A new round of winter COVID-19 booster shots will be offered to some vulnerable Australians.
The Commonwealth’s expert vaccine advisory group, ATAGI, has recommended extra COVID-19 vaccinations for people over the age of 65 and those who are immunocompromised.
Indigenous Australians over the age of 50 and people living in aged and residential care will also be offered another dose.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said it was an important step ahead of the winter virus season.
“It’s for a window for four to six months after you have had your first booster, and that’s based on medical advice [from ATAGI].”
Health authorities have previously flagged Australia is facing a double-whammy this winter, with both COVID-19 and the flu season.
There have not been widespread flu outbreaks since the pandemic began because of lockdowns and other restrictions.
Eligible Australians can get their fourth dose from Monday April 4
They can get their fourth jab four months after their booster shot
The Health Minister says the decision not to offer it to everyone is based on “clear” medical advice
Mr Hunt said the decision to only offer a fourth vaccine dose to specific groups had nothing to do with the supply of shots and was entirely based on the medical advice from ATAGI.
“It was an open question that was put to ATAGI … [and it was] their job was to recommend who should get it,” he said.
“We have sufficient vaccines to dose all Australians, not just four times but five times.”
“That dosing regimen will start in our pharmacies, in our general practices, in our state and Commonwealth clinics, in our Indigenous medical clinics from the fourth of April,” he said.