National COVID-19 Update: Booster recommendations and disability resources
What you need to know
- Any adult is eligible for a COVID-19 booster, which can be received at the same time as influenza vaccine.
- Vaccination protection from serious COVID-19 illness has significantly dropped, increasing risks for everyone from future COVID-19 waves.
- All COVID-19 booster vaccines offer protection from serious illness; however, bivalents are preferred.
- Providers in disability environments should consider changes to their risk management strategies ready for cooler weather indoor activities and the impact of other respiratory infections in the community.
Recharging COVID-19 protection
Disability providers are to communicate the revised COVID-19 booster information with workers, people with disabilities and their families or carers.
To recharge COVID-19 protection in 2023, all workers and people with disabilities are advised to check their eligibility for a booster vaccination.
A booster is any additional vaccination given on top of a primary COVID-19 vaccination.
Keeping track of the number of boosters received is not required anymore to work out eligibility, because new timing recommendations apply instead.
The 2023 COVID-19 booster vaccination is available to:
- adults aged 18 years and older
- children aged five to 17 years who have additional risk factors, including disability or health conditions that put them at risk of severe illness, and it has been six months or more since their last COVID-19 vaccination or infection
- The 2023 booster dose is not available for children of any age up to 18 years who do not meet the additional risk factors identified.
Why a booster recharge is needed
COVID-19 vaccination protection diminishes over time and a regular booster is advised by health authorities. Like other vaccinations, such as influenza, this is needed each year to maintain protection from serious illness.
Anyone who has not had their primary COVID-19 vaccination is recommended to arrange an appointment with a health practitioner or pharmacy as soon as possible.
Vaccination options and booking an appointment
The best vaccine is the one you can access when needed, unless medical contraindicators exist.
All currently available COVID-19 vaccines provide benefit as a booster dose.
The bivalent mRNA booster vaccines Pfizer and Moderna are preferred if available.
A COVID-19 vaccine can be administered at the same time as influenza or other vaccines.
Vaccination providers can be identified by location through Australian Government Healthdirect clinic finder; or contact your local General Practice or pharmacy for appointments.
In home or residential accommodation vaccination support
Disability in-home COVID-19 vaccination requirements should be discussed with local health services, Primary Health Networks, general practices or community pharmacies.
Risk management for cooler weather
Additional risk management actions, such as mask wearing, social distancing and attention to increased ventilation, are recommended as cooler weather begins and more activities are carried out indoors. Additional risk management actions will also be needed should COVID-19 cases begin to rise with a new wave.
Resources: NDS COVID-19 Hub update
The updated 2023 toolkit covers a range of COVID-19 risk management needs. Commonwealth, state and territory weblinks are included for quick reference access.
Risk management sections include:
- COVIDSafe Plans
- Workers and COVID-19 vaccination
- Rapid Antigen Test guide
- Infection and prevention control
- Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Environmental cleaning and waste guide
- Commonwealth state, and territory governments COVID-19 resources
- Workforce infection control training
- Information and support for people with disability
National COVID-19: Cooler Month Planning webinar
A sector review of risk management for COVID-19 and other respiratory infections throughout the cooler months.
Date: Monday 17 April
Time: 1:00 to 2:00pm (AEST)
For any enquiries, please contact Heather McMinn, Disability Sector Consultant, submit enquiry/feedback, show phone number
NDS Workforce Census
The 2023 Workforce Census is now open. This unique survey data will inform NDS advocacy for more effective disability workforce policies. Complete the 2023 Workforce Census survey by Thursday 6 April.