LATEST COVID-19 DEVELOPMENTS:
* Police arrested 235 people, most for breaching health directions, but some were charged with assault, riotous behaviour, weapons and drug offences, at an anti-lockdown protest in Melbourne.
* Ten police were injured while dealing with the rally, with injuries including a broken elbow and broken nose.
* About 1000 demonstrators have gathered in Richmond while 2000 officers were deployed at road checkpoints and barricades, and on roving patrols, to try to stop the rally going ahead.
* As authorities begin distributing Australia's first shipment of Moderna vaccine, more than 1800 new virus cases were reported from outbreaks in NSW and Victoria.
* NSW has now recorded more than 50,000 cases since the start of the pandemic, with 1331 new locally acquired infections confirmed on Saturday along with six deaths, bring total fatalities to 284.
* Victoria recorded another death and 535 new infections, its highest daily number so far in the latest outbreak. It conducted 61,622 tests in the 24 hours to Friday evening.
* Sixty-two of its latest cases are linked to known clusters. Victoria has 4974 active cases.
* Victorian authorities warn the state's contact tracing teams are under pressure and have flagged delays in calls to track the movements of new cases.
* Melbourne and Ballarat residents have been granted modestly eased restrictions after reaching 70 per cent first dose coverage.
* Sydney police were on alert amid reports of potential anti-lockdown rallies on Saturday. Horse-mounted officers patrolled at locations in the city's inner west, stopping some people and asking for identification.
* Health teams also launched a vaccination blitz of 18 social housing blocks at inner city Redfern and Waterloo.
* The ACT has added 15 locally acquired infections, with at least seven of them circulating within the community for some days.
* The territory's case total for the current outbreak is 601, with 364 having recovered and 237 still active. Eight people remain in Canberra hospitals, the youngest aged 12.
* Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says the incoming Moderna doses mean more GP clinics will be able to administer the vaccine.
* The latest figures show Australia is now at 70.5 per cent of over 16s having received their first dose, while more than 45 per cent are fully immunised.
* Meanwhile, new data shows the inclusion of telehealth consolations as part of Medicare in response to the pandemic has contributed to bulk billing rates being at an "all-time high".
AUSTRALIAN VACCINATION NUMBERS:
* There have been 24,392,438 doses administered in the national COVID-19 vaccination rollout up to Saturday, including 338,375 in the previous 24 hours.
* Of the total, 14,047,077 have been administered by the Commonwealth (an increase of 185,692 in the previous 24 hours).
* 13,140,251 have been issued in primary care (+183,490) and 906,826 in aged and disability facilities (+2202).
* 10,345,361 have been administered by the states and territories, including 152,683 in the previous 24 hours.
AUSTRALIAN CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
* Australia reported 1882 local cases on Saturday: 1331 in NSW, 535 in Victoria, 15 in the ACT and one in Queensland.
* Three overseas-acquired cases were also reported: two in NSW and one in WA.
* The national death toll is 1148: Victoria 830, NSW 284, Tasmania 13, WA 9, Queensland 7, SA 4, ACT 3. (Two Queensland residents who died in NSW have been included in the official tolls of both states).
GLOBAL CORONAVIRUS NUMBERS:
* Cases: at least 227,611,994.
* Deaths: at least 4,678,822.
* Vaccine doses administered: at least 5,858,157,933.
Data current as at 1700 AEST on September 18, taking in federal and state/territory government updates and Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Centre figures.
Australian Associated Press