Australia’s most senior health adviser has dropped a huge clue on booster shots as Covid-19 cases climb across the country.

Australia’s most senior health official has dropped a big hint on the future of booster shots.

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation would “absolutely” be deliberating on the possibility of a fourth shot.

“(ATAGI) is continuing to meet weekly … They will absolutely deliberate on fourth or subsequent doses,” he told reporters in Canberra on Saturday.

Earlier this month, Israel became the first country to begin rolling out a fourth dose of the vaccine.

Denmark and Chile have also begun rolling out a second booster to people with risk of serious illness.

A fourth dose is already recommended for immunocompromised people in Australia.

Professor Kelly said he had spoken to his Israeli counterparts who assured him at this stage a fourth dose was only for the immunocompromised, as well as healthcare workers.

“They are keeping (the fourth dose) very tight to people with a higher risk of severity,” he said.

“So older people – I believe it’s people over 60 – people with chronic diseases, particularly those that lead to immune compromised and health care workers.

“They are still evaluating that program and they have promised in the coming weeks to share that evaluation with us.”

Professor Allen Cheng – who sits on ATAGI as co-chair for Covid-19 – said it was too early to tell if a second booster would be needed.

“All of this is on the table. But it is too early to make the call yet. We need to wait for the data,” he told the Nine newspapers.

So far, 4.86 million Australians have received a booster shot.

But it seems an announcement on oral treatments for Covid-19 is imminent, with Professor Kelly teasing the drug regulator will be set to make a decision.

“In the coming days and weeks there will be further announcements about oral medications that are currently being reviewed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration,” the chief medical officer said.

“It‘s a very good development and news there but I won’t pre-empt the TGA’s full independent regulatory assessment.”

Both Health Minister Greg Hunt and Professor Kelly said the news would add to the “signs of hope” Australia is nearing its peak of Omicron infections.

“We have our vaccines, we have some treatments, or more treatments on the way, and the actual curve is peaking,” Professor Kelly said.

“It’s not time to stop all of our other public health and social measures and our test, trace, isolate and quarantine but there are signs of hope today.”

Professor Kelly also issued a stark warning to young people to get vaccinated.

“We are seeing an epidemic of the unvaccinated in young people. We are seeing that in intensive care admissions,” he said.

“Anyone of any age should be lining up to have that primary course of vaccination and boosters.”

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