COVID-19 booster, third and winter doses

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AIS Arena vaccination clinic closing on 31 May

The AIS Arena COVID-19 mass vaccination clinic will close on 31 May 2022 as the ACT’s high vaccination rates and current low demand mean staff can be redeployed across the healthcare system.

Walk ins are still available between 8am to 4.45pm daily until that date.

Please note the AIS Arena will not be open on Reconciliation Day (Monday 30 May).

Pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the National Arboretum Canberra

ACT Health is running a free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine clinic at the National Arboretum Canberra on Reconciliation Day, Monday 30 May between 10am to 3pm.

Updated advice on getting a COVID-19 vaccination after having COVID-19

People should wait for 3 months (90 days) after a confirmed COVID-19 infection before they get their next COVID-19 vaccine dose.

See our latest COVID-19 vaccine news.

COVID-19 vaccine booster doses

If you’ve had 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, a booster dose is now needed for you to be considered up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations.

Boosters provide you with even more protection against falling seriously ill from COVID-19.

They may also reduce the potential of infected individuals to transmit the virus to others.

The Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is preferred for the booster dose in those aged 18 years and above.

For those aged 16 – 17 years, only the Pfizer vaccine should be used.

Novavax can be used as a booster in an individual aged 18 years and above if no other COVID-19 vaccine is considered suitable for that individual.

Book in for your booster

You can get a booster dose at:

Benefits of getting your booster

Click on the image below for a larger version.

Booster vaccination infographic

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose?

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose if:

  • you are aged 16 years and over
  • you’ve had 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and
  • your second dose of COVID-19 vaccine was at least 3 months (90 days) ago.

This includes people who received another COVID-19 vaccine brand (AstraZeneca) for their first 2 doses.

Severely immunocompromised individuals aged 16 years and over who have received 3 doses are recommended a booster dose (fourth dose) 3 months (90 days) after their third dose.

Booster vaccinations are currently not recommended if you are under 16 years of age.

If you are unsure about getting a COVID-19 booster vaccination, speak to your GP or another trusted health care professional to help you make an informed decision.

Booster doses for Residential Aged Care Facilities

The Australian Government is responsible for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program in Residential Aged Care Facilities.

From 28 March 2022, staff at Residential Aged Care Facilities will be required to be up to date with COVID-19 vaccination to be able to conduct their work.

This includes receiving a booster vaccine.

More information about this is available on the Australian Department of Health website.

COVID-19 vaccine third doses for severely immunocompromised people

ATAGI recommends a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine as part of the primary course in individuals aged 5 years and over who are severely immunocompromised. It can be given 2 months (60 days) after the second dose.

More information about this, including guidelines on who is considered immunocompromised is available on the Australian Department of Health website.

To get your third dose at an ACT Government COVID-19 vaccination or pop-up clinic you'll need to bring evidence of your eligibility to your appointment. This can include:

  • a prescription
  • a letter from a treating physician
  • An Eligibility (Self) Declaration Form

An mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is preferred for third dose vaccinations.

You can either make a booking, or walk-in to get your third dose at the AIS Arena COVID-19 vaccination or pop up clinics.

Severely immunocompromised individuals aged 16 years and over who have received 3 doses are recommended a booster dose (fourth dose) 3 months (90 days) after their third dose.

COVID-19 winter dose

A winter COVID-19 vaccine dose is available for the following people, 4 months (120 days) after their last booster dose:

  • adults aged 65 and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older
  • residents of aged care or disability care settings
  • people aged 16 years and older who are severely immunocompromised.

If you believe you are immunocompromised and may require the winter dose, please speak with your GP about suitability.

If you’ve had COVID-19, you’ll need to wait 3 months (90 days) after your confirmed infection before you can get your winter dose.

To make a booking for your winter dose at ACT Government COVID-19 vaccination clinic, call 5124 7700, 8am to 5pm (Monday to Friday)

For bookings at GPs and pharmacies, use the Vaccine Clinic Finder.

More information about this is available on the Australian Department of Health website.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a booster, third and winter dose?

For most people, 2 primary course vaccine doses are needed before a third (booster) dose is given 3 months (90 days) after their second dose.

Immunocompromised people may require a third primary course vaccine dose before a fourth (booster) dose, because the vaccine does not work as effectively for them as it does in others.

Immunocompromised people aged 16 years and over who have received 3 primary course doses are recommended a fourth (booster) dose 3 months (90 days) after their third dose.

The winter dose is an extra booster dose which is only available for the following groups, 4 months (120 days) after their last booster dose:

  • adults aged 65 and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older
  • residents of aged care or disability care settings
  • people aged 16 years and older who are severely immunocompromised.
Will everyone be able to get a winter dose?

Not yet. A winter dose is currently recommended for the following people, 4 months (120 days) after their first booster dose:

  • adults aged 65 and over
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older
  • residents of aged care or disability care settings
  • people aged 16 years and older who are severely immunocompromised.

We are awaiting advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations (ATAGI) about whether further boosters may be needed for the rest of the population. We will let the community know when we have more information.

Do I have to get a booster dose?

To be considered up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, you must have completed all the doses recommended for your age and health status.

For people aged 16 years and older, that includes a booster dose.

Find out about how to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.

From 28 March 2022, anyone working in aged or disability care will need to be up to date with vaccination to continue working.

If you are unsure about getting a booster dose, speak to your GP or another trusted health care professional to make an informed decision for your health.

Which vaccine should I get for my booster dose?

An mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is recommended for COVID-19 booster vaccinations.

Pfizer is the only vaccine approved for use as a booster vaccine in 16-17 year old people.

Novavax can be used as a booster in an individual aged 18 years and above if no other COVID-19 vaccine is considered suitable for that individual.

Can I get a booster dose that isn’t the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine?

If you had a significant adverse reaction after a previous mRNA vaccine dose (Pfizer or Moderna), like anaphylaxis or myocarditis, you should speak to your GP or treating health professional about getting a booster dose of a different vaccine.

Can I get my COVID-19 booster vaccine and other types of vaccines, like the flu vaccine, at the same time?

COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered (given on the same day) with an influenza vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines can also be co-administered with other vaccines, if required.

More information is available in the ATAGI advice on seasonal influenza vaccines in 2022 on the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Will my booster dose be recorded in the Australian Immunisation Register?

The clinic where you receive your COVID-19 booster dose will record it in the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

It hasn’t yet been 3 months since my second dose of COVID-19. Can I book a booster earlier?

No. Booster doses can only be booked by people aged 16 years and over who received their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine 3 months (90 days) ago.

If I have a booster vaccination, can I still get COVID-19?

Yes.

Boosters are recommended to ensure you maximise your protection against becoming severely unwell from COVID-19.

They do not guarantee that you will not contract the virus.

For this reason, it is still important to continue making COVID-19 Smart behaviours, even after you have been vaccinated.

Should I still get a booster dose if I've had COVID-19

Booster doses are recommended for people aged 16 years and over who have had COVID-19 in the past.

While you may have some natural immunity after being infected, the protection gained varies from person to person.

It is not yet clear how long any natural immunity might last for.

It is recommended that all people should wait for 3 months (90 days) after a confirmed COVID-19 infection before they receive their next COVID-19 vaccine dose.

In some cases, people may choose to delay vaccination for up to 4 months.

If you have questions about timing, we recommend you talk to a GP or health care provider for advice.

When can people aged 12-15 get a booster dose?

At this time, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) does not recommend that people aged 12 to 15 years need to receive a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and will continue to review international evidence on efficacy of a booster in this age group.

However they strongly recommend that people aged 5 to 15 years have the two primary doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, including those who may have previously had COVID-19. Three primary doses are recommended for those in this age group who are severely immunocompromised.

More information about this is available on the Australian Government Department of Health website.

More information

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: May 19 2022