Last Friday, 10 February 2022, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) released a new guidance relating to COVID-19 vaccination status.
Under the new guidance, the definition of your COVID-19 vaccination status is changing from ‘fully vaccinated’ to ‘up to date’. It is said that the former term did not include booster shots so it shall be disregarded from now on.
It is noted that individuals aged 16 years and over have to get a booster dose 3 months after their primary course. If they fail to get the shot within 6 months of completing the primary schedule, their vaccination status will change to “overdue”.
Though the new guidance will not apply to international travellers arriving in Australia, it might not be the case for long.
Several countries have started requiring travellers to have a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for entry. In most cases, these countries require arrivals that have had their second shot more than 270 days (about 9 months) ago to have had a booster for either entry or easier entry. Austria, France, Greece, Israel, Spain, Switzerland, etc. are just a few to be named.
It is expected that Australia will soon follow the pack and require booster jabs for all arrivals. When this happens, it might create some difficulty for international students and workers coming to Australia given that the timelines and rules of getting the 2nd and 3rd doses differ from city to city and country to country.
It’s interesting to see how long until Australia adopts the booster dose requirement for all arrivals, as well as how this would influence the labour market.
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