COVID-19 catch you
COVID-19 remains an unwelcome part of our lives as our immunity from both infection and vaccination wanes with time and COVID-19 continues to spread. Community transmission of COVID-19 is increasing across Victoria and in the West, with rising COVID-19 hospitalisations and intensive care admissions.
Anyone can catch COVID-19, but when there is an increase in cases it is especially important that those at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are protected to reduce the chance of severe infection, hospitalisation and death. This includes people aged over 65 years, those with a disability or medical condition and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
There are things we can all do to protect ourselves, our loved ones and the wider community from getting COVID-19.
WPHU has summarised current guidance so you can understand when you should ask for an additional dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself. If you have never been vaccinated or received less than the recommended primary course, vaccination is even more critical, and you should seek advice and vaccination more urgently. Older age remains the strongest risk factor for severe COVID-19 disease.
|Population group||Recommendation for COVID-19 vaccine|
|All adults aged ≥ 75 years||Recommended to receive an additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose if 6 months have passed since their last dose.|
|All adults aged 65 to 74 years, OR |
Adults aged 18 to 64 years with severe immunocompromised
Within the above groups, an additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be of most benefit for people who:
– Have no known history of COVID-19 infection
– Have a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19
– Reside in a residential aged care facility
|Should consider an additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose if 6 months have passed since their last dose, after discussion with their healthcare provider|
|Aged 5 to 17 years with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness||Consider an additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose if 6 months have passed since their last dose, after discussion with their healthcare provider|
|Aged 5 to 17 years||Not recommended to receive an additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose|
|Aged less than 5 years||Not recommended to receive an additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose|
- WPHU encourages all adults who were recommended to have a COVID-19 vaccine dose in February 2023, and who have not yet had one, to receive a vaccine dose as soon as possible.
- For younger people or older adults without severe immunocompromise who have already had a dose in 2023, no further doses are currently recommended.
Wear a mask
A high-quality and well-fitted mask can protect you and others from the virus.
If you have symptoms, take a rapid antigen test (RAT). Free RATs are available through your local council. At the very beginning of a COVID infection, a negative RAT test may not always rule out COVID-19 infection – consider retesting in subsequent days.
Stay at home
If you have COVID-19, you should stay at home for at least five days from when your illness started, and until you have no symptoms. Speak to your GP if symptoms worsen.
Talk to your doctor
If you are at risk of falling very sick, you may be eligible for COVID-19 antiviral medicines. In summary, all adults 70 and older, and many adults aged 50 years or older with significant medical conditions, are eligible to receive COVID-19 antiviral medicines, which can decrease your risk of needing to go to hospital. You must take these within 5 days of developing symptoms.
Let fresh air in
Open windows and doors when you can – it reduces the spread of the virus.