/ 28 October 2021

Moving on, but COVID still on centre court

Image source: Australian Open
Image source: Australian Open

There were a couple of developments yesterday that show Australia is moving along the COVID roadmap and out of what has been a difficult 18 months.

As Australia edges towards a 75% fully vaccinated rate, booster doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for people aged over 18yo. To be administered 6 months after a second dose, the Pfizer shot can be given to any vaccinated person no matter the brand of their first doses. The government’s immunisation experts are yet to provide their advice, but Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt predicts that boosters will start to be rolled out to the most at risk Aussies from 8 November. Why are boosters a thing? There’s evidence that the extra shot will provide better long-term protection against COVID because immunity will decrease over time.

Your pandemic patience? Take heart – a big feature of Australia’s response to the pandemic will be dismantled on Monday. From 1 November, fully vaccinated Aussies will not need to ask permission to leave the country. Non-Aussie arrivals will continue to be restricted. And despite PM Scott Morrison yesterday saying that unvaccinated tennis stars could be allowed in for the Australian Open in January, providing they do their quarantine time, Victorian officials said no thanks. “We only want vaccinated people at these major sporting events,” said Victoria’s COVID response commander Jeroen Weimar. There will be no exemptions granted, even to the world’s #1 player Novak Djokovic. Let’s call that 15 all?

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