COVID booster shots start rolling out for vaccinated Australians

Coronavirus booster vaccinations will be available from GPs and pharmacies from Monday for those who had their second jab six months ago.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Sonya Bennett said two doses are highly effective in preventing people from getting sick with COVID-19, but some studies have shown that immunity does tend to wane over time.

“For those people 18 and up who had a vaccine at least six months ago we encourage you to make an appointment and get your booster dose,” Dr Bennett told reporters on Sunday.

“There is plenty of vaccine for all of us to get our booster.”

Australia passed a major milestone over the weekend of having 80 per cent of the national population aged 16 and over fully vaccinated.

But Dr Bennett is urging everyone to get on board and be vaccinated.
“COVID will be in the community in each and every area of Australia over time as we open up,” she warned.

“Everyone will be at risk of being exposed to COVID. The best way to protect yourself against diseases is to get vaccinated.”

Meanwhile, Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner extended the three-day lockdown in Greater Darwin by 24 hours until midnight on Monday to allow time for much-needed contact testing.

Katherine also went from a lockdown to a lockout on Sunday afternoon, with only vaccinated people permitted to move about freely the community.

Victoria reported another nine fatalities, while recording 1173 new infections on Sunday. In NSW there were 244 new cases and one death.

The ACT recorded 13 new infections and Queensland also announced three cases in hotel quarantine.

NSW is freeing up one of its Sydney vaccination hubs, Qudos Bank Arena, to return to staging sport and entertainment events.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the closure would not slow the state’s vaccination rate, which is now on the brink of 90 per cent for those aged over 16 and fully jabbed.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Sunday unveiled a $44 million package to revitalise Melbourne’s CBD, which includes $10.4 million to help businesses trade outdoors and at night, and $15.7 million to boost the city’s events calendar.

ACT health and education authorities are working with nine schools across the territory to actively manage COVID-19 cases, by ensuring COVID-safe plans are in place to minimise transmission.

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