ATAGI expands Winter Covid dose eligibility

Jeremy Rockliff,Minister for Health

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has today updated its recommendations for Australians eligible to receive their second booster – or ‘winter’ dose – of the COVID-19 vaccine.

From Monday 11 July 2022, adults aged 50-64 years of age will be recommended to receive their winter booster of the COVID-19 vaccine. Adults aged 30 to 49 years will also be able to receive a winter booster dose of the vaccine, however, ATAGI advises that the benefit for people in this age group is less certain.

The wait time between first and second boosters has also been shortened from four months to three months to boost immunity and provide earlier protection as case numbers rise. This three-month interval also applies following the infection of COVID-19.

As a reminder, the following cohorts remain at higher risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19 and should receive a winter booster dose as soon as possible:

  • Adults aged 65 years or older;
  • Residents of aged care or disability care facilities;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years or older;
  • People who are severely immunocompromised (this will be their fifth dose);
  • People aged 16 years or older with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness; and
  • People aged 16 years or older with disability, significant or complex health needs, or multiple comorbidities which increase the risk of a poor outcome.

Importantly, we are seeing Tasmanians re-infected with COVID-19 and we encourage eligible Tasmanians who have previously tested positive to COVID-19 to continue with the recommended vaccine dose schedule as prior infection alone does not provide sufficient protection against severe disease.

Winter booster doses will be available in state-run clinics and at participating GP and pharmacy clinics across Tasmania from Monday 11 July 2022 and we encourage you to speak to your vaccine provider about which COVID-19 vaccine is most suitable for you.

As I’ve said many times, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family against severe COVID-19 illness is to make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations.

COVID-19 is still active in the community and we know that unvaccinated people are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those that have received two or more doses.

Additionally, with influenza cases still being seen across Tasmania, I want to encourage all Tasmanians to make the most of influenza vaccines being freely available to all at participating GPs and pharmacies until 31 July 2022.

Influenza vaccines are recommended for all individuals aged 6 months and older and can be given at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine.

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