Health Minister Mark Butler says the federal government has accepted the latest advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation on using the new monovalent COVID-19 vaccines.
The TGA recently approved the Pfizer and Moderna Omicron XBB.1.5 vaccines.
Mr Butler said that while all available COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide strong protection against serious disease, the new XBB 1.5 vaccines have been found to provide "modestly" improved protection against the strains circulating in the community.
He said the XBB 1.5 vaccines will be available along with the existing bivalent vaccines.
Pfizer’s monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccine will be available for use in eligible people aged five years and older, while the Moderna monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccine can be used for those aged 12 years and older.
Providers can order this new vaccine, with doses being delivered ready to administer from 11 December. Sites that receive their orders before this date can commence administration as soon as they receive them.
“These new vaccines will help protect Australians against current strains of COVID-19 and demonstrate the Government’s ongoing commitment to provide access to the latest and most effective vaccines," said Mr Butler.
“Vaccination reduces the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19, particularly for older adults and those who are immunocompromised.
“While we are no longer in the emergency phase of this pandemic, COVID-19 is still present, and people should continue to follow the advice of the experts from ATAGI, including getting vaccines as required.”