On Thursday, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt hinted at a possible change in the definition of “fully vaccinated” against Covid-19, which would necessitate booster shots.
According to Xinhua, Hunt expects 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.
“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 approved the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for use as a booster for Australians as young as 16 years old on Thursday.
It is Australia’s first booster vaccine approved for children under the age of 18, with 16 and 17-year-olds eligible for a third 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% of 16 and 17-year-old Australians have received two vaccine doses, with approximately 60% now eligible for a booster shot.