Melbourne lockdown ends, Victoria restrictions ease, Victoria COVID cases grow, NSW COVID cases grow, Australia vaccination rate surpasses 70 per cent; Gladys Berejiklian ICAC inquiry continues, Cleo Smith search continues

Booster shots are likely to be administered six months after people’s second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, making hundreds of thousands of Australian aged care residents and high-risk workers the first in line to get the jab.

Aged care residents, frontline health and quarantine workers were among the first in the country to receive their vaccines in the rollout, which began in late February, but a widespread booster program is yet to be approved as millions of vaccines sit unused in clinics and freezers across the country.

Health Minister Greg Hunt expects a booster shot program will begin before the end of the year.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Australia has started moving into phase B of the COVID-19 recovery plan after the country reached the 70 per cent double vaccinated milestone, and Health Minister Greg Hunt said more than 33 million vaccines have been administered to date.

The booster program depends on the Therapeutic Goods Administration approving Pfizer for that use, and advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, but Mr Hunt said the regulator was in “advanced consideration” and is expected to make a decision soon.

More on Australia’s vaccination rollout here.

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