The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
31 January 2022
Over four million additional Australians are now eligible for their COVID-19 booster dose from today, with the Australian Government shortening the interval for when a person becomes eligible for their booster from four months to three months.
This follows the recommendation from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) to provide booster doses at a minimum of three months after a person has completed their two-dose primary course of vaccination.
This will allow 4.2 million more Australians to come forward and get a booster dose sooner, providing peace of mind and further protection against serious illness.
Australia is one of the world’s first countries to be rolling out a whole-of-population COVID-19 booster program.
Almost four in five Australians (16 million people) are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine booster dose, and approximately 7.7 million Australians have received a booster in recent weeks.
The move in early January to shorten the interval from five months to four months resulted in an increase in uptake, with almost 5.3 million people having received their booster dose in the period since.
There are over 18 million vaccine doses currently in fridges ready to be used or in warehouses ready to be deployed across more than 10,000 vaccination sites including GPs, pharmacies, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services, and state and territory clinics.
ATAGI made its recommendation to reduce the interval after closely monitoring the epidemiology and characteristics of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant. It also considered the emerging data on the need, potential benefits, and optimal timing of a vaccine booster dose to prevent COVID-19 due to this variant.
Immunocompromised people who have received three primary doses of a COVID-19 vaccine will be able to receive a booster dose in line with the timing for the general population. ATAGI has also highlighted the importance of boosters for pregnant women.
The Australian Government has secured more than 151 million booster doses for delivery over the coming year and is well placed to continue to achieve world leading vaccination rates against COVID-19.