Australians Will Need Third COVID-19 Shot to Be Considered Fully-Vaccinated

By Marina Zhang
Marina Zhang
Marina Zhang
Marina Zhang is a health writer for The Epoch Times, based in New York. She mainly covers stories on COVID-19 and the healthcare system and has a bachelors in biomedicine from The University of Melbourne. Contact her at
February 11, 2022Updated: February 16, 2022

The ATAGI has updated its guidelines around COVID-19 vaccinations saying that Australians will need three COVID-19 vaccine doses to be considered fully vaccinated on Feb. 10.

For Australians to be “up-to-date” on their COVID-19 vaccinations, it is now recommended that they have a booster shot within 3 to 6 months from the primary course for Australians 16 and over. Children aged from 5 to 15 are currently not recommended to be administered boosters.

“Consistent with current arrangements this booster dose is recommended from 3 months after the last primary dose and will now be recommended to be administered within 6 months of completing the primary schedule,” the statement from National Cabinet said.

“ATAGI has advised that a booster can be given safely and effectively at any time after 6 months to become ‘up-to-date’ in the event that the booster had not been received earlier.”

The National Cabinet noted that ATAGI’s advice was for the up-to-date status to be applicable only in domestic situations and policy settings.

However, in a move sure to please the tourism sector, the national cabinet noted that foreign travellers will be permitted to enter Australia with just two shots. This is despite the comments made by Labor state premiers, Daniel Andrews, and Annastacia Palaszczuk for Victoria and Queensland.

Prior to the National Cabinet meeting, both had initially flagged three doses for foreign travellers if the ATAGI were to change the definition for vaccination status.

Their statements have led to outcries from members of the tourism industry and federal MPs, who warned that this could hurt the tourism industry across Australia as a whole.

However, the Australian states and territories reached a two dose consensus on Feb. 10, giving hope to the tourism industry of recovery from the last two years of pandemic.

Palaszczuk already promised on Feb. 9 a total of $1 billion in funding into the tourism industry, expecting a $4 billion worth of business return.

The national cabinet meeting also addressed approaches to cruising; a major sector of the tourism industry that has been banned from operations since March 2020.

The cabinet agreed for a resumption of cruising, but the recommencement date will be left for each jurisdiction to decide.

The Australian government has also promised funding of $15 billion for the cruising sector, with NSW, Victoria, and Queensland expected to be the first few to reoffer cruising services.

Federal health minister Greg Hunt has said that though the federal government will be working with states and territories to resume cruising in Australia, the resumption will need “green lights” from both the state and Commonwealth.

He advised frequent testing and isolation protocol for cruisers but reassured that it was a sign “Australia is returning to normal.”

Joel Katz, Managing Director of Cruise Lines International Association said that the consistent nation-wide approach for international travellers was certainly “some positive news for a change.”

Though he said that the announcement was a “glimmer of hope” for the 18,000 Australians within the cruising industry, he expressed that more “genuine and concrete actions” are needed for cruises to resume.

“Most cruise lines have cancelled sailings through to the end of May and it will take several months to prepare ships for their return, so we need governments to sign off on industry protocols as soon as possible so we can begin a careful and responsible revival of cruise tourism in Australia,” he told on the Nine Network on Feb. 11.