Millions more Aussies will now be eligible for their Covid-19 booster shot after major changes to the eligibility criteria.
Those who have received their second dose of the vaccine four months ago will now be eligible to get their third booster from January 4, reducing the wait time from the previous five months.
Booster eligibility wait times will change yet again on January 31 to just three months in an effort to protect Australians from the highly infectious Omicron variant.
Health Minister Greg Hunt assured Australians “there is enough vaccine for every Australian”.
“So far, we’ve had over 2.5 million boosters,” he said.
“And we will go from 4.25 million Australians who are eligible to eight million Australians.
“All orders are being met.”
Many thanks to Australians for taking us well past two million boosters (2.078 million).
42.2 million doses including a heartening 94,072 boosters yesterday as part of over 123,500 shots on Christmas Eve.
94.2% 1st and 91.1% 2nd doses.
— Greg Hunt (@GregHuntMP) December 24, 2021
Coordinator of the National COVID Vaccine Taskforce, Lieutenant General John Frewen, said about 60 per cent of eligible people have already had their booster shot.
“We’ve had a bit over two and a half million people come forward for their booster,” he told 7 News.
“I say to everybody who has fallen eligible now to please get along as quickly as you can.”
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation advised the government to bring forward the eligibility for booster doses as Omicron cases numbers surge across the country.
Hunt said the latest advice from Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly was that it was “now clear that Omicron is both more transmissible and less severe”.
Kelly said in a media statement, “a collaborative effort is required to get as many third boosters doses into arms in the coming month as possible”.
“Every single person eligible for a booster vaccine should look to make an appointment when they are eligible to further protect yourself against Omicron. There is plenty of supply around the country and there’s no reason to wait when it is your turn, consistent with the medical advice,” he said.
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFO This article is of a general nature and FYI only, because it doesn’t take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That means it’s not personalised health advice and shouldn’t be relied upon as if it is. Before making a health-related decision, you should work out if the info is appropriate for your situation and get professional medical advice.