Third dose of COVID-19 vaccines for people who are severely immunocompromised

14 Oct 2021

ATAGI has recommended a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine as part of the primary course in individuals who are severely immunocompromised.

The third primary dose is intended to address suboptimal or non-response to the standard two-dose schedule in individuals aged 12 and over who are severely immunocompromised. The third dose aims to maximise the level of immune response in these individuals to as close as possible to the general population.

The recommended interval for the third dose between 2 to 6 months after the second dose of the vaccine. A minimum interval of 4 weeks may be considered in exceptional circumstances (e.g. outbreaks, anticipated intensification of immunosuppression).

The recommendations, including who is eligible for the third dose, are available here.

The AMA understands that further announcements about planned booster doses for doctors and other health care workers, as well as the general population, will be made in the coming weeks as more evidence emerges on changes to immune response over time. In relation to the roll out of any booster program, the AMA has made it clear that the Government will need to revisit funding arrangements as the current second and subsequent MBS vaccine assessment items are not fit for purpose.