Australia’s expert immunisation panel has distanced itself from state-enforced Covid-19 vaccine mandates and says it never recommended them.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) insists no recommendation was made at any time to the states regarding mandatory vaccine rules, which have sparked widespread protests across the country.
The advisory body was grilled at a parliamentary committee hearing on Wednesday, where it was asked the controversial mandates are still necessary if 90 per cent of the population are double jabbed.
‘ATAGI has not provided a recommendation for mandates at any time,’ co-chair Dr Christopher Blyth replied.
‘We believe in the benefits and safety of vaccinations, and how they are implemented and rolled out is absolutely up to the states’ public health orders.’
The revelation comes after the Therapeutic Goods Administration gave its approval for the Moderna vaccine to be used as a booster shot for over-18s.
The final decision will be up to ATAGI and is expected to be revealed next week.
Australians are expected to be able to decide between a Pfzier and Moderna booster ‘very, very shortly’.
‘The booster program is fundamentally important, when we see the variants such as omicron,’ federal health minister Greg Hunt said.