Lt. Gen. John Frewen, Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination commander, said his country had passed the 95% vaccination mark but that the booster rate is far behind at 67%.
“I think there's a whole range of reasons why I think people are not coming forward as quickly as they did for the first two doses," Frewen said, according to the Daily Mail. “Some people have had COVID. Some people are just a bit over the whole COVID thing.”
When asked by 9 NOW’s Today show whether reported cardiac side effects deter people from getting boosted, Frewen said he was not tracking that and referred to the chief health officer for an answer with greater detail.
COVID-Shield Commander Lt. John Frewen deflects when asked about the sudden increase in heart conditions and their possible connection to the COVID-19 vaccination program that he oversees in Australia. #auspol #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/rolQLklY6N— Australians vs. The Agenda ✪ (@ausvstheagenda) March 28, 2022
Frewen said getting a booster shot has never been easier, despite only 1 in 3 eligible Australians having received theirs as of Monday.
“What we know, from the medical advice, is the booster will reduce the severity of COVID if you get it and it will help avoid the effects of long COVID,” Frewen said. “So it's really important. It's never been easier to get the vaccines than now.”
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization has recommended a second booster for adults over 65, indigenous Australians over age 50, the immunocompromised, and those in disability care. The doses will be rolled out to those groups from April 4 at pharmacies, GPs, and vaccine clinics.