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TGA removes age limit for BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm) COVID-19 vaccine recognition for international travel to Australia

13 May 2022

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has determined that the BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm) COVID-19 vaccine will be 'recognised' for all ages for the purpose of establishing a traveller's vaccination status when entering Australia. The TGA first recognised the BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm) COVID-19 vaccine for international travel in November 2021 for people under the age of 60 years at the time they entered Australia.

The decision to remove the age limit for recognition of BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm) has been made following assessment of recently published information regarding its effectiveness at preventing infection and severe disease, as well as the change in the overall risk of progression to severe disease from COVID-19 in older people with the emergence of the Omicron strain of the virus.

Five recent studies, including one in subjects aged over 60 years of age, indicate a slightly higher efficacy of protection from two-doses of BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm) than did the earlier studies. The new data shows an overall effectiveness of the vaccine of 67% in protection against infection with COVID-19 and an effectiveness of 82% in protecting against severe disease/hospitalisation due to COVID-19.

TGA's updated report on its advice about vaccines not registered in Australia but in use internationally can be found at: International COVID-19 vaccines recognised by Australia.

Further information on requirements for incoming travel to Australia can be found at Vaccinated travellers. The TGA continues to monitor the evolving global COVID-19 vaccine situation and will make further updates to the list of recognised vaccines where necessary and appropriate.

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