For the most up-to-date details from NSW, please read here Booster vaccination – frequently asked questions – Vaccination (nsw.gov.au)
With the current ongoing circulation and transmission of SARS-CoV-2 variants namely the Omicron variant, ATAGI highly recommends a COVID-19 booster vaccination for anyone aged 16 and older who completed their primary course of COVID-19 vaccination at least 3 months ago.
A SECOND booster dose (also known as the ‘winter dose’ or ‘fourth dose’) is also recommended 3 months after your first booster dose.
Timely receipt of booster doses is particularly important for those who are immunocompromised, those who have increased exposure risk (e.g. occupational risk or outbreak areas) or those who have risk factors for severe illness from COVID-19 virus.
Either Comirnaty (Pfizer) or Spikevax (Moderna) are recommended for use as booster vaccine, and are considered equally acceptable.
ATAGI reiterates that a third (primary) dose of COVID-19 vaccine is also recommended for anyone with immunocompromising conditions, a minimum of two months after their second dose.
What booster shot will be used at Parkhill Medical Center?
For people aged 18 years and older, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved the use of Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for the booster doses, regardless of which vaccine was used for your primary course.
For people aged 12 – 17 years old, Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is the only vaccine registered to be used as booster.
Why is a booster needed?
Recent studies have manifested that the immunity and effectiveness from COVID-19 vaccines begins to wane over time.
Booster vaccines strengthen your immune system and helps to maintain a high level of protection against serious illness from the COVID-19 virus for you and your loved ones.
Who is eligible for a booster shot?
Eligibility for the FIRST booster vaccination includes people aged 16 years and over who received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine 3 or more months ago. You are eligible to get a fourth dose if you are:
- 50 years or older
- a resident of an aged care or disability care facility
- severely immunocompromised (this will be a fifth dose)
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and aged 50 years and older
- 16 years or older and with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness (see the table below for expanded groups)
- 16 years or older with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities which increase risk of poor outcome.
ATAGI has advised people aged 30 to 49 years old can receive a fourth dose if they choose to. People who are immunocompromised and have received a third primary dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are highly recommended to have their booster (4th & 5th) doses.
COVID-19 Vaccine for 5-11 years old
A new formulation of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine has been provisionally approved for use in children aged 5-11 years by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. This approval is based on the results of a recent clinical trial demonstrating that the vaccine is highly effective and that most side effects are mild and transient. ATAGI notes that real-world evidence on the safety of this vaccine in children aged 5-11 years is rapidly accumulating overseas, including data on the low rate of rare adverse events following immunization, notably myocarditis, which the clinical trial was insufficiently powered to assess.
ATAGI’s recommendations take into account:
- The direct benefits of vaccination for the child in preventing illness;
- The indirect benefits of vaccination for the child, their family and for the broader community. To realise some of these benefits, a large proportion of the 5-11 year age group would need to be vaccinated;
- Adequate supply of the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be available to vaccinate all 5-11-year-old children.
- ATAGI recommends vaccination with the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for all children aged 5-11 years.
- Children aged 5-11 years with medical risk factors for severe illness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and children living in crowded conditions or outbreak areas are most likely to benefit from COVID-19 vaccination given their increased risk of severe outcomes and/or exposure.
- Children aged 5-11 years who have previously had SARS-CoV-2 infection should wait 3 months before receiving the paediatric Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. This is to optimise their vaccine protection as a longer interval between infection and vaccination is likely to lead to a better immune response and result in longer protection from reinfection. The next scheduled dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be administered as soon as possible after 3-month gap. Your child should still have all the recommended doses.
- If your child has had COVID-19 infection, they do not need to defer other vaccinations, for example flu vaccine. BUT they should not be receiving any vaccines if they are acutely unwell (e.g. having a fever).
- The recommended schedule for vaccination in this age group is 2 doses, 8 weeks apart. The interval can be shortened in special circumstances to a minimum of 3 weeks, such as in an outbreak response, prior to the initiation of significant immunosuppression or international travel.