Is it true? Do people have to receive two doses and do they have to be the same type of COVID-19 vaccine for it to be effective?

Most people need 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to get strong protection. If you are severely immunocompromised you need 3 doses. A booster maintains immunity from the virus that causes COVID-19.

Is it true? COVID-19 vaccination image

Do people have to receive two doses and do they have to be the same type of COVID-19 vaccine for it to be effective?

The primary course of COVID-19 vaccines is two doses for most people. 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.

An additional booster dose, or ‘winter booster dose’, is recommended for people at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 who have already had their initial booster dose.

ATAGI prefers use of the same COVID-19 vaccine for the 2 doses of the primary course. 

An alternative vaccine brand for dose 2 should be used if there are specific medical contraindications or precautions, or if the same vaccine brand is not available in Australia.  

What about boosters?

The Comirnaty (Pfizer) and Spikevax (Moderna) vaccines are approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and recommended by ATAGI as a COVID-19 booster dose. 

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.

If you are 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.

You can also receive the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) vaccine or Nuvaxovid (Novavax) vaccine if you can’t have an mRNA vaccine for medical reasons.

With new COVID-19 vaccine developments every day, it’s normal to have questions or concerns, and possibly feel hesitant about getting a vaccine. That's why we're providing accurate, evidence-based answers to questions about COVID-19 vaccines.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines

Last updated: 
2 May 2022

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