A fifth Covid vaccine for Australian adults will arrive later this month. Health

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A fifth dose of the Covid vaccine will be made available to Australian adults from the end of this month.

Health Minister Mark Butler has announced all adults who have not had a booster or a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past six months will be eligible for another dose from 20 February after the government accepted advice from Australian tech . Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI).

Butler said the government currently has 4m Omicron-specific booster doses available and another 10m are expected to arrive this month.

“Aged Care Minister Anika Wells and I will be writing to encourage aged care providers to bring in local pharmacists and GPs into their facilities to deliver additional booster doses,” she said in a statement.

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The minister said Atagi specifically recommended that the 2023 booster dose should be given to everyone aged 65 and over, as well as young adults.

An additional booster will not be provided for people under the age of 18, except when they have a health condition that puts them at risk, given the low incidence of severe disease among this group and the high level of hybrid immunity Seeing it.

The number of reported cases has continued to fall from a peak of 16,000 a week in December, reaching a rolling seven-day average of 2,600 cases, the highest rate recorded since August.

Last month there was an increase in deaths recorded in aged care centers due to a surge in cases over the summer.

But there appears to be waning demand for boosters, with Australia discarding around 20% of its national Covid vaccine supply in September.

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