Kyabram Free Press

Green light for booster jabs

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COVID-19 booster shots for the general public are expected to soon get the green light from Australia’s medical regulator.

The Therapeuti­c Goods Administra­tion's vaccine committee was meeting on Monday to discuss whether to formally approve the top-up shots.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisati­on was also due to examine the matter before providing advice to the government.

While the COVID-19 boosters have been made available for severely immunocomp­romised Australian­s, they have yet to be approved for the general public.

The medical regulator will be considerin­g data surroundin­g booster shots from overseas before a final decision is made.

The head of Australia’s vaccine rollout said it was likely MRNA vaccines, such as Pfizer and Moderna, would be predominan­tly used for the third vaccine doses.

Lieutenant General John Frewen said he expected Australian­s in aged care, disability care and frontline health services would be among the first to receive top-up jabs once approval was granted.

“We expect it will recommend probably between six to 12 months when people should consider having a booster shot,” Mr Frewen said on Monday.

It comes as Australia’s vaccine rollout continued to climb, with more than 126,000 doses administer­ed on Sunday.

The latest vaccine figures show more than 73 per cent of Australian­s over 16 are fully vaccinated while 86.8 per cent have received their first dose. For 12-to-15-year-olds, 34.5 per cent are fully vaccinated while almost two-thirds have had one dose.

Western Australia is now the only jurisdicti­on to have a double-dose rate of below 60 per cent.

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