Superspreader fear as Melbourne protester tests positive

Demonstrators who attended the third day of recurring Melbourne protests have been encouraged to get tested as a fellow mob member battles COVID-19 in hospital.

"Public health investigations are under way," a spokesman said in a statement.

Health Minister Greg Hunt has downplayed vaccine supply tensions with states after Victoria's leader claimed doses were being rationed.

Premier Daniel Andrews said state health authorities were conserving Pfizer shots, with not enough stock on hand to bring forward the time between doses: "Supply still remains a limiting factor."

Mr Hunt, a senior Victorian in the federal cabinet, said the number of Australians getting coronavirus vaccines was increasing despite Mr Andrews' comments.

The ACT government is being urged to fund rapid coronavirus swabs for pharmacists to help keep them at work.

The ACT branch of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has welcomed Chief Minister Andrew Barr's support for widespread rapid antigen testing as vaccination coverage rises.

And the wave of coronavirus infections set to hit NSW hospitals could be double what the NSW government has predicted, a trusted public health expert warns.

Doherty Institute modelling relied upon when determining reopening targets of 70 and 80 per cent vaccination coverage did not reflect the true severity of Delta strain infections, the institute's Director of Epidemiology, Jodie McVernon, told a NSW parliamentary hearing on Thursday.

If the severity from Delta is about twice what was originally assumed, the numbers of hospitalisations of unvaccinated people will probably be double what has been predicted, Professor McVernon agreed.

Businessman John Elliott, a Liberal Party elder and the Carlton Football Club's longest-serving president, has died in hospital aged 79, 10 days short of his 80th birthday.

His son Tom told listeners of 3AW radio his father "had taken his last breath" on Thursday: "He had been ill for a few weeks"

The Western Bulldogs have made two changes for the AFL grand final, with defender Ryan Gardner and forward Laitham Vandermeer the unlucky omissions.

Gardner and Vandermeer make way for key defender Alex Keath (hamstring) and dynamite forward Cody Weightman (concussion), who have recovered from their respective injuries.

- with AAP

This story Superspreader fear after protester tests positive first appeared on The Canberra Times.