Australia shortens wait time for COVID-19 booster dose as Omicron cases rise

Pre-departure COVID-19 testing facility outside the international terminal at Sydney Airport in Sydney
Travelers receive coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing at a pre-departure testing facility, as countries respond to the novel coronavirus variant Omicron, outside the international terminal at Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia, November 29, 2021. REUTERS / Loren Elliott

December 11, 2021

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia said on Sunday it would shorten the wait time for people to receive a boosted COVID-19 vaccine following a surge in cases of using the Omicron variant.

Australia previously said it would make the COVID-19 booster available to everyone over the age of 18 and who received a second dose of the vaccine six months earlier.

But with cases of the Omicron variant on the rise, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said the period would be shortened to five months after the second dose.

“A booster dose, 5 months or more after the second dose, will ensure that the protection from the main course is even stronger and longer lasting and will help prevent the spread of the virus,” says Hunt. know in an emailed statement.

“Data from Israel suggest that substances support a reduction in infection rates in eligible age groups, severe illness in those over 40 years of age, and mortality in people over 60.”

Australia will use both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines in its booster programme.

Australia is one of the most immunized countries, with around 90% of people over the age of 16 fully immunized.

However, on Saturday, Australia said it had found 1,753 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, an increase of about 3% last week and the highest daily total since October 29.

(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Chris Reese) Australia shortens wait time for COVID-19 booster dose as Omicron cases rise


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