Canberra: Australia has provisionally approved the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine against Covid-19 as a booster shot for people aged 18 years and older.
However, in its announcement the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) said that Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines remain the preferred boosters for Australians irrespective of the primary vaccine a person received, reports Xinhua news agency.
It said anyone who wishes to receive the AstraZeneca jab, Vaxzevria, as a booster would first have to consult their doctor.
“This includes for people who received the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine for their primary course,” the TGA said.
“The Australian government continues to encourage individuals to have a booster (third dose) following their initial two vaccination doses to enable strong protection against severe illness and hospitalization, particularly from the Omicron variant.”
Australia reported more than 25,000 new COVID-19 cases and over 50 deaths on Thursday.
The department of health data revealed there were 3,588 cases being treated in hospitals, including 274 in intensive care units.
Minister for Health and Aged Care Greg Hunt said on Thursday that senior Australians in residential aged care are leading the national uptake of boosters, with 80.56 percent of those eligible for their third vaccine shot now having received it.
“The booster vaccination rate for aged care residents is well ahead of the national community figure of 55.43 per cent,” he said.