COVID-19 Third Dose (Booster) Vaccinations

Information on COVID-19 vaccine boosters.

If you are aged 16 years or over and you had your second dose 3 or more months ago, you are due for your third dose now.

Overview and eligibility

On 28 October 2021, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommended a third dose (booster) of COVID-19 vaccine.

As of 3 February 2022, you are eligible for a COVID-19 third dose if you meet the following criteria:

  • You are 16 years of age or older, and;
  • You had your second dose of your primary course of COVID-19 vaccine 3 or more months ago.

A third dose is strongly recommended, as it helps prevent waning immunity (loss of protection) against COVID-19. A third dose increases your protection against:

  • infection with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • severe disease
  • dying from COVID-19.

If you had COVID-19, you should wait for 3 months after a confirmed infection before you receive your next COVID-19 vaccine dose. The next scheduled dose should then be given as soon as possible after this period.

You can get the Pfizer or Moderna (if 16 years or above) COVID-19 vaccines for your third dose regardless of the vaccine you received for your first two doses.

ATAGI also recommends people who are severely immunocompromised receive a fourth dose of vaccine 3 months after their third primary dose. This ensures people with suppressed immunity have the same level of protection against COVID-19 as the general population.

Please note: third doses (boosters) are different from third primary doses, which are given to those who are immunosuppressed, so they can have the same level of protection as the general population.

Vaccine types for third doses

Pfizer and Moderna (50µg; 0.25mL) COVID-19 vaccines have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and recommended by ATAGI for third doses (boosters). ATAGI considers the Moderna (50µg; 0.25mL) and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to be equally acceptable as third doses for all people aged 18 years and older, including pregnant women.

You can have the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines as a third dose regardless of which vaccine you had for your first two doses.

You can also receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine if you:

  • can’t have the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for medical reasons
  • had 2 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine previously.

You can read ATAGI’s advice on the type of vaccine recommended for third doses.

About the vaccines

See information about all COVID-19 vaccines here.

Safety of COVID-19 third doses

Common, mild side effects following a third dose may be similar to the side effects following the first two doses.

See information about the Pfizer vaccine and rare side effects.

See information about the Moderna vaccine and rare side effects.

How to book

To book your third dose (booster) vaccination, you can make an appointment online or by calling the Victorian Coronavirus Booking Hotline on 1800 675 398, 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm. You can also walk in without a booking at select vaccination clinics.

Frequently asked questions

Is the Pfizer booster vaccine different to the Pfizer vaccine provided for doses 1 and 2?

The Pfizer booster vaccine is identical to the Pfizer vaccine provided for doses 1 and 2.

Is the Moderna booster vaccine different to the Moderna vaccine provided for doses 1 and 2?

The dosage of Moderna for use as a booster dose is 50µg (0.25mL), i.e. half of the recommended dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine used for the primary course.

If I had AstraZeneca for doses 1 and 2, can I receive a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine booster?

Yes.

Will I experience any side effects from the booster?

See information about the Pfizer vaccine and rare side effects.

See information about the Moderna vaccine and rare side effects.

What is the booster rollout program?

Everyone who is 16 years and older, and has had their second dose of their primary dose course of COVID-19 vaccination at least 3 months ago, is eligible for a booster vaccine.

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