Vaccine advisory board to change the definition of a ‘fully vaccinated’

Jan 31, 2022
Under the current ATAGI definition, a person is considered fully vaccinated when they "have received two doses of any Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or TGA recognised COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days apart." Source: Getty Images.

Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is considering a change to the definition of a “fully vaccinated” person, according to recent reports from Sky News.

Under the current ATAGI definition, a person is considered fully vaccinated when they “have received two doses of any Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or TGA recognised COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days apart.”

However, Sky News political editor Andrew Clennell revealed that ATAGI is soon expected to change the classification of a fully vaccinated person to someone who has had three doses of the Covid-19 vaccine.

“The federal government knows that it is up against it in getting all Australians to get a third jab, but figures as more people perish from the virus, it will encourage people to come forward for their shots,” he said.

When questioned on the proposed changes on January 28, Greg Hunt told reporters he would not “pre-empt” the advisory board’s decision.

“So, firstly, in relation to the definitions. Again, we follow ATAGI, so the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, they are the official national advisory body with regards to vaccine policy. That’s an item that is being considered, so I won’t pre-empt,” he said.

“Either way, we want to encourage everybody to come forward for their booster, and fortunately they are. Now over 7.3 million Australians and over 200,000 a day, including 232,000 just yesterday.

According to the latest data from Australia’s Department of Health 93.3% (19,237,151) of people over the age of 16 are fully vaccinated and 7,699,044 people over the age of 18 have received their booster. The high number of Australian’s vaccinated against Covid-19 is in stark contrast to a 2021 survey which revealed almost a third of Aussies would no be getting the jab.

Hunt highlighted the importance of the booster shot following the TGA’s approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 booster dose for young people aged 16–17 years old in Australia.

“The Australian Government welcomes the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 booster dose for young people aged 16–17 years old in Australia,” he said.

“We know that two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine provides very good protection, especially against severe disease.

“A booster dose will make sure the protection from the first two doses is even stronger and longer-lasting, helping prevent the virus from spreading and new variants from emerging.”

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has voiced his support for a change to the definition of a fully vaccinated person.

“I think it’s only a matter of time before the relevant federal agencies confirm that this is three doses,” he said.

“That’s critically important in terms of protection, particularly as we look ahead to the rest of the year.”

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.

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