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Australia records 20 COVID-19 deaths as vulnerable groups urged to take up fourth vaccine

Another 20 people have died with COVID-19 in NSW and Victoria.

There has been a rise in hospitalisations with 1,467 people now admitted, a rise by nearly 50 from Monday. Of those, 56 are in intensive care.

In Victoria, eight deaths were recorded on Tuesday and 12,007 people have tested positive for the virus.

Of the 339 COVID-19 patients in hospital, 18 are in intensive care.

People aged 65 and older, Indigenous Australians aged at least 50, disability care residents and the immunocompromised became eligible for a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

Health Minister Greg Hunt says anyone eligible for a winter COVID-19 shot should come forward.

“You can pair it with your annual flu shot, which will help protect you against both the flu and COVID-19 this winter,” he said in a statement.

“Vaccines are your best protection against the most severe impacts of COVID and may provide protection against long COVID.

“Even if you have had COVID-19, it is important to maximise your protection from severe illness and have a booster.”