How Aussies can fight new Covid threat

Friendly nurse preps patient prior to COVID-19 vaccine shot
A new Covid-19 vaccine is available that will target the latest Omicron strain. Picture: Supplied

Community pharmacies are set to administer a new Covid-19 vaccine that will target the Omicron variant of the virus that is running rampant in Australia.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the XBB 1.5 shot in October and the public can receive the vaccine both as their primary shot or as a booster to fight against Omicron.

The new vaccines are produced by both Pfizer and Moderna, with Pfizer manufacturing one suitable for children aged between five and 12 years of age.

Moderna Inc. Vaccine Storage at Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Moderna and Pfizer are producing the new vaccine now available at pharmacies. Picture: Kobi Wolf/Getty Images

Pharmacy Guild of Australia national president Trent Twomey said now was a good time to remind people of the ever present virus with cases surging.

“With Covid-19 cases on the rise, it is important anyone who is due for their vaccination does so as soon as they can at their local community pharmacy,” he said.

“Health authorities have recommended vaccines move away from formulations which target the original or ancestral strain.”

Even with this new Omicron targeting vaccine available, Professor Twomey said people shouldn’t rush to get the jab if they didn’t yet require a booster.

“The advice remains that you must wait six months from your last jab to get your next booster shot and older vaccinations still provide protection against the severest of symptoms,” he said.

This latest variant of Omicron was first spotted in Denmark on July 24 and cases have surged across Europe and the US since, with Australia now also spiking.