Do people have to receive all recommended doses and do they have to be the same type of COVID-19 vaccine for it to be effective?
To be considered up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, you must have completed all the doses recommended for your age and health status.
It's important you stay up to date to ensure you have the most protection you can get, and your digital certificate remains valid.
Booster doses will make sure the protection from your primary course of COVID-19 vaccines is even stronger and longer lasting.
An additional booster dose, or ‘fourth dose’, is recommended for people aged 50 years and older, people living in residential care, or people with an underlying health condition or disability. People aged 30 to 49 years old can also receive a fourth dose if they choose.
The additional booster is the fifth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for eligible people who are severely immunocompromised.
If you have had COVID-19 you should wait to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine for 3 months after the confirmed infection.
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 doses.
If you are 12 to 15 years old 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 you are eligible for a Pfizer booster.
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, known as a third 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 or if you prefer not to have Pfizer or Moderna.
You should get a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose if you have had your first booster dose 3 months ago and you are:
- 50 years or older
- a resident of an aged care or disability care facility
- severely immunocompromised (this will be a fifth dose)
- 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.
A fourth dose is also available to people aged 30 to 49 years old if they choose.
Learn more about booster doses.
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.