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.

 Information about booster doses is also available in your language.

You are eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose if:

  • you are 18 years and older, and
  • have had your second dose of your primary dose course of COVID-19 vaccination at least 6 months ago.

Booster doses are not mandatory, however they are recommended to maintain immunity against COVID-19.

Benefits of a booster dose

Two doses of COVID-19 vaccine provide very good protection, especially against severe disease.

A booster dose will make sure the protection from the first dose 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 will be free for everyone.

Who should get a booster dose

Booster doses are available to everyone 18 years and over who have had both doses of their primary course of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months ago.  

ATAGI is not currently recommending booster doses for:

  • people aged 12 to 17 years
  • people who are severely immunocompromised and have already had a third dose.

Read ATAGI’s advice on COVID-19 booster doses.

Booster program for residential aged care

A booster program will be rolled out in residential aged care facilities. Due to the age of residents, and because they were prioritised for early vaccination, many are now due for their booster dose. Read more about COVID-19 vaccines and aged care.

Booster program for people with disability

A booster program will be rolled out for people with disability who live in shared residential accommodation. Read more information and see updates for the disability community.

Booster doses for healthcare workers

Healthcare workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 response are at higher risk of infection. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends people working in a healthcare settings consider receiving a booster dose. Healthcare workers were prioritised early in the vaccination rollout, so many are due for their booster dose.

Vaccine types for booster doses

The Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and recommended by ATAGI as a COVID-19 booster dose. 

You can have the Pfizer vaccine as a booster dose regardless of which vaccine you had for your first 2 doses.

You can also receive the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) vaccine if you:

  • can’t have the Pfizer vaccine for medical reasons
  • had 2 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine previously.

Read ATAGI’s advice on the type of vaccine recommended for booster doses.

Criteria Pfizer Moderna AstraZeneca
Approved aged group 12+ 12+ 18+
Primary course Yes Yes Yes
Third dose for immunocompromised people Yes Yes Not preferred[1]
Booster dose Yes No[2] Not preferred[1]
  • 1 AstraZeneca can be given as a booster dose in some circumstances, see ATAGI's advice.
  • 2 Moderna is not yet approved by the TGA as a booster dose.

When to get a booster dose

You can book a booster dose if it has been 6 months or longer since your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Find a clinic and book

The date you had your second dose of vaccine is on your COVID-19 digital certificate.

How to get a COVID-19 booster dose

To book a booster dose, use the COVID-19 Clinic Finder.

The Clinic Finder also has information about:

  • getting help from a translator
  • booking for someone else
  • disability vaccination clinics.

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 Pfizer vaccine and rare side effects.

There is limited data on serious side effects such as myocarditis and pericarditis following a Pfizer booster dose.

Evidence from Israel suggests that myocarditis and pericarditis are not more common after the booster dose, compared with the second dose.

This side effect is being monitored closely.

ATAGI will continue to review the risk-benefit equation on booster doses.

Last updated: 
9 November 2021

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