On 20 November, ATAGI released new recommendations for the use of monovalent XBB.1.5 COVID-19 vaccines for primary vaccination and boosters, in those aged 5 and older.

The monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccines target currently circulating Omicron subvariants. This differs to the bivalent COVID-19 vaccines which offer protection against both earlier Omicron subvariants and the original strain of COVID-19.

All currently available COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection against severe disease. Monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccines show a modest increase in protection and are therefore considered the preferred option.

People who have not received their recommended 2023 dose(s) are encouraged to be vaccinated as soon as possible. Those who have already received their 2023 dose(s) do not need revaccination with a monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccine.

The monovalent Omicron XBB.1.5 vaccines available for use in Australia are:

  • Pfizer (5 to < 12 years – light blue cap)
  • Pfizer (≥ 12 years – dark grey cap)
  • Moderna (≥ 12 years)

Eligible children under 5 years can continue to receive an age-appropriate original strain vaccines (Pfzier – maroon cap).

ATAGI statement