- Eligible Western Australians can obtain a fourth dose winter booster four months after their third dose
- Walk-ins at COVID-19 clinics for eligible groups start today and bookings can be made for those eligible from mid-April
- Further protection for those at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended a winter booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccination aimed at increasing immunity before winter for selected high-risk groups.
This is an important recommendation that will further protect at-risk individuals from severe illness and reduce hospitalisations related to COVID-19 during winter.
The recommendation for a winter booster - which would be a fourth dose for a majority of those eligible - covers the following groups who have received their primary vaccination course and third booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine:
- adults aged 65 years and older;
- residents of aged care or disability care facilities;
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older; and
- people aged 16 years and older with severe immunosuppression (refer to the ATAGI statement), who are already on their fourth dose - meaning this group will be obtaining their fifth dose, as part of their winter booster vaccine.
ATAGI does not currently recommend a fourth dose for healthy people who are not in one of the above groups, however people can seek further advice from their GP or health professional.
The winter booster dose can be given from four months or longer after the person has received their third dose or last booster dose, or four months after a confirmed COVID-19 infection, if the infection occurred since the person's third dose or last booster dose.
The rollout of the additional dose for these groups starts today, with vaccines available now. Eligible individuals can access the vaccine in GPs, pharmacies and State-run vaccination clinics, and bookings can be made via the Roll Up for WA website from mid-April.
Vaccines available for the additional winter booster dose aligns with current COVID-19 vaccine boosters being:
- Pfizer or Moderna as the preferred vaccines;
- AstraZeneca can be used under certain circumstances; or
- Novavax can be used if no other COVID-19 vaccine is considered suitable for that person.
For more information, people can refer to the ATAGI website or consult their GP or health professional.
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"This is an important recommendation that will further protect at-risk Western Australians from severe illness and reduce hospitalisations related to COVID-19 over winter.
"I encourage all people within these groups to take advantage when they become eligible and again roll up for WA to help protect themselves and their community from COVID-19."
Comments attributed to Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson:
"The rollout of this winter booster is crucial as we head towards what is typically the busiest time of the year for our health system.
"Western Australia's leading COVID-19 vaccination rate has helped us navigate through the current outbreak, and I thank those who have already rolled up for WA.
"If you're eligible for a winter booster, please take the opportunity to get vaccinated through your GP, pharmacy or State-run clinics.
"It is also important for high-risk people to get a flu jab, which the ATAGI has confirmed can be given at the same time as the winter booster dose."
Comments attributed to Vaccine Commander Gary Dreibergs:
"Our vaccination teams are constantly reminding people of the need to stay up to date with vaccinations and this is a timely reminder for those vulnerable groups.
"I am confident that they will take up this opportunity and continue to keep WA as the envy of the world in terms of COVID-19 vaccination rates."
Premier's office - 6552 5000
Health Minister's office - 6552 5900