Fifth COVID dose now available
All Australian adults who have not had a COVID booster or COVID infection in the past six months are now eligible for another dose of COVID vaccine after the federal government accepted the advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).
While all people over the age of 18 are eligible, ATAGI has emphasised that the recommendation is particularly important for those who are at risk of severe illness. This includes everyone aged 65 and over, those with immune compromise and adults with chronic conditions, disability, or complex health needs.
ATAGI is advising people aged 5-17 years consider a booster only if they have health conditions that would put them at risk of complications of COVID infection – given the low incidence of severe illness among younger people.
While all available COVID-19 booster doses will provide protection, ATAGI advises that Omicron-specific mRNA vaccines are preferred.
The Western Public Health Unit strongly encourages anyone over the age of 65 to prioritise getting this additional booster dose if it has been at least six months since their last vaccine or COVID infection. The Western Public Health Unit is directing its engagement efforts towards this over 65 demographic – encouraging uptake amongst seniors living at home as well as working with residential aged care facilities to ensure their residents are able to access vaccination practitioners.
Local GP clinics and pharmacies continue to offer free COVID-19 vaccinations. Find a location near you at COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder.
ATAGI 2023 Booster Advice*
|Age||At risk**||No risk factors|
|<5 years||Not recommended||Not recommended|
|5-17 years||Consider||Not recommended|
|≥ 65 years||Recommended||Recommended|
*mRNA bivalent booster preferred; for ages in which a bivalent vaccine is not approved, use a vaccine approved for that age group. A 2023 booster dose should be given 6 months after a person’s last dose or confirmed infection.**Includes those with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness (refer to ATAGI clinical guidance) or those with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities which increase the risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19.
**Includes those with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness (refer to ATAGI clinical guidance) or those with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities which increase the risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19.