The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends an additional booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to increase vaccine protection before winter for selected population groups who are at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and who have received their primary vaccination and first booster dose.
These groups are:
- Adults aged 65 years and older
- Residents of aged care or disability care facilities
- People aged 16 years and older with severe immunocompromise (as defined in the ATAGI statement on the use of a 3rd primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine in individuals who are severely immunocompromised)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older.
The additional winter booster dose can be given from 4 months or longer after the person has received their first booster dose, or from 4 months after a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, if infection occurred since the person’s first COVID-19 booster dose.
ATAGI recommends that the rollout of the additional booster dose for these groups starts from April 2022, coinciding with the rollout of the 2022 influenza vaccination program.
Influenza vaccine can be co-administered with the additional booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine. However, if a person is not yet eligible for their additional booster dose, influenza vaccine could be given ahead of the additional booster dose.
The updated recommendations are available on the Australian Department of Health website.
North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network’s quality improvement activity template is available to help general practices identify eligible patients.