The Australian authorities is readying to motorboat a population-wide COVID-19 vaccination booster programme by 2022, pending support from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the country’s medicine and therapeutics regulator.
The quality of the program comes arsenic Australia reached the 70 percent vaccination milestone connected Wednesday, which volition determination the federation person to “phase B” of the national reopening roadmap, with much freedoms released.
The TGA and Australian Technical Advisory Group connected Immunisation (ATAGI) are preparing proposal connected booster shots for the wide population, with astir 500,000 immunocompromised radical having already started receiving boosters.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said helium believes the wide colonisation tin commencement receiving COVID-19 boosters aboriginal this year.
“Would I similar to spot it commence this twelvemonth and bash I expect it to commence this year? Yes, and yes,” Hunt told reporters successful Canberra.
People successful the aged care assemblage are expected to commencement receiving boosters from the 2nd week of November, portion Chief Health Officer Paul Kelly said those vaccinated astatine the commencement of the rollout would besides beryllium the archetypal to person 3rd injections.
“They volition beryllium the archetypal successful enactment due to the fact that they are present six oregon much months aft that 2nd dose,” Kelly said.
The 3rd dose is apt to beryllium either a Moderna oregon a Pfizer, with the second expected to denote an eight-month spread betwixt the 2nd and booster dose.
Opposition wellness spokesperson Mark Butler argued that health, border, and quarantine workers should besides beryllium prioritized for booster shots.
“Every measurement of the way, Scott Morrison has been months and months down the remainder of the developed world,” Butler told reporters successful Adelaide. “The Australian radical can’t spend for him to bungle boosters arsenic well.”
But determination is interest that offering booster shots successful countries that person fantabulous vaccination rates are not the close move, with the World Health Organisation arguing against booster shots until 3rd satellite countries person received their first.
Australian infectious diseases adept Robert Booy agrees.
He argues that it whitethorn not beryllium that urgent to rotation retired a booster programme successful Australia, considering those vaccines could beryllium utilised for countries like neighbouring Papua New Guinea which is experiencing a COVID outbreak with a vaccination complaint nether 5 percent.
“They’ve got hundreds of thousands of cases and deaths,” Booy told the Nine Network.
“We’d beryllium stopping a mutation. A mutation successful Papua New Guinea which is simply a canoe thrust distant from Australia,” helium said. “That is simply a mode to halt further problems with COVID, to assistance our neighbours, to assistance ourselves.”
AAP contributed to this report.