COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Push

by | What We're Talking About, Winter health

Many Australians are under-vaccinated and need to protect themselves against COVID.

Australia was one of the leading countries when COVID-19 vaccines were first offered with more than 95 per cent of eligible Australians over 16 years of age having had two doses of a vaccine.

However, even with the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Australia, we are not performing as well on our third and fourth dose boosters.

GPs are being asked by the government for their help to get Australian’s vaccinated. At the time of writing 72.3% of people aged 16+ have had 3 doses and only 43.5% of eligible people 30+ have had a fourth dose. That’s around 5 million people who are putting themselves at avoidable risk.

Given that we currently in a surge, getting a booster could actually prevent actual infection for a few weeks at the same time as boosting longer term protection against severe disease.  In Australia, adults with a severely compromised immune system are eligible for a fifth dose.

Australia’s Federal Health Minister, Mark Butler recently said the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has not recommended a fifth COVID vaccine dose at the moment for most people in Australia.

Mr Butler said ATAGI had considered international evidence, local data around vaccination numbers as well as case numbers in the pandemic and decided not to recommend a fifth dose “at this point in time”.

ATAGI anticipate new booster recommendations being made in early 2023 in preparation for the southern hemisphere winter.