Booster doses, also known as additional doses, can be given after a primary vaccination course. They protect you from getting very sick with newer variants of COVID-19.
Immunity wanes over time so your protection against the virus is low. Recharge your immunity with a booster dose.
The latest monovalent COVID-19 vaccines targeting common subvariants of the virus will be available from December 2023.
Boosters are free for all Victorians. You can get them from your GP or community pharmacy. Find one near you using the Health Direct Service Finder.
Who can get vaccinated?
Booster doses are recommended or can be considered based on your age and presence of risk factors for severe illness, if your last COVID-19 vaccine dose was 6 months ago or longer.
You may need additional booster doses based on your medical condition. At risk adults and children include those with a disability, severely compromised immune system and complex or multiple health conditions, which increase their risk of severe COVID-19. Please speak with your GP or community pharmacy.
What if you’re pregnant?
If you’re pregnant, you’re at higher risk of becoming very sick with COVID-19. If you are eligible for a booster, you can get vaccinated at any point during pregnancy.
If you’re trying to get pregnant or are breastfeeding, you can also get vaccinated.
People with individual health needs
Some children and adults have individual health needs that affect which vaccine they get and how many doses. They may also be able to get additional support to get vaccinated. These groups should speak to their GP or specialist.
They include children and adults with:
- a disability
- a severely compromised immune system
- complex or multiple health conditions.
Before your appointment
If you have any concerns about your health and getting the COVID-19 vaccine you should speak to a GP or health professional.
You should bring a face mask, appointment confirmation, and a Medicare Card or Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) number if you have them.
Tell your provider if you are allergic to any ingredients in any COVID-19 vaccine or have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or medicines in the past.
After your appointment
You will be asked to wait 15 minutes after getting a vaccine. This is to make sure you are feeling okay, and the provider can respond to any issues.
For a couple of days after a vaccine you might experience:
- pain where you had the injection
- muscle ache
These side effects are mild and a sign the vaccine is working. Speak to a GP if they become severe or are not going away after a few days.
All vaccines have a rare risk of severe side effects. Your provider will share what to watch for. If you experience these side effects, you should talk to a GP immediately.