Government expands access to COVID-19 vaccine booster dose

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More Australian adolescents are now eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose with health minister Mark Butler accepting advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

Mr Butler said people aged 12 to 15 who are at most at risk of severe disease are now recommended to receive a booster vaccination.

ATAGI recommended that a booster dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine (Comirnaty) be made available to the around 120,000 children in this age group who are most at risk of severe disease.

To be eligible for a booster dose, the children must have completed a primary course of vaccination 3 or more months ago, and meet one or more criteria - be severely immunocompromised, have a disability with significant or complex health needs or have complex and/or multiple health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19.

Mr Butler said ATAGI is not currently recommending a booster dose for all adolescents aged 12-15 years. He said ATAGI is also recommending that all Australians receive an influenza vaccine as soon as possible.

“I welcome ATAGI’s advice to make boosters available to around 120,000 vulnerable young Australians who have significant health conditions," he said.

“These shots will be available from Tuesday 14 June, and I encourage all those eligible for these boosters to book in.

“ATAGI has recommended all Australians receive an influenza vaccine as soon as possible, because after a few flu seasons with low transmission rates, there is a chance this season could be a difficult one.

“Protect yourself and your family this winter by getting boosted and vaccinated for COVID and influenza."