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WINTER PREPAREDNESS

       ATAGI Advice on Winter Dose of COVID-19 vaccine

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine for winter for selected population groups (see attached summary and poster) who are at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and who have received their primary vaccination and first booster dose. These groups include:

  • Adults aged 65 years and older

  • Residents of aged care or disability care facilities

  • People aged 16 years and older with severe immunocompromise (as defined in the 11th February 2022 ATAGI statement on the use of a 3rd primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine in individuals who are severely immunocompromised)

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and older

  • The Australian Government has accepted this advice and will include the winter dose for

  • recommended people in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program from 4 April 2022. The additional winter COVID-19 vaccine dose can be:

  • given from 4 months or longer after receipt of a previous booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine OR

  • given from 4 months after a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection if this has occurred since the previous booster

  • In special circumstances, individuals may be able to receive their winter dose at a shorter interval, for example, in vaccination in-reach programs to aged care, disability care or remote communities, where some flexibility of the minimum interval may help vaccinate a larger proportion of individuals

  • Covid -19 vaccine can be co-administered with influenza vaccine. However, it is important not to delay the influenza vaccine if an individual is not yet eligible for a second booster COVID-19 vaccine dose

  • Comirnaty (Pfizer) or Spikevax (Moderna) are the preferred vaccines for this winter dose. Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) can be used when an mRNA vaccine is contraindicated or a patient declines vaccination with an mRNA vaccine. Nuvaxovid (Novavax) can be used as a booster if no other COVID-19 vaccine is considered suitable for that individual.

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