COVID-19 booster vaccine advice
Learn about booster doses for COVID-19 vaccines, who they are recommended for, when you need one and how to get it.
Boosters are recommended to maintain immunity against COVID-19.
You are eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose if you:
- are 16 years and older, and
- completed your primary dose course of COVID-19 vaccination at least 3 months ago.
The date you had your second dose of vaccine is on your COVID-19 digital certificate.
The ATAGI recommended doses and vaccines outlines which vaccines and doses are recommended for each age and population group.
If you have had COVID-19 you should wait to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine for 3 months after your confirmed infection.
To book a booster dose, use the COVID-19 Clinic Finder or use ‘Hey Eva’ – Easy Vaccine Access.
EVA, is a simple callback service to help people book a COVID-19 vaccine.
If you need help making a COVID-19 vaccine booking, SMS ‘Hey EVA’ to 0481 611 382. A trained call agent from the National Coronavirus Helpline will call you to help book your COVID-19 vaccination.
Booster doses for 16 and 17 year olds
If you are 16 or 17 (or have turned 16 since you had your primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine) you can have the Pfizer vaccine as a booster dose.
Booster doses for people aged 18 years and older
If you are aged 18 years or older, you can have the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as a booster dose regardless of which vaccine you had for your first 2 doses.
Benefits of a booster dose
Two doses of COVID-19 vaccine provide very good protection, especially against severe disease. People who are severely immunocompromised need 3 doses.
A booster dose will make sure the protection from your first doses is even stronger and longer lasting, and should help prevent spread of the virus.
A booster dose increases your protection against:
- infection with the virus that causes COVID-19
- severe disease
- dying from COVID-19.
A booster dose will continue to protect you, your loved ones and your community against COVID-19.
Booster doses are free for everyone
The cold weather can make it easier for viruses to infect our bodies.
As Australia moves into winter, an additional booster dose, or ‘winter dose’, is recommended for people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 who have already had their first booster dose.
If it has been at least 4 months since your first booster dose and you fit into one of the below categories, you should book an appointment to have another booster dose as soon as possible before or during winter:
- 65 years or older
- a resident of an aged care or disability care facility
- severely immunocompromised
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and aged 50 years and older.
People who have had COVID-19 should also wait at least 3 months before having an additional dose.
For those who are not at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, a two dose primary course and a booster dose provides very good and lasting protection against COVID-19. Protection against severe disease is high and looks to wane slowly over time.
For now, the larger part of the Australian population are not recommended to receive any further doses of COVID-19 vaccine. Our experts continue to review new information on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines and will make new recommendations if necessary.
Winter booster program for residential aged care
A winter booster program is taking place in residential aged care facilities. Read more about the COVID-19 winter dose vaccination program in residential aged care.
Winter booster program for people with disability
A winter dose booster program is being rolled out for people with disability who live in shared residential accommodation. Learn more about the COVID-19 winter dose program for people with disability living in shared residential accommodation.
Staying up to date
To be considered up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, you must have completed all the doses recommended for your age and health status.
Find out about how to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
Safety of COVID-19 booster doses
Common, mild side effects following a booster dose look similar to the side effects following the first 2 doses.
See information about the:
There is limited data on serious side effects such as myocarditis and pericarditis following a Pfizer and Moderna booster dose.
Evidence from Israel suggests that myocarditis and pericarditis following vaccination with Pfizer are not more common after the booster dose, compared with the second dose.
There is not enough data available yet to show the rates of myocarditis and pericarditis following a booster dose of Moderna.
This side effect is being monitored closely.
ATAGI will continue to review the risk-benefit equation on booster doses.