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COVID-19 Boosters. What are they & why do we need them?

After having two doses of a COVID-19 vaccination, you might be wondering why health experts are now talking about the need for a third. After racing to ensure the majority of our eligible population, the government has launched a booster vaccination program which will mean that eligible individuals who received their second COVID-19 vaccine more than six months ago are now eligible for a booster shot.

Who is eligible for a booster shot?

You are eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose if you are 18 years or over and have had your second dose of your primary course of COVID-19 vaccination at least six months ago.

Are booster shots mandatory?

Booster shots are not mandatory, however they are highly recommended in order to maintain immunity against COVID-19.

When to get a booster shot?

You can book a booster vaccine if it has been 6 months since your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. The date you had your second dose is listed on your vaccine certificate. Click here to find a clinic and book your booster.

Which vaccine type should you get?

Chat to your GP about the best booster vaccine for your health situation. Currently, ATAGI is recommending the Pfizer vaccine be given as a booster dose. Moderna is not yet approved by the TGA as a booster dose. Learn more about ATAGI's advice by clicking here.

Why do we need a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine?

Over time, our bodies lose the antibodies in our systems that give us immunity to COVID-19 - this can leave us susceptible to infection. A booster shot gives our bodies a reminder and keeps our immunity level at its strongest. “A booster dose, six or more months after the second dose, will make sure that the protection from the first dose is even stronger and longer lasting and should help prevent the spread of the virus,” said Health Minister, Greg Hunt in a statement.

Are there side effects of a booster dose?

Common, mild side effects following a booster dose are similar to the side effects following the first two doses. In most people they are mild and do not last long. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss these with your GP.

What are the benefits of a booster dose?

A booster dose will ensure the protection you have received from your first two doses is even stronger and longer lasting and should help prevent the spread of the virus.

A booster dose increases your protection against:

  • infection with COVID-19
  • severe illness
  • hospitalisation and death from COVID-19

For more information about the COVID-19 booster program, please click here.

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