Yearly Covid booster shot ‘on the cards’ WA chief health officer Andy Robertson says

One of Australia’s top doctors has warned how regularly people will need booster shots to maintain immunity against Covid-19.

One of Australia’s top doctors says people should be prepared for the possibility of annual Covid booster shots to maintain immunity.

Western Australia’s chief health officer Andrew Robertson said Covid could well be something the world would have to learn to live with.

“There is no indication it (Covid) will disappear completely,” Dr Robertson told The West Australian.

“The severity of the disease will become less of an issue … I think (a yearly booster) is on the cards.”

The commonwealth Department of Health admits it is not yet known how long the protection from Covid vaccines lasts and further research is required.

“Clinical trials are currently happening to find out if we will need booster doses on an annual or longer basis,” the departments states on its website.

It adds that evidence suggests protection against contracting Covid appears to reduce with time, as does protection against death and severe illness, although more slowly.

More than 95 per cent of people aged over 16 in Australia have had at least two doses of a vaccine and more than 70 per cent have received three or more shots.

Authorities are already recommending a fourth “winter booster dose” for the more vulnerable, including those with diseases such as cancer or Australians living with a disability.

A fourth dose is also available to those aged over 65, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders over 50 and severely immunocompromised people.

It is not yet recommended for healthy people aged 16 to 64 with no serious risk of disease to have a fourth dose at this time.

WA recorded its lowest number of infections in close to a week on Sunday, with 4900 positive tests.

It takes the total number of Covid cases recorded in WA since the start of the pandemic to 815,084, with 39,051 active.

Of those cases, 261 required hospitalisation and seven are in intensive care.

The state also recorded two historical deaths of women in their 60s and 80s that dated back to June 3.

Originally published as ‘On the cards’: Covid norm we’re going to have to get used to