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Aussies Could Soon Need A Fourth Covid-19 Vaccine

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Aussies Could Soon Need A Fourth Covid-19 Vaccine

Australian authorities are currently weighing up whether to encourage people to get a fourth coronavirus vaccine.

According to News Corp, 93.3 per cent of the country has received two doses of an approved jab and the take up for a booster shot sits a little more than 30 per cent nationwide.

However, it looks like some of us might have to roll up our sleeves once again to protect ourselves from the pandemic.

The federal government is looking into the fourth jab and Health Minister Greg Hunt suggested the first people in line for that would be 'older Australians and perhaps those working with vulnerable patients'.

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He told reporters: "That's still under active medical consideration, but the supplies and logistics are in place to deliver that if it's required."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Israel was the first country in the world to start jabbing people with a fourth dose and the country has already given out half a million injections.

It was offered to elderly citizens in the hope it would protect them against the Omicron strain of Covid-19 that has swept across the world.

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However, a recent study has cast a bit of doubt around a second booster shot.

Sheba Medical Center said their research into the fourth vaccine dose isn't very effective in the fight against Omicron.

Prof. Gili Regev-Yochay, a lead researcher in the study, said in a statement: "The vaccine, which was very effective against the previous strains, is less effective against the Omicron strain.

"We see an increase in antibodies, higher than after the third dose.

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"However, we see many infected with Omicron who received the fourth dose. Granted, a bit less than in the control group, but still a lot of infections.

"The bottom line is that the vaccine is excellent against the Alpha and Delta [variants], for Omicron it's not good enough."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

This comes as the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is looking into whether they will update the current definition of 'fully vaccinated'.

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At the moment in Australia, that term means you've had two doses of an approved vaccine, 'or TGA-recognised Covid-19 vaccine at least 14 days apart' and 'are least 7 days post their second dose'.

However, the meaning could be expanded to include booster shots, meaning people will be forced to the third jab to ensure they aren't prevented from interacting in society.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews fully supports this idea as he wants to see as many residents as possible getting their booster shot.

"I think it's only a matter of time before the relevant federal agencies confirm that this is three doses, it is not two plus a bonus," he said.

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"That's critically important in terms of protection, particularly as we look ahead to the rest of the year...being three-dose protected is incredibly important."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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