Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine

Anyone aged 5 years and over can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccination is also recommended for children aged 6 months to 4 years for those most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

You should stay up to date with all vaccinations recommended for your age or individual health needs for the best protection against serious illness or death from COVID-19. Boosters are important to maintain this protection.

Book your vaccine

If you've tested positive for COVID-19, it's recommended you get your next vaccination 3 months after the date of your infection.

Children aged 6 months to 4 years

ATAGI recommends the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to 4 years who are severely immunocompromised, or have disability, as well as those who have complex or multiple health conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19.

This includes children with the following or similar conditions:

  • Severe immunodeficiency, including those undergoing treatment with medicines that supress the immune system (eg for cancer)
  • Bone marrow or stem cell transplant, or chimeric antigen T-cell (CAR-T) therapy
  • Complex congenital cardiac disease
  • Structural airway anomalies or chronic lung disease
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus
  • Chronic neurological or neuromuscular conditions
  • A disability that requires frequent assistance with activities of daily living, such as severe cerebral palsy or Down syndrome (Trisomy 21).

It is important that your child gets 2 doses of the vaccine, 8 weeks apart for the best protection against COVID-19. Children with severe immunocompromise will need three doses.

A parent or legal guardian must provide consent for the child to be vaccinated at the appointment.

For more information visit the Australian Government's Department of Health website.

Children aged 5 to 11 years

ATAGI recommends the COVID-19 vaccine for all children aged 5 to 11 years.

It is important that your child gets 2 doses of the vaccine, 8 weeks apart to ensure the best protection against COVID-19. Children with severe immunocompromise need 3 doses.

A parent or legal guardian must provide consent for the child to be vaccinated at the appointment.

Third dose (booster)

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and recommended by ATAGI as a third COVID-19 dose.

A third dose is not recommended for children under 12 years.

12-17 years old

The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine recommended as a third dose for:

  • 12 to 15 year olds who:
    • are severely immunocompromised or
    • have a disability with significant or complex health needs or
    • have severe, complex, or multiple health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19.
  • 16 or 17 year olds.

18 years and over

People aged 18 years and over can have the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as a third dose regardless of which vaccine you had for your first 2 doses.

The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine can only be used as a third dose for people aged 18 years and over if no other COVID-19 vaccine is considered suitable.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is not recommended as a third dose unless you:

  • can’t have the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for medical reasons or
  • decline to have an mRNA vaccine as a booster dose.

Fourth dose

A fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is available to anyone over the age of 30 who is up to date with their vaccinations. You can book to get your fourth dose 3 months after your last vaccination.

A fourth dose is also available to anyone aged 16 years and over who has either a:

  • medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness
  • disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities which increases the risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19.

Territorians who are unsure if they are eligible to receive a fourth dose should speak with their GP or pharmacist.

Find out more on the Australian Government's Health website.

What vaccine is given for a fourth dose

Pfizer or Moderna are the preferred vaccines for the fourth dose.

AstraZeneca can be used when an mRNA vaccine is contraindicated or a person declines vaccination with a mRNA vaccine.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women

The COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women and those planning a pregnancy.

Women can receive the vaccine at any stage of pregnancy.

The risk of serious, negative outcomes from COVID-19 is higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby.

Pregnant women who get COVID-19 have a higher risk of needing to go to hospital or needing intensive care.

Their unborn baby will have a slightly higher chance of being born prematurely (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and requiring hospital care.

Vaccination is the best way to reduce these risks. Make sure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations for the best protection.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice if you have any questions about getting the vaccine.

For more information, go to the Australian Government's Department of Health website.

Immunocompromised people

People who are severely immunocompromised need three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine to complete their primary course.

The 3 dose primary series is necessary to protect severely immunocompromised individuals against COVID-19 infection.

An initial booster dose is recommended three months after completing their 3 dose primary course.

An additional booster dose is recommended 3 months or longer after receiving their first booster dose.

Anyone who believes they have an immunocompromising condition should seek advice from their medical practitioner.

Last updated: 02 September 2022

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Last updated: 02 September 2022