Health / Wellbeing

COVID-19 booster shots: what are they and when do you need one?

As of Monday, November 8 the Australian Federal Government commenced its booster shot program. Wondering if you're eligible? We've covered everything you need to know about COVID-19 booster shots, below.


Who is eligible to have a booster shot?

As of yesterday (November 8), anyone over 18 that received their second vaccine more than six months ago can now book in for a free booster. This means that if you were one of the people who were double vaccinated at the beginning of May, you're now eligible. How good is that? If six months since your second dose is approaching, you can also plan in advance and schedule a booking - but remember, only once you've reached the six month period.

From what the federal government has said, around 1.7 million people will be eligible before Christmas with early 2022, forecast to peak in eligibility. Also, aged care and disability communities and settings will be prioritised first.

If you can't remember the exact date of your last vaccination, you can check on your COVID-19 Digital Certificate, your immunisation history statement on Medicare or there is also the card you were given at the time of your last vaccination appointment.


What vaccine is available as a booster?

For the moment, only Pfizer is being offered as a booster in Australia. However, if you have received AstraZeneca, you will still be eligible to switch to Pfizer for your booster.

For anyone that had an adverse reaction to the mRNA vaccine like Pfizer, you can receive AstraZeneca says the Australia Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).


Will booster shots be mandatory?

According to the ABCwe know that the government will still consider you fully vaccinated if you've received two vaccine doses. But opting for a booster dose will strengthen your bodies response to the virus, as research has shown that protection against the transmission of the virus does diminish after a few months. Just like your double vaccination status, if you opt for a booster dose that will also show up on your vaccine passport.

While there has been talk of a possible fourth booster or topping up our vaccine on a yearly basis, neither of these have been confirmed as of yet. As always, we'll inform you once we know.

Wondering what a vaccine passport is? We've fleshed it all out for you here.

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