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A COVID-19 winter booster dose for those most at risk

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended the use of a winter booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for eligible groups who have received their primary vaccinations and a third dose. 

Those eligible include: 

  • Adults aged 65 years and older
  • Residents of aged care or disability care facilities
  • People aged 16 years and older with severe immunocompromise (as defined in the ATAGI statement on the use of a third primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine in individuals who are severely immunocompromised)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older.

For other groups not listed above, there is currently insufficient evidence of the benefits of an additional booster dose to make recommendations at this time. ATAGI will continue to monitor emerging evidence and may recommend an additional dose for other groups in the future.

If you are not currently eligible for a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the best way to protect yourself and your community is to ensure you have received your third dose. You should also continue to practise COVIDSafe behaviours and test if you have any symptoms. 

Check out our Protect against COVID-19 poster for more information on staying COVIDSafe.

The winter booster dose can be given at least three months after the person has received their third dose, or from three months after a COVID-19 infection if infection occurred after the person’s first COVID-19 booster dose.

Eligible people can receive their influenza (flu) vaccine at the same time as their winter dose. However, people who are not yet eligible for their winter dose should get their flu vaccine as soon they can, they do not need to wait until they are eligible for a winter dose.  

Pfizer and Moderna are the preferred vaccines for COVID-19 booster doses, including the winter dose. If a person has a contraindication to an mRNA vaccine or declines vaccination with an mRNA vaccine, they can receive AstraZeneca. The Novavax vaccine can be used if no other vaccine is considered suitable for that person. 

Winter doses are available at pharmacies, local GP clinics or at state-run vaccination centres. For more information about where to get vaccinated, click here