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.

To receive the best protection against serious illness or death from COVID-19, you should stay up to date with all vaccinations recommended for your age or individual health needs. Boosters are important to maintain this protection.

Booster doses are free for everyone.

Booster doses

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

  • are 12 to 15, and:
    • are severely immunocompromised, or
    • have a disability with significant or complex health needs, or
    • have severe, complex, or multiple health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19
  • are 16 years and older, and
  • completed your primary dose course of COVID-19 vaccination at least 3 months ago.

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.

If you have had COVID-19 you should wait to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine for 3 months after your confirmed infection.

The date you had your last COVID-19 vaccine is on your COVID-19 digital certificate.

Find a clinic and book

Fourth dose

An additional booster, or fourth dose, is recommended for people at increased risk of severe illness, to be given 3 months after their first booster dose.

This additional booster will be a fifth dose for people who are severely immunocompromised.

You should get a fourth dose if you are:

  • 50 years or older
  • 16 years or older and a resident of an aged care or disability care facility
  • 16 years or older and severely immunocompromised
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and aged 50 years and older
  • 16 years or older with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness
  • 16 years or older with a disability.

ATAGI has advised people aged 30 to 49 years old can receive a fourth dose if they choose.

How to book booster doses

To book a booster dose or winter 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. 

Additional groups recommended for a fourth dose

Category

Examples

Immunocompromising conditions

 

Cancer

Non-haematological cancer including those diagnosed within the past 5 years or on chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted anti-cancer therapy (active treatment or recently completed) or with advanced disease regardless of treatment. Survivors of childhood cancer.

Chronic inflammatory conditions requiring medical treatment with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) or immune-suppressive or immunomodulatory therapies.

Systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and similar who are being treated.

Chronic lung disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, interstitial lung disease and severe asthma (defined as requiring frequent hospital visits or the use of multiple medications).

Chronic liver disease

Cirrhosis, autoimmune hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic liver disease.

Severe chronic kidney disease (stage 4 or 5)

 

Chronic neurological disease

Stroke, neurodegenerative disease (e.g dementia, motor neurone disease, Parkinson’s disease), myasthenia gravis, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, myopathies, paralytic syndromes, epilepsy. 

Diabetes mellitus requiring medication

 

Chronic cardiac disease

Ischaemic heart disease, valvular heart disease, congestive cardiac failure, cardiomyopathies, poorly controlled hypertension, pulmonary hypertension, complex congenital heart disease.

People with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities which increase risk of poor outcome from COVID-19

Particularly those with trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) or complex multi-system disorders.

Severe obesity with BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2

 

Severe underweight with BMI < 16.5 kg/m2

 

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 COVID-19 vaccine safety and side effects.

Influenza (Flu) 

Vaccination is also the best protection against the flu.

The flu vaccines protect you from getting infected and prevent serious disease. The flu strains constantly change so you need a new vaccine every year to make sure you stay protected.

You can have your flu shot at the same time as your COVID-19 booster or fourth dose.

Find out more about getting vaccinated against the flu.

Help stop the flu in 2022 – This year, it’s even more important to get the flu vaccine – Fact sheet

This fact sheet provides information about getting vaccinated against the flu in 2022. It is available in several languages.

Last updated: 
9 August 2022

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