With COVID-19 restrictions relaxing from airports to footy stadiums, millions of Australians are being exposed to the coronavirus including almost three in ten adults yet to have a booster shot.
The national cabinet has agreed that from Friday people won’t need to wear face masks on domestic flights and some are pushing to also ditch masks on public transport.
Government data shows 71.7 per cent of Australians aged 16 and older have had three doses of the vaccine, prompting a health group to lobby for that number to grow.
Immunisation Coalition CEO Kim Sampson said this winter had been “particularly brutal” for many Australians with a severe flu season and lots of different viruses circulating, including COVID-19.
“As we head into the footy finals with large crowds of fans from across the country travelling and gathering it’s important Australians don’t delay protecting themselves and their loved ones by being fully vaccinated.”
The Immunisation Coalition campaign launched on Tuesday encourages Australians to see their GP or pharmacist to get up to date with COVID-19 booster doses.
The group’s call comes after a new federal parliamentary inquiry was announced on Monday to examine the various impacts of long COVID, where symptoms of the virus remain or develop several weeks after the initial infection, as well as repeated infections.
Long COVID was a tough battle physiotherapist Karl Schurr, who was hospitalised for three months including a stint in intensive care.
“Before I got COVID-19 I was a healthy 69-year-old man, with what I thought was a strong immune system,” he said.
“I have people tell me now that they don’t need a booster vaccination as they think they have strong immune systems.
“My advice to them is, get the booster doses, no one is invincible”.
The World Health Organisation has estimated between 10 and 20 per cent of people who have contracted COVID-19 will have ongoing symptoms after the initial infection.