COVID-19 vaccine booster shots will roll out across the country from today, after early launches of the program in Victoria and New South Wales.
But children under 12 may have to wait until next year to get vaccinated at all.
Adults who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for at least six months are eligible for a Pfizer booster jab.
Even people who received the AstraZeneca or Moderna vaccine can receive Pfizer as a top-up dose, with health authorities more content with “mixing and matching” vaccines than they were at the start of the rollout.
More than 173,000 boosters have been administered, mostly to immuno-compromised Australians, for whom a third jab is considered more of a necessity.
Australians without immuno-compromised conditions will still be considered fully vaccinated if they opt not to get a booster.
However, the shots provide increased protection.
Meanwhile, immunisation advice body ATAGI is still considering whether vaccinations should be provided for children aged five to 11.
At this stage, it is unlikely that a children’s program will begin this year.
And schools across New South Wales are this morning bracing for staff shortages, with a vaccine mandate in force from today.
Teachers without an exemption must provide proof they are fully vaccinated, or they will face suspension.
About 97 per cent of NSW teachers have had two jabs, but as of last week, the status of 5000 teaching staff was still unclear.
Australia passed the 80 per cent double vaccination level on the weekend, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison hailing the achievement.