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Live updates from Australia: Omicron Covid cases climb in middle of Western Sydney cluster; nine deaths in Victoria; Qld Quarantines Adelaide Travelers | Australia News

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Federal Minister of Health Greg hunt said the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Australian Immunization Technical Advisory Group are expected to issue a call for pediatric doses of Pfizer before the end of the year.

It is understood that the first shipment must arrive in Australia before Christmas.

The process “is heading in a positive direction,” Hunt said. “(The TGA) will provide that advice, Atagi will then provide their response and hopefully if we have two green lights we will start the pediatric doses for children in the first part of January.”

While January 10 is a possible start date for the deployment, it could start a week on each side.

Hunt said booster doses of Moderna for the general population were also planned, with confirmation by Christmas or sooner.

“I am due to receive my reminder within the next 10 days so that could be a very good option to show this message,” he said.

The TGA is also making progress on the protein-based Novavax vaccine and may issue an approval before Christmas for doses to be available in the new year.

Atagi has decided not to shorten the six-month timeframe in which people are advised to get a booster because previous recalls have not been proven to provide additional protection against the Omicron variant.

Chief doctor Paul kelly said it is too early to determine whether the strain will cause an increase in hospitalizations or deaths, but there is evidence that it is the same or lighter than the current variants.

Australia is expected to pass 500,000 booster doses on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the former deputy chief medical officer Nick coatsworth questioned Australia’s decision to close the border to several African countries because of Omicron.

He said the policy is inconsistent due to the new variant detected in other countries with which Australia has open travel.

“There is evidence that Omicron is not just in the Southern African states, it’s also in Europe, it may also have been in the Australian community,” Coatsworth told Sky News.

“It may be elsewhere in the world that we have open borders, so the consistency of the policy of closing travel borders to certain African states is starting to be questioned.”

Australia has banned flights from nine African countries in the wake of Omicron.

Its emergence has also led to a pause on the return of international students and visa holders, while all other international travelers must undergo quarantine measures.


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