Coronavirus

Vaccination

The Australian Government has accepted the latest advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) on the use of new COVID-19 XBB 1.5 vaccine as part of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Program.

All available COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide strong protection against serious disease. The new XBB 1.5 vaccines have been found to provide modest improved protection against the COVID-19 strains circulating in the community. The XBB 1.5 vaccines will be available along with the existing bivalent vaccines.

There is no change to current vaccine eligibility recommendations. The new vaccine is a good reminder for people to get vaccinated if they haven’t had their recommended dose(s) in 2023 – SEE BELOW

For people who have had their 2023 COVID-19 vaccination(s) they do not need to get vaccinated again and remain well protected against severe disease from COVID-19.

Pfizer’s monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccine will be available for use in eligible people aged 5 years and older, while the Moderna monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccine can be used for those aged 12 years and older.

Recommendations  2023

  • ATAGI recommends a 2023 COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for adults in the following groups, if their last COVID-19 vaccine dose or confirmed infection (whichever is the most recent) was 6 months ago or longer, and regardless of the number of prior doses received: 
    • All adults aged 65 years and over
    • Adults aged 18-64 years who have medical comorbidities that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, or disability with significant or complex health needs.
  • ATAGI advises the following groups should consider a 2023 booster dose if their last COVID-19 vaccine dose or confirmed infection (whichever is the most recent) was 6 months ago or longer, and regardless of the number of prior doses received, based on an individual risk benefit assessment with their immunisation provider. 
    • All Adults aged 18-64 years without risk factors for severe COVID-19
    • Children and adolescents aged 5-17 years who have medical comorbidities that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, or disability with significant or complex health needs.
  • ATAGI advises that a booster dose is not recommended at this time for children and adolescents aged under the age of 18 who do not have any risk factors for severe COVID-19.

Booster Dose 2023

ATAGI recommends that all adults aged 75 years should receive an additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose if 6 months have passed since their last dose.

ATAGI advises the following groups should consider an additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose if 6 months have passed since their last dose, after discussion with their healthcare provider:

All adults aged 65 to 74 years, and/or

  • Adults aged 18 to 64 years with severe immunocompromise.
  • Within the above groups, an additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine is likely to be of most benefit for people who:
    • Have no known history of SARS-CoV-2 infection (and therefore are unlikely to have protection from hybrid immunity),
    • Have medical comorbidities that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, or disability with significant or complex health needs, or
    • Reside in a residential aged care facility.

ATAGI continues to encourage all adults who were recommended to have a COVID-19 vaccine dose in February 2023, and who have not yet had one, to receive a vaccine dose as soon as possible

For younger people or older adults without severe immunocompromise who have already had a dose in 2023, no further doses are currently recommended. Their baseline risk of severe illness is low if they have already been vaccinated, and particularly if they have also had prior infection.1 Therefore a further 2023 dose will offer little additional benefit even if it has been more than 6 months since their last dose.

ATAGI 2023 COVID-19 Booster Advice – first and additional dose*

 

2023 COVID-19 booster dose (February 2023 guidance)

Additional 2023 COVID-19 booster dose (September 2023 guidance)

 Age

At risk#

No risk factors

At risk#

No risk factors

<5 years

Not recommended

Not recommended

Not recommended

Not recommended

5-17 years

Consider

Not recommended

Not recommended

Not recommended

18-64 years

Recommended

Consider

Consider if severe immunocompromise^

Not recommended

65-74 years

Recommended

Recommended

Consider

Consider

75 years

Recommended

Recommended

Recommended

Recommended