Australia kicks off Covid-19 booster drive

Australia has started rolling out booster shots to ramp up immunity against Covid-19. Anyone aged over 18 who completed their primary two-dose course of vaccination at least six months ago is now eligible.

On Monday morning, Australia officially started its booster shot campaign although since Saturday as many as 173,000 people had already been given their third shot against Covid-19. Authorities are currently administering the Pfizer jab, even to those that received the AstraZeneca vaccine for their primary two-dose course. The booster is now available for administration at community pharmacies.  

“A booster dose, six or more months after the second dose, will make sure that the protection from the first doses is even stronger and longer lasting and should help prevent spread of the virus,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement. He said he was not certain whether a fourth round of vaccines would be needed.

Nearly 90% of those over 16 are double jabbed in Sydney. The government has said it will not require people to have had a booster shot to be exempt from Covid-19 restrictions. 

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The start of the booster campaign comes as parts of the country see restrictions relaxed. In Sydney, restaurants can increase their capacity while there is no longer a limit to the number of vaccinated people you can have in your home at one time. Stadia can also return to operating at full capacity.  

Most of Monday’s new Covid-19 infections were registered in Victoria. Some 1,126 new cases were recorded in ‘the garden state’ while New South Wales reported 187 infections. Covid-19 cases elsewhere were low or non-existent.   

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