Second bivalent vaccine added to COVID booster options

12 December 2022

A number of general practices in South Eastern NSW, along with other vaccination providers, will have a second bivalent vaccine available from today for those needing a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Pfizer bivalent vaccine is similar to the Moderna bivalent vaccine, it targets two different strains of the COVID-19 virus: the original 2020 strain and the Omicron variant BA.1.

A booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be given at least 3 months after a person’s most recent COVID-19 vaccine dose or previous COVID-19 infection. The Pfizer bivalent vaccine is only available as a booster dose for people aged 18 years and older.

Dr Mitchell Purser, a General Practitioner at Junction Street Family Practice said: “Ensuring you have received all the recommended COVID vaccinations, including third and fourth boosters if you are eligible, is the best way to protect yourself from severe illness, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19. Many studies also indicate that vaccination helps reduce symptoms of long COVID.”

“Many of us will be seeing family and friends over the holiday season. We know that vaccination helps to prevent spread of COVID-19 infection and this protects our loved ones and vulnerable people. We need to act now to ensure that as many people as possible receive their booster doses to reduce an increase in daily case numbers and the potential risks of long COVID,” said Dr Purser.

“Vaccination, mask wearing, physical distancing and considering whether to attend crowded events are precautions worth considering at this time,” he said.

“Reinfection may now become a feature of the pandemic for at least the next 12 to 36 months, raising the risk of long COVID with each repeat infection,” Dr Purser said.

A recently published US study concludes the risk of long COVID increases with the number of reinfections, but vaccination consistently reduces the risk of long COVID as well as severe disease, hospitalisation, intensive care and death.

  • ATAGI’s statement on the use of the Pfizer bivalent vaccine here.
  • To book a COVID booster dose view the Vaccine Clinic Finder here.
  • The COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine for children aged 6 months to 4 years also available for at-risk population groups. ATAGI's statement on the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine is available here.

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