As part of winter preparedness, ATAGI have provided recommendations for an additional COVID-19 vaccine winter booster dose for select groups who have been identified as being at highest risk of severe COVID-19 disease. These groups include: 

  • individuals aged ≥ 65 years   
  • residents of aged care or disability care facilities  
  • individuals aged ≥ 16 years with severe immunocompromise 
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged ≥ 50 years. 

The rollout of winter booster doses will commence from April in line with the 2022 influenza vaccination program, with both vaccines able to be co-administered where appropriate. Winter booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines can be administered from ≥ 4 months since the previous booster dose/confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection (whichever is later).

mRNA vaccines (Comirnaty (Pfizer) or Spikevax (Moderna)) remain the recommended brands for use as booster doses, with Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) available for those who have a contraindication to mRNA vaccines. Nuvaxovid (Novavax) may be used in circumstances where no other vaccine brand is deemed suitable.

ATAGI suggests that there is currently insufficient evidence at this time to support a recommendation for additional boosters for other individuals. For these groups, protection from a primary course of COVID-19 vaccine followed by 1 booster dose continues to provide good protection against hospitalisation with COVID-19 disease. Further recommendations may be considered in the future as more evidence emerges.

To read the advice in full please follow the link below.  

ATAGI statement on recommendations on a winter booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine