Although many businesses and settings are choosing to drop mask mandates and loosen Covid-19 guidelines, cases are continuing to rise across Australia.
With experts predicting Australia is about to embark on a third coronavirus wave, it is crucial all Australians take the necessary steps to protect themselves and vulnerable members in their community.
To help reduce the spread, the Department of Health, advised by ATAGI, is recommending the expansion of the fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose.
What Are The New Vaccination Guidelines?
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has expanded the current eligibility for fourth Covid-19 vaccination doses to include everyone over the age of 30, allowing an additional 7.4 million people to come forward and receive their booster dose.
Prior to the announcement, only those over 65 were eligible for a fourth dose.
The current guidelines specifically recommend all Australians over the age of 50 to seek out their fourth dose, however those in the 30 to 49 bracket may choose whether to have a fourth dose.
People aged 30 and over can receive their fourth shot from as early as Monday, 11 July.
The news comes as Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia all extend their free flu shot programs to help ease the stress and strain placed on hospitals and the health sector during the winter months.
While Australia’s uptake for first and second Covid-19 vaccine doses were among the highest in the world, ATAGI has expressed concern for the lower levels of uptake for the third and now fourth booster shots.
Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler said: “My message to everyone living in Australia aged 50 and over is to make sure you have the greatest protection against COVID-19 by having a fourth dose as soon as possible.
“If you are aged 30 to 49 and want the extra protection, you can choose to get a fourth dose.”
“If you are at higher risk of severe illness, plan ahead. Speak to your doctor now”
Bookings for your fourth dose can be made at your local GP, pharmacy, or medical centre.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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