COVID-19 booster vaccines to be rolled out in aged care homes from next month

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After the criticism over its initial residential care vaccination rollout earlier this year, the Federal Government has announced that aged care residents will be first in line for a third jab from the second week of November.

Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt said he hoped third doses of the Pfizer vaccine would be delivered after the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) meet next week.

Third doses could also be provided to the immunocompromised.

“We’re ready, we’re in a position to commence, and to make sure that that additional protection is provided,” he said.

“Because we have sufficient vaccine, we have a system which is capable of delivering, [and]my understanding is every state and territory has spare capacity at this point in time so we want to keep the machine running to keep the program rolling.”

The news comes as Australia hit its 70% double-dose vaccination rate for people aged over 16.

The first-dose vaccination rate is now at 85.5% nationally, with over 33 million doses delivered.