There is no magic number of vaccinations that can be given that would guarantee no lockdowns in the event of another coronavirus outbreak, Mr Merlino said.
“The more people you get vaccinated, the more comfort public health have in the advice that they give to government, in terms of how we respond to an outbreak,” he said.
“If we are in a position now where the population was vaccinated at a level where we should be, you look at other jurisdictions around the world… then we may well not have the public health advice in terms of the lockdown.”
He noted the Commonwealth vaccine program is a federal responsibility.
“The Federal Government is responsible for the supply of the vaccine,” Mr Merlino said.
“As soon as we are getting the vaccine, we are giving it to people because we know this is a race.
“Forty percent of vaccinations in the country have been here in Victoria.”