton, who chairs the the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, cautioned the federal government against winding back any vaccine deals.

"We don't think we're going to see lots of really nasty variants but we don't know, and if we don't know we need to be ready just in case," she told ABC radio on Monday.

"In other words, we're not running around behind other countries who've already sealed deals."

Professor Halton led a federal government review which found Australia's pre-pandemic settings were not fit for purpose and official health advice about vaccines was confusing.

"We know how many people died when we weren't fast enough," she said.

The review made eight recommendations which Prof Halton is confident will be implemented in the next month.

COVID-19 deaths across the country are on the rise, despite case numbers appearing to drop.

Deaths in Victoria and NSW increased by 39 and 45 respectively in the latest weekly figures, despite sizeable drops in cases.

Victoria recorded 12,349 new infections and 108 deaths after recording 16,568 cases and 69 deaths the previous week.

It was a similar story in NSW as weekly reported cases dropped from 27,665 to 19,793, while deaths more than doubled from 32 to 77.

In South Australia deaths rose from 18 to 20 despite cases falling from 7671 to 4954.