News Coronavirus ATAGI signs off on COVID booster approval

ATAGI signs off on COVID booster approval

australia booster vaccine
The national rate for a third dose for a COVID-19 vaccine is just under 60 per cent. Photo: AAP
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Booster shots for COVID-19 will begin for the general public across the country from November 8, after the government signed off on final advice from the country’s peak vaccine advisory group.

It comes as Australia passed a 75 per cent double-dose vaccination rate for eligible people over 16.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration on Wednesday granted provisional approval for a third COVID dose, with the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation later signing off on the measures.

While the general public rollout of boosters will begin next month, aged care residents will be able to receive their top-up shot from Thursday.

The booster of the Pfizer vaccine, which will be provided to the general public regardless of which vaccine they had received, will be given six months after the initial course.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the national vaccine rate was expected to pass 80 per cent next week, coinciding with Australia’s international borders reopening.

“Australia is connecting together again, and we’ll continue to see that occurring in the months ahead,” Mr Morrison told reporters.

“We’re beating COVID and taking our lives back, and we’re doing this as we see the vaccination levels in the country rise.”

Severely immunocompromised Australians have already been eligible for a third dose.

Health Minister Greg Hunt also confirmed vaccine manufacturer Novavax intended to submit its vaccine for TGA approval in coming weeks.

Australia has ordered 51 million doses of the vaccine.

Mr Hunt said the booster shot approval was a critical step forward for vaccination levels.

“We have enough vaccines in the country to vaccinate everybody who comes, and as your six months have passed, you will be eligible to come forward,” Mr Hunt said

There were a further 221,000 vaccines administered in the past 24 hours.

The double-dose rate is at 75.5 per cent, while 87.6 per cent have received their first dose.