Beginning the following week, all Australians older than 30 can receive a fourth dosage of the COVID-19 vaccination.
Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said on Thursday that the second booster shot, in addition to the original double-dose schedule, had been recommended for those aged 50 to 64 by the national immunisation guidance organisation ATAGI.
The shot will be optional for people ages 30-49.
The new programme will start on Monday, July 11, which will affect more than seven million Australians.
“We are in the early stages of a third Omicron wave and our government is absolutely committed to making sure as many people as possible are protected with the vaccine,” Butler told reporters.
“My message to everyone living in Australia aged 50 and over is to make sure you have the greatest protection against COVID-19 by having a fourth dose as soon as possible.
“If you are aged 30 to 49, and you want that extra protection, you can choose to get a fourth dose.
“The vaccine experts on the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have recommended it – and the government has accepted this advice.”
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It comes in response to pressure from state and federal health officials as the number of cases has significantly increased.
“My view is that we will inevitably follow what has occurred in other parts of the world and roll out a further booster shot,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Wednesday.
“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.”
Since May, Australians 65 and older and vulnerable individuals have had access to a fourth dose.
Over 60% of people over 65 had received their fourth dose.