More Tasmanians eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose

10 Jun 2022

Young Tasmanians most at risk of severe illness from COVID-19 will be able to receive a booster vaccine from Tuesday 14 June, following new advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

Booster doses will be made available to young people aged 12 to 15 years who are severely immunocompromised, have a disability with complex health needs, or have complex health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID illness.

Eligible people will be able to get a Pfizer vaccine as a booster from three months after their primary course of vaccination.

There are approximately 2,500 Tasmanians in this age group who will become eligible for a booster following this announcement.

ATAGI does not currently recommend a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine be given to all adolescents aged 12 to 15 years.

As I’ve said many times, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family against severe COVID-19 illness is to make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations.

Therefore, I also want to remind eligible Tasmanians aged 16 years and older to get their booster if they haven’t already and, if eligible, their second booster – or “winter dose”.

More than 71 per cent of Tasmanians aged 16 years and older have had a booster, but this still leaves more than 120,000 people yet to have one, including 30,000 people over the age of 50 who are statistically more vulnerable to severe illness.

And while it is pleasing to see that more than 50,000 of the most vulnerable Tasmanians have now had a “winter dose”, this still leaves around 100,000 people who qualify but haven’t yet had one.

People eligible for a “winter dose” include people aged 65+, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50+, residents of an aged care and disability care facility, or people who are aged 16 years and older and have an eligible medical condition, live with a disability, or have complex health needs that increase the risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19.

Boosters are available from more than 100 GPs and 100 pharmacies across Tasmania, as well as our ongoing state-run vaccination clinics.

COVID-19 is still active in the community with more than 600 cases a day on average, and we know that unvaccinated people are three times more likely to die from COVID-19 than those that have received two or more doses.

Additionally, with influenza cases on the rise across Tasmania, I want to encourage all Tasmanians to make the most of influenza vaccines being freely available to all at participating GPs and pharmacies until 6 July 2022.

Influenza vaccines are recommended for all individuals aged 6 months and older and can be given at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine.

To find out more or to book a vaccination appointment, visit www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/vaccine or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.