A round of booster vaccines will likely begin in Tasmania in the coming months or early next year, the state's director of Public Health has confirmed.
Dr Mark Veitch was asked about third round COVID vaccinations during budget estimates on Monday, where he detailed documented cases of "waning immunity" reported overseas.
He said it was fairly safe to say that booster vaccines will be required.
"There are data coming out of a number of countries on waning immunity," Dr Veitch said.
"Few of them are going to be quite the same as Australia because many of those countries will actually have experienced substantial amounts of disease transmission which will have contributed to boosting immunity even in the absence of vaccination.
"But I think it's likely that in the first instance our health authorities will be recommending a booster vaccination some time in the coming months or early next year."
He expects the advice will be issued by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.
Public Health recently issued a requirement for masks to be worn in healthcare settings based on their vulnerability to disease transmission.
Dr Veitch said those working in healthcare settings were particularly at risk to waning immunity.
"There is some evidence that in some settings, breakthrough infections are beginning to occur some months after vaccination in some populations, particularly populations at high risk of exposure such as healthcare workers," he said.
"This is one reason why, when we think about preventing COVID, as well as thinking about booster vaccination, we also have in mind other measures such as masks.
"Recently I recommended that masks were required that masks be worn in healthcare settings, and it was the vulnerability of those settings to disease transmission that was a driving factor in that decision."
Health Department secretary Kathrine Morgan-Wicks confirmed employment termination would be one option for healthcare workers who refuse to get vaccinated without medical reason.
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