Tue. May 17th, 2022

coronavirus, booster, vaccine, covid-19, greg hunting, atagi, immunocompromised

Australians with severely compromised immune systems may begin receiving a third shot from COVID-19 from Monday following advice from the expert panel on vaccinations, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI). This comes as new national rules are announced for healthcare professionals exposed to COVID. Both announcements come as Australia passed the 80 per cent first dose vaccination mark as well as 60 per cent full dose milestone. The expert panel has given the third dose of advice to immunocompromised individuals aged 12 years and over after close monitoring of overseas vaccination programs, including those from Israel and the United States. Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says it is a group of about 500,000 Australians. “It’s about providing extra protection,” he said Friday. “The next phase, the general population phase of the booster program, we expect advice from ATAGI by the end of October.” The advice concerns a wide range of different conditions, e.g. People who have cancer or have had an organ transplant or stem cell transplant, people living with HIV, people on medication that suppresses the immune system and people born with an immune deficiency. Australia’s chief physician, Professor Paul Kelly, said the third dose was designed to help the immunocompromised come so close to the immune response protection for the general population. “So we know that vaccines work by stimulating the immune system to produce antibodies to COVID. It’s the same for all vaccines, that’s how they work,” he said Friday. “And unfortunately some people who have immune systems that do not work as well as the general population, these vaccines may not lead to that protection.” And therefore the evidence is now clear that people in these categories of immunocompromised should receive a third dose, it should happen in a period after the second dose, between two and six months after the second dose. “As for which vaccine to use for the third shot, Professor Kelly recommended that preference be given to a third dose of the two doses first administered.” So if you had two Pfizer, the third would be Pfizer. No one had two of Moderna yet, “he said. But if Pfizer was not available or could not be taken, Moderna would be replaced. “” There is flexibility, but the general principle is mRNA vaccine as the third dose. “Professor Kelly said he will write to doctors to clarify this position and provide further guidance. Also announced on Monday is a nationally agreed statement to guide fully vaccinated health workers so they no longer have to isolate themselves if they come in contact with a Covid case, also known as decommissioning staff.The new rules, or more precisely guidance, will depend on the severity of an outbreak and other conditions. “It would depend on all the things we have become accustomed to; wearing masks, the nature of the interaction between someone who is positive and the health care professional, their vaccination status, “said Professor Kelly. There’s a matrix there. Ultimately, it will be a decision of the health service and their local public health unit to take a stand on the real thing. “But it opens up that possibility because of the protection that comes from vaccination and because of the need for us to have our healthcare services. [workers] working during this period, it is all taken into account. So it is a very good document agreed in all states and territories and it gives very careful and clear guidance to the local public health response. “Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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