Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt on THursday flagged a possible change to the definition of “fully vaccinated” against Covid-19 to require booster shots.
Hunt said he is expecting Australia’s peak vaccine advisory body, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), to expand its definition of vaccination to three doses within weeks, reports Xinhua news agency.
“But my expectation is that we’re likely to have from ATAGI over the course of, you know, the next week or coming weeks, advice that the definition of fully vaccinated will require three vaccinations going forward,” he said in a press conference in Canberra.
It comes as ATAGI on Thursday approved the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for use as a booster for Australians as young as 16 years.
It is the first booster vaccine approved for under-18s in Australia, with 16 and 17-year-olds eligible for a third vaccine dose three months after the second.
“This recommendation is based on a review of Covid-19 epidemiology, disease burden, health benefits directly to individuals and indirectly to the community, and safety considerations in this age group,” ATAGI said in a statement.
Approximately 90 per cent of 16 and 17-year-old Australians have received two vaccine doses and about 60 per cent are now eligible for a booster shot.