AstraZeneca approved as booster vaccine in Australia amid battle against COVID-19

AstraZeneca approved as booster vaccine in Australia amid battle against COVID-19

AstraZeneca approved as booster vaccine in Australia amid battle against COVID-19
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CANBERRA – Australia reported more than 25,000 new COVID-19 cases and more than 50 deaths on Thursday when the AstraZeneca vaccine was provisionally approved for use as a booster in the country.

Medical regulator the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on Wednesday night announced it provisionally approved a booster dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for Australians aged 18 years and older.

However, in its announcement the TGA said that Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines remain the preferred boosters for Australians irrespective of the primary vaccine a person received.

It said anyone who wishes to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria, as a booster would first have to consult their doctor.

“This includes for people who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for their primary course,” the TGA said.

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“The Australian government continues to encourage individuals to have a booster (third dose) following their initial two vaccination doses to enable strong protection against severe illness and hospitalization, particularly from the omicron variant.”

Read more: Australia’s COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise amid call for vaccine rule unity

The department of health data revealed there were 3,588 cases being treated in hospitals on Wednesday, including 274 in intensive care units.

Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said in a media release on Thursday that senior Australians in residential aged care are leading the national uptake of boosters, with 80.56 percent of those eligible for their third vaccine shot now having received it.

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“The booster vaccination rate for aged care residents is well ahead of the national community figure of 55.43 percent,” he said.

 

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