Covid booster shots no longer ‘an optional extra’ in Aus state

Melbourne, Jan 20 (IANS) Premier of Australia’s Victoria Daniel Andrews on Thursday urged residents of the state to get a Covid-19 booster vaccine, saying it was no longer an “optional extra”.

Andrews said he was hopeful the national framework would embrace “practical scientific reality” to mandate booster shots, as a third dose was necessary to “protect against severe illness”, reports Xinhua news agency

“To be properly protected, you need three doses. That is what the experts tell us and what I expect the National Cabinet (meeting) to reflect today,” Andrews said.

“I want to be really clear with everybody, this is not two plus an optional extra. It is three doses in order to be protected against severe illness as well as to minimize the likelihood of you getting the virus or giving the virus to someone else.”

The Victoria health department reported 21,966 new Covid-19 cases and 15 deaths on Thursday.

The total number of active cases in the state is currently 246,894, with 1,206 patients in hospitals.

Victoria announced on Wednesday to cut the booster dose interval to three months.

Currently, about 27 per cent of eligible adults have received booster in the state.



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