There are currently four COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Australia:
- the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) vaccine for people aged 18 years and older.
- the Nuvaxovid (Novavax) vaccine for people aged 18 years and older.
- the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine for people aged 5 years and older.
- the Spikevax (Moderna) vaccine for people aged 6 years and older.
There may be some exceptions to this, depending on where you get your vaccination and on any medical conditions you have.
The COVID-19 vaccines are very good and will stop you becoming very sick from COVID-19.
It's important you stay up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations, to ensure you have the most protection you can get, and your digital certificate remains valid.
You need to get 2 doses of the same vaccine for the good protection against COVID-19. This is called your primary dose course.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) also recommends an extra dose of COVID-19 vaccine following your primary course to maintain the best protection against COVID-19. This is called a booster dose.
You can get a booster dose if you have had your primary course of COVID-19 vaccination at least 3 months ago, and are:
- 16 years and older
- 12-15 years old and meet one or more of the following criteria:
- be severely immunocompromised
- have a disability with significant or complex health needs, and/or
- have complex and/or multiple health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19.
The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine approved as a booster for those aged 16 to 17 years, or 12-15 years old and severely immunocompromised.
Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax and AstraZeneca vaccines are approved by the TGA as a COVID-19 booster dose in individuals aged 18 years and older.
For people aged 18 years and older, Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are the preferred vaccines for a booster dose, regardless of which vaccine was used for the primary course. Novavax is also available as a booster.
Although not preferred, AstraZeneca can be used as a booster dose if Pfizer or Moderna are contraindicated or if a preferred vaccine is not accepted. You will no longer be considered ‘up to date’ if you have not had a booster dose in the recommended timeframe for your age or health status and will instead be considered ‘overdue’.
Some people may need a third primary dose. This is different to a booster dose.
A third primary dose is recommended for people over 5 years of age who are immunocompromised. If you are immunocompromised, you have a weakened immune system. The third dose brings your immunity up to a similar level as the general population.
A winter dose (5th dose of vaccine) is also recommended for people at risk of severe COVID-19, 4 months after the first booster.
Talk to your GP if you think you may need a third primary dose or additional booster dose (winter dose). For more information, you can:
- visit the Department of Health website
- call the Disability Gateway Helpline on 1800 643 787
- visit the Disability Gateway website
- call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.
If you need information in a language other than English, you can call the National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline on 1800 020 080 and press option 8. This is a free service.
You can also call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450.
Australian Government, state and territory government helplines will also have information on how people with disability can access the vaccine.