Anthony Albanese says the pandemic ISN’T over and fourth booster shots are both ‘inevitable’ and a ‘matter of urgency’
- Anthony Albanese says Australia will ‘inevitably’ need to have a fourth Covid jab
- Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation decision on Wednesday
- Prime Minister said Australia will follow rest of the world and roll out fourth shot
- Victoria Premier Dan Andrews extended pandemic declaration for three months
Australia is expected to follow other parts of the world in expanding eligibility for a fourth Covid vaccine dose to the wider population, says Anthony Albanese.
The prime minister says the immunisation experts will look at available evidence before making a recommendation, as the nation grapples with rising case numbers.
‘The pandemic isn’t over, so my view is that (Australia) will inevitably follow what has occurred in other parts of the world and roll out a further booster shot,’ he said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says the immunisation experts will look at available evidence before making a recommendation but says a fourth jab is inevitable
‘I’d encourage people who haven’t had their booster shots to go out there if they’re eligible and do it as a matter of urgency.’
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation is expected to discuss the benefits of expanding the fourth dose eligibility at their meeting on Wednesday.
It is currently available for Australians over-65 years and vulnerable people.
Meanwhile, Victoria has extended its pandemic declaration by three months.
The declaration was due to expire before midnight on July 12, but has been extended until at least October 12.
In a statement on Tuesday, Premier Daniel Andrews said he was satisfied Covid continues to pose a ‘serious risk’ to public health throughout the state.
This, he said, justified ongoing public health measures over winter to reduce the risk of transmission and hospitalisation.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation is expected to discuss the benefits of expanding the fourth dose eligibility at their meeting on Wednesday
LATEST 24-HOUR COVID DATA
Victoria: 10,056 cases, 23 deaths, 523 in hospital with 29 in ICU
NSW: 13,775 cases, 10 deaths, 1822 in hospital with 64 in ICU
Tasmania: 1700 cases, one death, 79 in hospital with two in ICU
Queensland: 5878 cases, four deaths, 705 in hospital with 18 in ICU
ACT: 1477 cases, no deaths, 135 in hospital with five in ICU
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard also warned that anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated is ‘crazy’ as the state braces for a third wave to peak in late July and early August.
The surge in cases is being driven by two Omicron sub-variants, BA.4 and BA.5, and health experts believe the number of cases and deaths will continue to grow.
State and territory health experts are also considering whether to reintroduce mask mandates to curb the case increase.
As Victoria’s death toll rose above 4000, Premier Daniel Andrews said he couldn’t make it any clearer that vaccines worked.
However, he stopped short of telling Victorians to don masks outside of the current mandated settings such as health facilities, aged care and public transport.
On Tuesday, there were 3740 people with COVID in hospitals across the country, the highest levels since February during the height of the Omicron wave.
More than 36,000 infections were reported nationally and experts warn case numbers will climb even further as winter progresses.
International arrivals no longer need to declare their vaccination status to enter the country.