While Australia has begun administering booster shots to people who received their second dose of the Covid vaccine more than five months ago, the country may not be able to meet its 80 percent target by the end of the year.
Despite the government’s ongoing efforts to have people vaccinated as soon as possible, vaccination reluctance may be a problem in Australia.
The Australian government had difficulty persuading the local community to get vaccinated in the early days of the vaccine programme. Australia has a sluggish vaccination distribution due to increased vaccine apprehension in the country.
Because of the slow pace, more than half of all second doses were given out in the final four months of 2021. All eligible nations who have got their second dose in the last five months are now eligible for booster doses.
People who got their second dose in the late second half of 2021, on the other hand, aren’t eligible for a booster shot this month and won’t be until February. This could slow down Australia’s booster campaign’s progress.
“We know from the first two doses that a longer delay between the first and second treatment provides you stronger antibodies and higher protection,” says Cyra Patel, a PhD candidate at the Australian National University.
“That, too, is compatible with our understanding of immunology. With other vaccines, we’ve shown that a longer interval results in a higher boosting effect. It’s all about striking a balance between getting protection from another dose sooner and getting stronger protection with a longer interval.”
The majority of those who had their second dose five months ago have had their booster shot, according to the data. As a result, while the booster rate is on schedule, Australia’s deadline has been pushed back due to the initial poor speed.
Experts justify the six-month interval time by claiming that it is necessary for clinical testing. “That is the time frame used in clinical trials. So we have clear proof, which has been assessed by the TGA and other agencies, that you will absolutely notice a boosting impact after six months “Patel explained.