As instances of Covid-19 begin to rise across the country, Chief Health Officer Paul Kelly is urging Australians to receive a booster shot ahead of an expected next wave of the virus.
The federal government has signed off on a winter plan with states and territories, as the colder weather brings a Covid rise and a flu season that Australia hasn’t experienced in two years.
As booster rates stagnate, Dr. Kelly believes that more Australians need to get their third dose.
According to Commonwealth health data, one out of every three adults who are eligible for a booster shot has not yet received their third shot.
‘I think there’s some apprehension or complacency about, ‘well look, I’ve got Omicron, it wasn’t that horrible, and now I’m protected,” Dr. Kelly told the source.
‘While such assertions are largely correct, having a booster is still critical. It does provide additional protection against severe disease (and) there is growing evidence that it also provides protection against long-term Covid.’
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization is examining whether a fourth dosage will be required in susceptible populations before the winter season.
ATAGI is also looking into when children can get their booster vaccine.
Close contact isolation rules are also being reviewed and are anticipated to be loosened.
Despite an increase in cases, New Zealand’s prime minister insists the country’s trans-Tasman border would not be closed again until Australia’s gates open on April 12.
Borders can remain open, according to Jacinda Ardern, because New Zealand is coming off of its initial wave and is able to securely handle the reopening.
‘When New Zealand and Australia had their trans-Tasman bubbles, both of us were still striving to keep Covid out completely.’ ‘Now that we both have Covid, it’s a lot different,’ she told the Nine Network.