Covid-19 Australia: PM says fourth dose of vaccine is a matter of time

As Australia grapples with new Covid variants, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says an extended fourth dose of Covid is a matter of “when”.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said a fourth Covid shot for older Australians is no longer a matter of “if” but when as the nation grapples with new options.

Australians have been urged to forget everything they’ve been told about two shots being enough to protect against hospitalization, and urged to be aware of currently available boosters.

One option being considered is to lower the age at which the fourth vaccine is currently given to people over 65 and for people over 50.

“I know that the authorities, including ATAGI, are looking at this. [approving a fourth jab]. I think the question is more about when it will happen than if it will happen. We must ensure that people continue to get vaccinated,” the Prime Minister said.

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Mr. Albanese confirmed that discussions are underway with Department of Health officials and the chief medical officer as states call for action.

In March, ATAGI recommended a fourth dose to all individuals over 65 years of age, as well as to all residents of care facilities for the elderly and disabled, regardless of age.

This recommendation also included persons aged 16 and over with severe immunodeficiency, as well as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander aged 50 and over.

But this could be extended to more adults without underlying medical conditions in the coming weeks.

“Of course, I asked them to consider this issue. [fourth shots] as well as look for the availability of antiviral drugs. because [antivirals] could affect how people cope with Covid problems and symptoms if they do become infected,” Mr Albanese said.

New South Wales Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant warned on Tuesday that the risk of re-infection is from AD. 4 and BA. 5 sub-options on Tuesday combined with winter flu cases.

“My message to everyone: ignore everything we said about two doses; that’s three doses or more,” she said.

“There are a lot of people, including myself, who are about six months old after their third dose. I wouldn’t mind tweaking my immune defenses.”

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard urged the Albanian government to act quickly.

“We need to expand it and we need to do it quickly,” he said.

“Every dose helps.

“These rather pesky little options are pretty smart, and they bypass existing vaccines to some extent.

“What we do know is that if we are fully vaccinated, we are much less likely to get sick and much less likely to die. If you had two, for example, or one, and you didn’t have your full three, roughly speaking, you are crazy.

In Victoria, Prime Minister Dan Andrews said he also wants to consider additional vaccinations for healthcare workers.

“Part of their immunity is weakening, so it is very important to give them a fourth shot as soon as possible to keep Covid out of the hospital,” he said.

Originally published as ‘When, not if’: PM marks fourth Covid shot on cards for under 65s

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