To provide even greater protection against COVID-19, Australians aged 18 and over who have received two doses at least six months ago, are now eligible to have a booster shot.

Vaccines will be available for eligible people from November 8, following advice from Australia’s vaccine experts; the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and approval from Australia’s medicines regulator; the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program is now one of the most successful in the world – with more than 75 per cent of Australians aged 16 and over being fully vaccinated.

The Government has accepted ATAGI’s advice that the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine is recommended for the booster dose, irrespective of the primary COVID-19 vaccine used.

The booster shot is not mandatory, however it provides further protection against the worst effects of COVID-19.

Those first eligible for a booster, based on when they completed their two-dose course, will be people in high priority groups who were prioritised early in the roll out of the vaccine program.

This includes Australians aged 50 and over, residents of aged care and disability facilities, people with underlying medical conditions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, and people at increased occupational risk of COVID-19.

The booster program will roll out directly to people living in Residential Aged Care Facilities and people with a disability through an in-reach program.

Frontline workers are strongly encouraged to book in to get a booster dose, if six months has passed since their second dose.

The Australian Government will consider the possibility of other vaccines being used for booster shots if successful applications are submitted to the TGA, and pending advice from ATAGI.

The Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots are free and will be available through the primary healthcare network (GPs, community pharmacies, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, and Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics) and state and territory vaccination hubs.

Australians will be able to book and receive their booster doses from 8 November 2021.

Although vaccines are the best defence against COVID-19, Australians are reminded to continue implementing other safety measures to reduce their risk of contracting the virus. Physical distancing, hand washing, wearing a face mask, and following other public health measures continue to be important for public safety.

For more details about the Australian Government’s vaccine roll out, visit aus.gov.au

The ATAGI advice is available on the Department of Health website at health.gov.au