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Canberra Press Conference on 24 December 2021, on National COVID-19 vaccine booster rollout and ATAGI

Read the transcript of the Canberra Press Conference on 24 December 2021, on National COVID-19 vaccine booster rollout and ATAGI.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

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Good morning, everybody. Good morning everybody. I’m delighted to be joined today by the Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly, and we’re here to both update on the booster program and update on the implementation and bringing forward boosters to four months from 4 January on the basis of ATAGI advice and to three months on 31 January, also following that advice.

If I may, I’ll indicate briefly an update on the program and then turn to Professor Kelly. In terms of the program, we’ve had 192,000 doses yesterday, so on the edge of Christmas, Australians have been coming forward, and I really want to thank them for that. And that includes 148,000 boosters yesterday.

At about 10am this morning, we will pass the 2 million booster mark. That's half a million ahead of schedule at this point in time. So Australians have been really fantastic in coming forwards, and I want to thank them for that in particular.

The second thing is that that will mean we've had about 1.3 million doses since the expansion of eligibility from six months to five months just over a week and a half ago, and so that's really seen very high rates of vaccination.

In fact, we’re now at 42 million doses. We have passed 42 million doses. And all up, that means that we now have 94.1 per cent first and 91 per cent second. And at this point in time, as I say, this morning we’ll pass the 2 million dose mark for boosters.

So on all three fronts, Australians are exceeding expectations, and that’s just a great tribute to our health workers, our medical workers, but above all else, to all of those Australians who’ve come forward through all of the different channels: Commonwealth clinics, state clinics, GPs, and pharmacies and Indigenous clinics. So thank you, everybody.

In particular, I would note that, as we’ve foreshadowed, ATAGI has been going through the constant review process of the international evidence, and Professor Kelly will speak to that. And on the basis of advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization, it’s no surprise we’ll be bringing forward the eligibility for the booster dose to four months as of 4 January.

The planning behind that is that will open up a new cohort. Currently, that means that we will go from about 3.2 million people who are eligible today to approximately 7.5 million who will be eligible as of 4 January.

And that means that the cohort has expanded. It will be expanded again on 31 January to three months, and that will take it out to 16 million Australians who will be eligible at that point in time. And as we’ve said all along, eligibility is the beginning of access.

It doesn’t mean that somebody’s overdue the very day they become eligible. These dates have been set out of an abundance of caution to give Australians early, continued protection, and the advice we have is that the protection as it is, is very strong against severe illness, but what we’ll see is a much stronger protection against transmission, and Professor Kelly again will set that out in more detail.

The last element that I want to refer to which follows the ATAGI advice is that jurisdictions who believe that they have the capacity to bring forward any of these dates without displacing older and more eligible people in terms of those that have had a longer period between their second dose and the access to boosters should feel free to do so.

As an example, I was speaking with the Premier of South Australia last night. He believes they have very strong capacity, and so ATAGI has given jurisdictions freedom to move forward with their state clinics prior to then if they have that capacity without displacing.

And this is a very important principle, that the stage-progressive program as quickly as possible is what we focused on, but focusing on the priority populations of the further someone has been from their second dose, the more important it is that they're vaccinated.

By acting at four months and then progressively at three months, we're giving the highest priority to those who have the greatest distance in time from having been vaccinated. And this also follows the age cohort because of the way in which the primary courses were delivered.

So it's protecting the oldest and the immunocompromised and giving them priority as is appropriate. So I really want to thank ATAGI for their tireless work.

The TGA, the Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group, which has been led by Professor Murphy. So all of those groups have contributed to giving the Government the ability to make this decision off the basis on the back of what I believe is the strongest medical advice in the world.

The last thing I want to do is to announce that the Council of Elders’ 14 members has been released today. The chair is Ian Yates, a very distinguished Australian head of Council of the Ageing, and there are amongst those 14 members five males, nine females. We have really strong female representation, very strong Indigenous representation, including, of course, Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann, the Senior Australian of the Year; Professor Tom Calma; then other distinguished Australians such as Dr Kay Patterson, former health minister, but also the Age Discrimination Commissioner, Danijela Hlis, who is a leading author and academic and practitioner in relation to dementia care and management.

So a really fine group of older Australians who’ve stepped forward, and we're very blessed to be able to have their support and capability.

Lastly, I want to wish everybody a strong Christmas. These are always challenging times, but when we look at this year, we have one of the lowest rates of loss of life in the world. We have one of the highest vaccination rates, and it continues to climb – 94.1 per cent first doses, 91 per cent second doses. And we've had one of the strongest economic recoveries with employment above what it was prior to the pandemic.

So thank you to all Australians. Please keep coming forward for your boosters. And if you haven't had your first or second dose yet, it's more important than ever to have those doses.

Professor Kelly.


Thank you, Minister. I might start with that point. So this is about the change in the booster program advice from ATAGI, but a real call out to anyone in Australia who is currently eligible for their primary doses, those first two doses.

This is still the most important component of protection. We've seen a rise in intensive care patients in New South Wales in recent days. Almost all of those have been unvaccinated, not even a first dose, let alone a booster. So that still remains the number one priority for the vaccination program.

The changes today, as announced by the Minister on the basis of the ATAGI advice, I just would like to also join my voice to the Minister for thanking ATAGI for their work over the last week and indeed right throughout this process.

It is very difficult making decisions as evidence is coming forward on a daily or even hourly basis. It is four weeks today since we found out about Omicron, this new variant of concern, and in those four weeks we have already gained a lot of information.

And in the recent days, even more information, particularly around severity and what is the effectiveness of vaccination programs around the world.

So why has this announcement been made? There's two reasons to bring forward the booster dosing. The first one is, as has been mentioned by the Minister, as has always been our main aim of the program, is to protect those that are most at risk of severe disease, so they remain our priority. Protecting people against severe disease remains our priority.

The information we know, and as I say, it's been emerging only over the last few weeks about the protection of the vaccine, we know two key things. One is that there is a diminished, but not completely- the protection does not completely disappear in relation to severe disease from the first two doses of the vaccine. It wanes over time, hence the time-based change in the boosters.

The positive effect of that is that we do know now that boosters do protect and increase that that protection against severe disease once that third dose is given, or a fourth dose in the case of immunocompromised people. So they are given as an absolute aim of the program to go forward and do that.

But I will stress that just because you get to three months or four months or five months or six months, it doesn't mean that you immediately just that day lose your protection. That is not the case.

It does decrease over time. It remains in place for severe infection, but it is diminished for Omicron compared with Delta.

So that's the first point of the reason why we're bringing forward that booster program to four months from 4 January and three months later towards the end of January.

The second reason is because boosters at this stage can help about the transmission of the virus, so the infection of people with mostly mild or even asymptomatic disease, but they can then transmit it to other people.

We know that, unfortunately, two doses does not change that ability to become infected a great deal. That, again, wanes over time, and there is a time-based process to that. But that protection against infection is diminished again in Omicron. That's quite clear.

Again, with a booster, it goes back towards the same levels as Delta. It will be an important and is already becoming an important part of our control of the current Omicron wave in Australia.

It is not enough by itself. The public health and social measures that have been introduced in many states in the last few days will assist with that as well. The personal protective elements that we all know so well.

You would have noticed at the beginning of this press conference, both the Minister and I were wearing masks. I'm wearing a mask wherever I'm indoors in a public setting and wherever I cannot guarantee to be socially distanced.

So that is an important component, and we have seen that change in recent days.

The, the final thing I would say, just to stress a couple of the small-print details within the ATAGI advice - and this really goes to the heart of protecting the most vulnerable first. So, we really do encourage people to come forward if they're in those well-known vulnerable groups for severe infection.

People who are- Our elder, our elders in the population, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those with chronic disease, those who are immunocompromised, you now can get that fourth dose - that will be your booster if you are eligible with that four-month interval going to three months later in the month.

And Just a real shout out to anyone who is pregnant or is, or is planning to be pregnant - these vaccines are very safe in pregnancy. We know now, very clearly, that both the woman who is pregnant and their unborn child, they are both at risk from, from this virus and vaccine does protect and is safe.

So that is very important for anyone who's- who has not yet had their primary dose schedule, or are eligible for a booster: please do not hesitate just because you're in those categories.



Thanks, Paul. Now, I’ll start with those in the room on the left-hand side, front, as you're looking out, if that's alright please.


Minister, can I ask- or actually Chief Medical Officer, can I ask you: for an Australian watching this, just simply, what has changed? ATAGI's looked at this a few times in recent weeks. On a simple basis what’s changed?

And then my next question, if it’s three, every three months you have to get one, are we looking at four jabs a year for Australians going forward?


So, firstly what, what has changed. And I mentioned that we’ve only known about this virus for four weeks, but in the last week, in fact, last night and the night before, there was more evidence that came around the, the protective effect of boosters but also that, that waning element.

And so, the best evidence they have got at the moment is for, is for four, or between three and four months, essentially. For the reasons of implementation, we’ve gone with the four months, they have advised on the four months to start - and as the Minister said: that's a, a large, large increase in the numbers that will be eligible. And going towards three months when that, that can be implemented.

Throughout this, this vaccination schedule there's this sense that everyone wants to be vaccinated on the first day an announcement is made. That is not necessary, and indeed is not possible.

We know that we have huge numbers of points of presence, around 10,000 places you can get a jab at the moment, and that is continuing. At National Cabinet the PM announced the other day when we had our press conference, that the states and territories are doing their bit - they’ve, they’ve committed to go back to peak clinic use.

We have our GPs, our pharmacists, Aboriginal Community Controlled organisations - they're all available, they will all be doing booster shots, they're already doing booster shots, and that will roll out as we go.

In terms of the future - that's the future. Let's, let’s deal with this, this booster at the moment. This is specifically and particularly related to the changes from the Omicron variant.

And we know, as I said, that one, one booster with the generic booster gives a good boost to protection both on infection, and particularly and most importantly, in severe disease.

What happens in the future with future variants, if they come, that's a matter for the future, but we're certainly looking at that very closely.


Yeah. I'll just add something to that. And that is, of course, as Paul was saying, it's four weeks since we have been aware of the Omicron variant and the world has learnt a lot, particularly the combination of, effectively, more transmissible but less severe.

And that's an evolution that the epidemiologists have explained, it’s not uncommon in relation to the course of a virus. And so we have adapted as we have had that information, and Australians have adapted.

We were due on the 6-month time frame, which had been the international norm and ATAGI's recommendation prior to Omicron, to have had approximately 1.3 million vaccinations by now of people who were eligible.

We're, as I say, at 2 million, today - so we’ve been able to step up, bring more people forward. I said 500,000 ahead of that schedule, well over 500,000 is the correct answer.

And so, as we have done, throughout the pandemic, a virus the likes of which the world hasn't seen since the Spanish flu, so for 100 years, we’ve been able to adapt.

And we have, in my view, the best medical advisors in the world - the National Incident Centre, the Chief Medical Officer's team, ATAGI, and others, they’ve done a magnificent job and they’ve just never stopped.

So I want to give a particular thanks to them. In a world of uncertain information, they’ve helped provide a guiding light and stability for the nation.

I'll start front left, light blue shirt. Sorry, I'm blind as a bat without being in the room with you.


Hi Minister Hunt. Professor, the ATAGI in their statement here, that ATAGI expects the booster vaccination alone will not be sufficient to prevent a surge due to Omicron.

I think everyone kind of knows that Omicron’s around, and it’s going to be here. But surge, surge numbers that are daily reported, do you think that helps, or scares people? You know, when they hear this, when you go out you hear that people saying, oh, 5000 today in New South Wales, or plenty of number’s there.

Do you think that's helping people to get the booster? Or is it, kind of, scaring people?


It's a, it’s a good question. I think it's a bit of both. We’ve, we’ve been saying - the Minister and myself, the Prime Minister and others - have been saying for quite some time, cases are not the most important thing at the moment. Most of those cases, the vast majority of those cases are mild or asymptomatic.

However, we have talked about transmission. And so, what we're seeing in other parts of the world is a doubling rate of cases every two or three days, and that is what we're seeing here.

We're not seeing that same sort of increase in hospitalisations or ICU, and I think they're the most important metrics for people to look at.

People should be alert to this, particularly with this announcement today, make that booking in the new year to get that booster if you are becoming eligible in the new year period. If you're eligible now, don't hesitate, get it today.

Sorry, go on, PM, Prime Minister.


That's a promotion. I won't take it.

Look, very briefly in terms of ventilation, on 15 December, and I mentioned these figures yesterday, there were 54 Australians in hospital under ventilation with COVID. As of the figures from last night the National Incident Centre has, there were 53 Australians in hospital with COVID.

Now, that may change during the course of the morning, and that will change over, over the coming weeks. But that's an important indication of the fact that, whilst this is a more transmissible disease, it does appear to be less severe.

And we're taking these precautions to add the extra protection for Australians and to help them stay ahead of the curve.

And then going behind.


Professor Kelly, just on those dates, 4 January and 31 January, is that health advice? Or just that the sheer logistical challenge? As in, the system is not ready to bring forward the boosters yet? Can you sort of explain about why it's staggered in this way? And why, you know, people might be wondering, well, why can't I have it now?


So, it's based on the science and the medical advice. We, we know it is not an immediate thing when, when the vaccine starts to wear off - it's a time-based thing. And so again, as we have done all the way through the process, is we’ve, we’ve prioritised the ones that are at most, most at risk.

Nowhere in the world has done, when we got to our peak of vaccination we, we were around 2.2 million doses a week. That, that, on a per capita basis, was leading the world.

That's what we aim to get to and achieve- and to exceed during January. But at this time, when- and the Minister has already mentioned the exhaustion of our, of our health workforce, it is just not feasible to suddenly give those large numbers their doses during this period.

Now, as I said, that- they will be, the prioritisation is definitely for those that are most at risk, and so that will continue to be that.

In terms of the advice, ATAGI is the Australian Technical Advisor Group on Immunisation. They do, and must, take into account the programmatic and implementation elements of this, and they have discussed that with us.

And then it is our, it's the Government's job to be able to, to follow that advice, as we have done all throughout this pandemic, and we will continue to do so, and implement their, their advice.


And just one of those programmatic issues is the 5-year-olds to 11-year-olds coming on line on 10 January. Is that, is that why the three months is delayed to later in January?


Well, there's no change to that.


I’ll just add.


Yeah. Minister.


No. I might add. We're intended to do two things. One is to ensure that we have the children’s vaccines up, and I think there would be no Australians that, I hope, would want us to delay or defer childhood vaccinations. That’s proceeding precisely according to the schedule.

The TGA is making great progress with their batch testing, we have the first doses that are in the country that are going through those processes, and important tick-offs and milestones being achieved.

The second thing is to ensure that the booster program continues. And of course there's a third element for those small numbers that haven't had first or second doses to deliver those.

But what this does, is it will mean that there are 7.5 million Australians who are eligible from 4 January- that includes those that will already have had eligibility and by then we will have had well past the two million figure that will have been boosted.

And so that gives them that immediate opportunity, and those are, overwhelmingly, older Australians or more immunocompromised Australians who have been less recently vaccinated. So, of course, there has to be a priority program.

The alternative of suddenly putting an extra four million people who would displace the older or more immunocompromised and less recently vaccinated, it is absolutely at odds with the right way.

I know there was somebody who mentioned this yesterday that was, in my view, absolutely against the medical advice. And so it's all about following the medical advice and making sure that there's an orderly staged process.

And then by the end of January, we will have approximately 16 million people who will be eligible. And eligibility commences the window to vaccination.

Going to the back, please.


Professor, just on the January time frame bringing forward now, we're going to have some immunocompromised people who had their third shot in October or November then become eligible.

How do they go with, do they take a fourth shot or do they wait for updated health advice in January?

And then perhaps for the Minister - or I'm not sure if this is for you, Professor - how are we going to start measuring vaccination rates giving the waning protection, when we hear premiers saying we don't need to bring in certain restrictions because we're above 90 per cent?

How do we update those rates if people, you know, aren't boosted and their vaccination and protection have waned?


So, a number of questions there. Firstly, just very specifically for those who are immunocompromised, they'll, they’ll be due at that same time period after their third dose, rather than their second dose.

Their fourth dose will be, if they're over four months, on 4 January - there'll be very few in that category. But by the end of January they would be due for their fourth dose, many of them.

In terms of the reporting and so forth, well, we’ve, we’ve had very open reporting about, about the first and second doses. I'll leave that to the Minister about what we might be doing in terms of reporting boosters, but we’ve, we’ve said some of those figures today.

And the latest I saw was we were at 57 per cent already of the, of the people that were eligible today have had their vaccine. And pleasingly, that's a higher rate for those above the age of 70 and those high-risk people.



Yeah. Look, Paul’s absolutely correct. As of today, it’s about 57.7 per cent of eligible people who have had their boosters.

As Professor Kelly says, that’s higher figure still amongst the older Australians, and so that's very heartening, knowing that many of them have only very recently, you know, in the last 10 days, became eligible.

So they have stepped forward and some of them are only becoming eligible, you know, yesterday, or the day before. And, at this point in time - I think yesterday - 90,000 more people were vaccinated, then became eligible on, on that day.

So 147,000 were vaccinated with boosters yesterday, and that was 90,000 more than were freshly eligible on that day. So each day new people become eligible.

The, the second thing is, we publish all the figures. I think, on a daily basis we publish approximately 700 different data points and make them available. In addition to that there's another over 3000 weekly data points.

So you have got more than 700 data points a day, published daily; close to 5000 a week; and then, another 3000 that are published weekly.

So our approach has just been to provide that information about first doses, second doses, booster rates, state-based rates, age cohort rates, Indigenous, disability, aged care - all of these are done on a daily basis, and, and we'll continue to do that.

Going across to the middle rear, please.


In terms of public health measures that have been introduced because of this fourth wave, looking at the data overseas, is it likely we're going to be living with these restrictions for most of 2022?

And just secondly, with all these new people becoming eligible - the 16, sorry, the 16 million by the end of January and the 7.5 million by 4 January – do we have enough vaccines in the country right now.


Yes. So we have 20 million vaccines that are in the country now - more than five million that are in field on the basis of orders. So, we’ve provided to the states and territories, pharmacies and GP’s, all of their orders.

They’re working on a high-volume access, and if more is requested, we are happy to provide it.

So one of the things we did, and some may have raised their eyes at the time, when we ordered 60 million Pfizer for 2022, and 15 million Moderna for 2022, we were anticipating that there may need to be a third and a fourth dose.

There was no medical advice that effect at that point in time, but we were anticipating that there may need be to be a third and a fourth dose.

And indeed, there’s enough with those figures for five doses, and the Novavax which is making its way through the TGA and that’s progressing well. And there’s an extra 51 million doses of Novavax.

So, we’re in a fortunate position with doses in country, doses in the field, and doses to come whether a fourth or a fifth were required. We just provisioned on the absolute highest need, worst case scenario.

Across to the right, please.


Sorry, just on restrictions as well – living with restrictions into 2022 – partly for you, Professor Kelly.


Thank you. So, we, we’ve seen many waves around the world, and we know how they go. And they generally last for a month or two and then drop down again - that's the standard a wave of this particular type of virus, so expect that’s we'll be seeing here in Australia.

Very rapid rise in cases as we've seen the last couple of weeks. What that peak will actually be will, will very much depend on, on the two main weapons that we have – or three – the same as we've had all the way through.

The booster program, as part of our vaccination program, get out and get your booster, get out to get your vaccination - that will help. Public health and social measures, they’re a matter for the states but there are, there are general principles and there’s a quite - I think now - a pretty close alignment across most of the states in relation to that - even Western Australia today with their mask mandate over the next few days.

And the third, third one is test, trace, isolate and quarantine. We've been given specific instructions – I and the AHPPC – have been given instructions to come back to National Cabinet in the first week of January to look at what Omicron does in relation to what we can and should be doing in test, trace, isolate and quarantine.

What is the role of rapid antigen test, for example? What sort of things should we be taking into account in terms of our contact tracing when we have these large numbers? What should we be doing in terms of people staying at home if they are found to be positive, or a close contact, definitions of a close contacts.

These are all being looked at very rapidly now in the light of this new phenomenon.


Great. And on the right-hand side front please.


Okay. A question for the Minister, and then separate to the CMO. Minister, some pharmacists are still claiming they're having trouble access towards the end of the year for vaccines and being told to wait. Your advice to them?

And also an update on the aged care booster rollout, if possible? And then I might ask the CMO to reflect on his Queensland colleague’s comments yesterday, about the virus being necessary to spread as we move into the endemic phase of this emergency.


Sure. So, first thing with pharmacies, we have seen a record numbers throughout the last 10 days.

Yesterday, we had, in our pharmacies across Australia, 52,294 vaccinations - that's more than triple what it was just a couple of weeks ago. And last week, there was an increase of 497 pharmacies who were delivering boosters.

So I've seen some reports saying that, that there had been a decrease - those statements were clearly categorically incorrect. And the number of pharmacies delivering boosters last week increased by 497, compared to the week prior to that.

Today, we will pass three million doses delivered by our pharmacies. And we’re, we’re seeing extra orders, and they’re being met.

And all up, we have over 3000- I’ll give you the exact number - over 3400 pharmacies that are in the field and delivering vaccines. And what we’re seeing is that, this week, there are over 11,000 deliveries of either vaccines or consumables coming from the Vaccine Operations Centre.

So, there are no constraints on numbers. On any one particular day, a particular pharmacy may have more demand that they’d previously expected, but we are able to meet that.


And of the aged care rollout?


Aged care. So as I said yesterday, we’re approximately 300 facilities ahead of schedule. Over 1500 have been vaccinated at this point in time, and we’ll just continue to keep doing that.

We’d urge those that are eligible to schedule as early as possible, but we’re meeting all of the requests and we’re approximately 300 facilities ahead of the schedule we’d anticipated.

So, I want to thank the facilities, and thank the families for providing their support and consent.


And on the, the Queensland Chief Health Officer - I won’t, I won’t address those specifically, they’re, they’re his views. But we do know that for endemicity – which means, essentially, living with COVID – there are two ways that we can- that that will happen in terms of people being- gaining protection against future disease.

That’s either getting the disease, or being vaccinated. I know which one I would choose, I have chosen, I’ve had my booster, so has the, so has the Minister. So, that does give that extra level of protection and, and does protect you against, at least, severe disease.

But it is inevitable in this wave that they will be many people that also get infected. The reason is because, unfortunately, past infection does not give, with other variants, does not give great protection against Omicron. And I’ve already talked about the, the vaccine efficacy in relation to that.

So, key, key elements – exactly what I’ve said: those three aims that three main weapons we have against this virus. If you, if you are requested to get a test, get a test. If you are feeling sick, get a test; if you are found to be positive, isolate yourself from others – that’s the TTIQ component.

If you are, are asked to, to do a personal protective measures, or indeed where those things have become compulsory, please follow that – not because it’s- they’re compulsory, but because that’s the right thing to do.

And finally, for boosters or primary courses, do not hesitate, make that, make that vaccination appointment. There is plenty of vaccination- vaccines in the system to do so.


Great. And then last question on the right hand side at the back, please.


Minister, we’ve heard the states – on advice from their own health professionals – calling openly for days for ATAGI to shorten the interval and seen repeated denials from yourself and ATAGI to do so.

Minister, why the change of heart?


Look, with great respect, that’s incorrect. What we’ve seen is that ATAGI has already moved, on the basis of international evidence, from six months to five months, and that has seen a rapid increase in the uptake of boosters.

And what they’ve done is, again, continuously review the international evidence, and off the basis of the international evidence they’ve followed it.

Now, one of the things that have been a hallmark of Australia's approach to the vaccination program is listening to the medical advice. And we’re blessed in this country, and- with the quality of medical advice that we received.

To finish, as we lead into Christmas, I want to give this message; that is a message of thanks to Australians for coming forward to be vaccinated, keeping distance - for doing the difficult things that are so contrary to our nature, but so fundamental to our success.

That’s what has allowed us to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, one of the lowest rates of loss of life. And we’ve seen over 870,000 cases in the 24 hours to reporting yesterday midday, globally - just to put it into perspective - and at the same time, one of the strongest economic recoveries.

So, with all of those things, Australian’s have done extraordinarily well. And the key to it has been following that medical advice.

And as part of that, I want to finish by thanking all of our doctors and nurses, our pathology collectors, our testers, those people who are administering the vaccinations, those people who are running the vaccination program, General Frewen and his team at Operation COVID Shield, Brendan Murphy and Penny Shakespeare at the Department, Professor Kelly and his extraordinary team with Professor Michael Kidd, and Doctor Sonia Bennett, and Doctor Ruth Vine, and Professor Alison McMillan. These are extraordinary Australians who've helped gives us safe.

So, these are challenging times. But we’ve got through it, better than almost anybody. We’ll continue to get through it better than almost anybody. And what has set Australian’s apart is their support for each other, and the quality of the medical advice, and the commitment we have to following that medical advice and working with our medical advisors.

So, I want to thank everybody, wish them all the best and know that by having a partnership between the Australian public to protect each other and to protect themselves, and the medical community, we’ll continue to keep Australian’s safe.

Take care everyone, and have a great Christmas.

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