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An Australian expert has suggested making a change to the way we think about being vaccinated against the coronavirus.
At the moment, state and federal authorities have been referring to half vaccinated and fully vaccinated based on the first and second dose.
But now that Aussies are eligible to get booster shots, Professor Raina MacIntyre, from the UNSW's Kirby Institute, believes we need to start thinking of these additional jabs as essential.
While some people might not leap at the chance to get the third vaccine, Prof MacIntyre says it's crucial to avoid a similar wave of Covid-19 infections like Europe is experiencing at the moment.
She wrote a piece for The Conversation this week that highlighted how modelling forecasts a rise in cases during the Australian summer, even though our vaccination rates are high compared to the rest of the word.
"The currently dominant Delta variant raises the stakes because it is far more contagious and has some potential to escape the protection offered by vaccines," she said.
"This means we need very high rates of vaccination across whole populations - probably over 90 per cent of everyone vaccinated including younger children - to control the virus. In addition, we need to start thinking about 'fully vaccinated' being triple, not double, vaccinated."
Currently, state and federal governments in Australia haven't announced any plans to change their wordings just yet.
According to News Corp, New South Wales and Victoria are considering updating their terminology to have three doses of an approved Covid-19 vaccine mean fully vaccinated.
But changes are already afoot in Europe and the UK.
France has revealed people over 65 years old will have to get a third jab if they want to be able to go to hospitality venues or travel.
President Emmanuel Macron addressed the nation to explain how necessary it is for citizens to get their booster shot.
"From December 15, you will need to provide proof of a booster jab to extend the validity of your health pass," he said.
"We have not finished with the pandemic. [Evidence shows after six months] immunity decreases and therefore the risk of developing a serious form [of Covid] increases. The solution to this decrease in immunity is an additional vaccine shot."
Europe is currently in the midst of a terrifying new coronavirus wave, with Austria already going into a nationwide lockdown to get on top of it.
The World Health Organization's regional director Dr Hans Kluge has warned there could be as many as half a million deaths on the continent by March if things aren't turned around.
"Covid-19 has become once again the number one cause of mortality in our region," he told the BBC. "We know what needs to be done."
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
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