Health Minister Greg Hunt expects a booster shot program will begin before the end of the year. (Alex Ellinghausen)

Australia moves to phase B of COVID recovery with booster shots on the horizon

Australia has moved into phase B of the COVID-19 recovery plan after the country reached the 70 per cent double vaccinated milestone.

The federal government has also started planning the booster shot program, starting with aged care residents in November. The medical regulator is yet to approve Pfizer as a booster but is expected to make a decision soon.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said just over 70 per cent of the eligible population aged 16 and up have been fully vaccinated, and more than 33 million vaccines have been administered across the country.

“This is a testament to the work of Australians and it is a testament to our health professionals and everybody that has been involved in the vaccination program,” Mr Hunt said.

“There are many people still to come forward for first doses and there are many people still to come back for their second doses, and that second dose program is providing real and significant protection.”

Professor Kelly said the government was looking at data from other countries that have commenced booster programs, particularly Israel where it was proving effective for all age groups.

“We were able to look at the data that has come out from Israel yesterday and it very much confirms that this is safe, that it is effective in all age groups, for both decreasing infection as well as severe disease, and for the older age groups, prevention of death,” he said.

Read the article by Rachel Clun and Lisa Visentin in WAtoday.