Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has underlined the importance of the coronavirus vaccination booster program as the Omicron variant takes hold in New South Wales and infections increase across the country.
âWe are left with a five-month span between the second dose and the third dose or booster dose,â Professor Kelly said at a press conference earlier.
Adults who received their second dose of a coronavirus vaccine at least five months ago are now eligible for a booster.
Professor Kelly said that the boosters âdo indeed enhance this protection against both transmission and infection and against serious disease up to the kind of levels we have seen with two doses for Delta; three doses for Omicron is roughly equal â.
“So that’s the crux. And, of course, directly underlines the importance of the booster program.
Operation COVID Shield general coordinator Lt. Gen. John Frewen said ‘it’s been less than a week since we got the change in ATAGI [Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation] advice from six months to five months âbetween the second and third dose.
He said there were now 4 million people due for a recall at the end of the year instead of 1.7 million.
âWe also have an emergency ordering system in place, but we also now have a unit within the working group that looks at where the stock is already available, which has been delivered. There are already more than 4.6 million doses on the shelves of general practitioners, pharmacies and state clinics across the country.
âIn cases where people are short because of this new demand, we strive to get them the supply as quickly as possible. I will just say that there are no concerns about the quantity of supply and we will ensure that anyone who is eligible for a recall can have this opportunity as quickly as possible.
Asked about modeling in NSW suggesting the state could register 25,000 new infections a day by the end of January, Professor Kelly said “it’s entirely possible, but I’m not going to speculate on the numbers” .
âWhat I can say is the most important thing is to look at what it does for the health care system. In particular hospitalizations. Especially intensive care. But also our primary care system. It is important that we trace this.
âWe made a lot of plans on how to skyrocket in this regard. So I think Minister Hazzard has been forthright and honest with the people of NSW in expecting more cases and it has been seen again today. We’ll see him again tomorrow. And in the coming weeks. So I think it’s important to know that and be ready for it.