New COVID-19 Vaccine For Latest Variants Approved In Australia

The Australian government has approved the use of new vaccines to target the latest COVID-19 variants and they will be made available to Australians by the end of the month.

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said the monovalent vaccines, which target the Omicron variant, have been approved on the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

Butler said the shots would help protect Australians against the current strains of the virus and demonstrated the government's ongoing commitment to providing the latest and most effective vaccines.

"While we are no longer in the emergency phase of this pandemic, COVID-19 is still present, and people should continue to follow the advice of the experts from ATAGI, including getting vaccines as required,” he said.

However, authorities say only about a quarter of vulnerable Australians have had their 2023 booster shots amid a surge in cases.

There have been more than 800,000 recorded COVID cases this year, and while hospitalisations have dropped from 400 in January, they are again on the rise with about 160 people in care at the start of November.

With AAP.