Health Minister Greg Hunt, 56, has called out 58-year-old Anthony Albanese, who has been leader of the Australian Labour Party since 2019, after the leader of the Australian opposition commented on the surging Omicron variant. On Thursday, Mr Albanese urged Australia to “learn some lessons” from other countries currently battling a surge of the heavily mutated Omicron variant and reduce the wait time for the booster vaccine from five months to four.
He stated: “One of the lessons is to reduce the time between the second dose and the booster.”
However, his comment was bashed by Mr Hunt, who claimed the Labour leader was politicising Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation’s (ATAGI) health advice on the booster jab.
He said: “The Labor leader is doing precisely the very thing that Josh Burns says shouldn‘t happen – that’s politicians interfering with the medical process.
“Utterly irresponsible. Utterly inappropriate.
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“Utterly unworthy of somebody who wants to be a PM.”
However, on Friday, Australia cut the wait time for people to receive booster shots as another record spike in daily infections was recorded.
From January 4, the country is set to offer booster jabs to everyone over 18 who received their second vaccine four months prior.
The move would make 7.5 million Australians eligible for a booster from January 4.
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The interval would be reduced to three months by the end of the month, Mr Hunt revealed.
Mr Hunt told reporters in Canberra: “These dates have been set out of an abundance of caution to give Australians early continued protection.”
In Australia, nearly 77 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated, with more than 90 percent of people over the age of 16 fully jabbed.
The number of people admitted to hospitals is rising steadily, but remains lower than during the Delta variant outbreaks.
Just over 4 percent of patients in hospitals have been infected with Omicron as of December 20, with only one in intensive care, reports show.
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