Australia health department says it may not fully reopen its international borders this year

Australia health department says it may not fully reopen its international borders this year even if most of the population is vaccinated against coronavirus.

Australia is looking at potential adverse effects of the Pfizer vaccine after Norway reported a small number of deaths in older people who received the shot, but is due to begin its immunization programme next month.

The country has managed the coronavirus better than many other nations through targeted lockdowns and high rates of testing and contact tracing, and reported zero local COVID-19 cases on Monday.

Victoria, which is hosting the Australian Open, reported four positive cases in overseas travellers, all associated with the tennis tournament, taking the total to nine.

The event is being organized under strict coronavirus protocols with players, coaches and officials brought to Australia on charter flights and spending two weeks in quarantine before the competition gets under way.

Australia has reported more than 22,000 local COVID-19 cases and 909 deaths since the pandemic began.



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