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Do I Still Need a Covid-19 Booster?

June 14, 2024

The impact of COVID-19 in Australia has significantly changed since it became a household term in 2020.  In fact, many of us seem to have forgotten that it still exists.  However, community transmission continues to surge from time to time, especially now in the winter months.

Most people who get infected with COVID-19 won't get very sick.  However, for older adults, infants and people with pre-existing medical conditions and disabilities, COVID-19 can still cause serious health problems and hospitalisation.  What’s more, for those of us not in high-risk categories, COVID-19 boosters still cut the intensity and duration of our symptoms, making them something that many people, therefore, still choose to have.

Here at Med Advisor, we are all passionate about helping people make better decisions about their health every day.  So, let's look at the latest updates for COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters in 2024 so you can make an informed choice to protect yourself, your loved ones and all Australians.

Current Recommendations for COVID-19 Boosters

COVID-19 boosters are free to all Australians, including those without a Medicare card. However, some age groups are not recommended for a COVID-19 booster. Eligibility depends on age, health status, and the date of your last vaccine.

Without severe immunocompromise

  • Less than 5 years - Not recommended
  • 5 to 17 years Not recommended
  •  18 to 64 years - Eligible for a dose every 12 months after speaking with your healthcare provider
  • 65 to 74 years - Recommended every 12 months.   Eligible for a dose every 6 months after speaking with your healthcare provider
  • 75 years and older - Recommended every 6 months

With severe immunocompromise

  • Less than 5 years Not recommended
  • 5 to 17 years – Eligible for a dose every 12 months
  • 18 to 74 years - Recommended every 12 months.  Eligible for a dose every
  • 75 years and older - Recommended every 6 months

If you are unsure when you had your last COVID-19 vaccine, check your My Health Record or Medicare Immunisation History.   As with all vaccines, it is best to stay up to date with the current guidance and discuss the vaccine options available to you with your healthcare provider.

How do I know what COVID vaccine to have?

The recommended COVID-19 vaccines have changed since the pandemic began. Some vaccines you may have had before might no longer be available, recommended, or the most effective. At the same time, new vaccines you have not heard of may be available.

What vaccines are available?

The following COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in Australia

Paediatric (children) vaccines

  • Comirnaty Omicron XBB.1.5 (Pfizer) 5 – 11 years
  • Comirnaty Original (Pfizer) 5 – 11 years
  • Comirnaty Original (Pfizer) 6 months – 4 years

Adolescent and adult vaccines

  • Comirnaty Omicron XBB.1.5 (Pfizer) 12 years and older
  • Comirnaty bivalent Original/Omicron BA.4/5 (Pfizer) 12 years and older
  • Spikevax Omicron XBB.1.5 (Moderna) 12 years and older

What vaccine is right for me?

Currently, XBB vaccines like Comirnaty Omicron and Spikevax Omicron are the preferred COVID-19 vaccines in Australia.   However, the vaccine that is right for you will depend on several factors, including your personal preference.  Speak with your doctor, pharmacist or vaccine provider about which COVID-19 vaccine is right for you.

Where to Get COVID-19 Boosters

Checked your eligibility, spoken with your healthcare provider and decided what vaccine’s right for you?

Find out where you can get your COVID-19 booster here. You will notice that many local pharmacies and health centres now offer COVID-19 vaccines, and you can even book to have them on the same day as your annual flu shot.

Remember, COVID is here to stay and can still harm vulnerable members of our family and the wider community. So, keep up-to-date with the latest guidance to ensure you make informed decisions about your COVID-19 booster.  

 

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