Australia's vaccine rollout enters a major new phase today, meaning hundred of thousands are eligible to head back to the doctor to get yet another jab.
From Monday, GPs and pharmacies across the country will rollout Pfizer vaccine booster shots as part of the national Covid-19 vaccination rollout.
Anyone who had their second dose more than six months ago, is now eligible for a booster shot.
The third Pfizer vaccine dose has already been made available to aged care and disability care residents since it was approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the booster program was already off to a flying start.
"We are already at 173,000 people who have had their boosters," Mr Hunt told the Seven Network on Monday.
"GPs, state clinics, Commonwealth clinics, Indigenous medical centres, aged care and disability have been vaccinating people with boosters, so it's a great start."
Who needs to get a Covid booster shot?
Infectious disease specialist Dr Nick Coatsworth urged younger people not to rush out and get the booster shot just yet.
“The most important thing is people most at risk of Covid-19 infection to get the third jab – those who are immunocompromised, or those approaching the latter part of their lives,” he told the Nine Network this morning.
"For the rest of us – for you and me – don't clog up the system today no matter how worried you are, you still retain a significant amount of immunity.
"Over the coming weeks and months get your booster, I will probably get mine some time next year."
Will the Covid jab be a yearly vaccine?
There is still the prospect that Australians will need to periodically get a Covid jab, to keep their immunity up.
Mr Hunt said work was still under way to determine whether booster shots would be needed each year like the flu shot, or if a third dose would provide enough protection going forward.
"A booster dose, six or more months after the second dose, will make sure that the protection from the first doses is even stronger and longer lasting," he said.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration meanwhile is still considering data from Pfizer as to whether to approve its vaccine for children aged five to 11.
Mr Hunt said Australia would be one of the first countries in the world to approve a vaccine for the age group but said a full and thorough assessment of data was needed before it was given the green light.
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