A doctor has explained why Australians under 30 don’t need to get a fourth Covid shot – because the benefits won’t outweigh the risks.
A fourth vaccination – or second booster – is currently only available for people over 65, the elderly or disabled, and people with compromised immune systems.
However, Australians over the age of 30 will be eligible for a fourth Covid hit after the country’s top doctors pushed for a winter recall to ease pressure on Australian hospitals.
Australia’s Immunization Technical Advisory Group is now set to approve a second booster shot after meeting to discuss the hotly debated issue on Wednesday evening.
ATAGI has delayed recommending a fourth vaccine until a new wave of infections is about to hit, Australian Medical Association vice-president Chris Moy said.
He explained that 30 was the age limit because the benefits of the jab outweighed the risks of contracting Covid.
Doctors have previously suggested that the shots for some youngsters could lead to side effects like myocarditis – a condition that causes swelling of the heart muscle.
Australian Medical Association vice-president Chris Moy explained that 30 was the age limit, as the benefits of the jab outweighed its risks.
Australia’s Immunization Technical Advisory Group is set to approve a second booster shot after a meeting to discuss the hotly debated issue on Wednesday evening
“(ATAGI has) been under pressure for a long time to go fourth strike for everyone,” Dr. Moy told ABC radio on Thursday.
“We are facing a new wave, a really worrying wave … we are looking at hospitals that are already full facing a real disaster in terms of overflow, which is why I think the decision is coming.”
However, Dr Moy insisted the booster was needed and said there was now evidence that newer variants had a greater impact on the lungs.
“The three things that worry about it, there’s evidence from overseas that [the new subvariants] are more contagious. It exceeds BA2, which is the previous subvariant… with high reinfection rates.
“It has a greater propensity for the lungs – that means more serious disease, whereas previous periods were more about the upper respiratory tract.
“So because of that, we might be looking at a higher proportion of people in hospitals. A high percentage, even a small percentage, is going to overwhelm hospitals, as they already are right now, unfortunately.
Emerging variants are more infectious, can re-infect those who have already had Covid-19 and are more damaging to the lungs than previous versions of the virus, experts have said.
Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said he did not expect to get official advice from ATAGI on the additional vaccine until Friday.
Mr Butler warned that Australia was in the early stages of a new wave of Covid-19.
“The number of cases is rising, hospitalizations are up by several hundred in just a fortnight, and most state governments and the federal government expect this to continue for some time to come,” he said. in Adelaide.
“We are absolutely committed to doing everything we can as a government to get through this winter and through this third Omicron wave heading our way.”
Dr Moy insisted the booster was needed and said there was now evidence that newer variants had a greater impact on the lungs.
Meanwhile, young people have experienced the biggest drop in life satisfaction since the start of the pandemic, according to a new study.
The Australian National University’s Covid-19 Impact Monitoring survey found that people aged 18 to 24 had experienced a significant reduction in their life satisfaction since the start of 2020.
Their average life satisfaction score now sits at 6.3 points out of a possible 10, after dropping by 0.5.
The survey of more than 3,500 people assessed the impact of the pandemic on their lives and also revealed that men and women had experienced a similar drop in their life satisfaction since the start of the pandemic.
But those over 55 were less likely to experience a decline than those under 55.
Study co-author Professor Nicholas Biddle said better access to employment and education opportunities should be factored into Covid-19 policy solutions for young people.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has indicated that Australians will receive the extra dose, although some experts have said the extra dose is unlikely to stop new Omicron variants.
Anthony Albanese (pictured getting the Covid shot) said he expects the fourth Covid vaccine to be approved for the masses, saying ‘it’s a matter of when rather than whether it will gone happen”
The Prime Minister told 6PR radio station in Perth on Tuesday that it was crucial that Australians receive their third vaccine as it reduces symptoms of the disease.
“I know that the authorities, including ATAGI, are considering this (approving a fourth strike),” he said.
“I think it’s a question of when rather than whether it will happen. We need to make sure people keep getting vaccinated.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews have also campaigned to expand the eligibility criteria for the fourth booster.
“We have to expand it and we have to do it quickly,” Hazzard told a press conference on Tuesday, before saying he had argued for the fourth strike when meeting with colleagues last week.