COVID-19 Vaccine Updates and Information

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Updated recommendations for a winter dose of COVID-19 vaccine

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has updated its recommendations for a winter dose of COVID-19 vaccine to help reduce severe disease from the emerging surge of Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariant infections, and to reduce the burden on Australian hospitals and the healthcare system in coming months.

How many vaccine doses do you need?

People aged:

  • 50+ should receive 4 doses
  • 30-49 should receive 3 doses, option of 4th
  • 16-29 should receive 3 doses
  • 5-15 should receive 2 doses

Some people with severe or complex health needs may need additional doses.

ATAGI has also recommended the interval for the fourth dose be reduced to 3 months after your initial booster.

If you’ve had COVID-19, you should get your next dose 3 months after you’ve recovered.

Read more here.

Talk to your local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (ACCHO) or book your appointment here.

Expanded eligibility criteria for COVID-19 oral antiviral treatments

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee has expanded the eligibility criteria for COVID-19 oral antiviral treatments, Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir and ritonavir) and molnupiravir (Lagevrio) effective from 11 July 2022.

New eligibility includes updated age limits and risk factors.

They are now available for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, 30 years or older and with 2 risk factors.

Risk factors include:

  • living in residential aged care
  • living with disability with multiple conditions and/or frailty (but not limited to living in supported accommodation)
  • neurological conditions like stroke or dementia and demyelinating conditions e.g. multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • chronic respiratory conditions including COPD, moderate or severe asthma
  • obesity or diabetes (type I or II requiring medication)
  • congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies
  • kidney failure or cirrhosis
  • living remotely with reduced access to higher level healthcare.

People aged 18 years and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and test positive for COVID-19.

Conditions include:

  • blood cancer or some red blood cell disorders (thalassemia, sickle cell disease)
  • transplant recipient
  • primary or acquired (HIV) immunodeficiency
  • chemotherapy or whole-body radiotherapy in the last 3 months
  • high dose corticosteroids or pulse corticosteroid therapy in the last 3 months
  • immunosuppressive treatments in the last 3 months
  • rituximab in the last 12 months
  • cerebral palsy or down syndrome
  • congenital heart disease
  • living with disability with multiple conditions and/or frailty

It is important people continue to get tested early if they have symptoms as these drugs need to be given in the first 5 days of the illness.

Additional information can be found in the following factsheets:

For more information, please see: