Why is a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine recommended for some individuals?
ATAGI recommends a 3rd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as part of the primary course in individuals who are severely immunocompromised. This is to address the risk of suboptimal or non-response to the standard 2 dose schedule. The 3rd dose is intended to maximise the level of immune response to as close as possible to the general population. The recommendation applies to all individuals aged ≥12 years with certain conditions, or on therapies, leading to severe immunocompromise.
An mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is preferred to Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) for this 3rd dose. AstraZeneca can be used for the 3rd dose for individuals who have received AstraZeneca for their first 2 doses if there are no contraindications or precautions for use, or if a significant adverse reaction has occurred after a previous mRNA vaccine dose which contraindicates further doses of mRNA vaccine (e.g., anaphylaxis, myocarditis).
The recommended interval for the 3rd dose is 2 to 6 months after the 2nd dose of vaccine. A minimum interval of 4 weeks may be considered in exceptional circumstances (e.g., anticipated intensification of immunosuppression, outbreaks). People who have had a second dose more than 6 months ago should receive a 3rd dose whenever feasible.
Who should consider a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?
For comprehensive information on people with immunocompromising conditions and therapies for which a 3rd primary dose is recommended, please click here.
ATAGI statement on use of COVID-19 vaccines in an outbreak setting
Updated 13 July 2021
On 13 July 2021, the Australian Therapeutic Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) addressed the use of COVID-19 vaccines in the context of Sydney's current COVID-19 outbreak. They made the following recommendations:
ATAGI's advice remains unchanged in age groups over 60. They have reinforced that the benefits of being vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine strongly outweigh the risks of adverse side effects in the age group. Vaccination is essential for this group in the context of an outbreak.
Where access to the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine is restricted, adults younger than 60 years old should re-assess the benefits to them and their contacts from being vaccinated with AstraZeneca versus the risk of a serious side effect.
The preferred interval between AstraZeneca doses has been shortened to 4 to 8 weeks in the context of an outbreak. Therefore, if you had your first dose of AstraZeneca more than 4 weeks ago, you should book in to arrange your second dose as soon as possible. In a non-outbreak setting, the interval will remain at 12 weeks.
When the virus is spreading in the community, it is critical that as many people as possible are vaccinated as quickly as possible. As such, the benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine during an outbreak are increased compared with non-outbreak settings.
How do I book my second dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine at Bondi Doctors?
If you received Dose 1 of the AstraZeneca vaccine at Bondi Doctors, you will receive a reminder SMS message 4 weeks after your first dose to let you know that your second dose is now due.
You will have 48 hours to book your vaccine appointment after receiving your SMS invitation, before the reserved vaccine is offered to another patient.
Please see below for the latest information on the interval between dose 1 and dose 2 of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Flu vaccines - please note you cannot receive the AstraZeneca vaccine within 7 days of receiving the flu vaccine.
Can I have my second dose of AstraZeneca at Bondi Doctors if I had my first dose somewhere else?
Yes. You can get your second dose of the AZ vaccine at Bondi Doctors if you had your first dose at another location. However, you MUST bring your immunisation history with you to your second dose appointment.
You can access your immunisation history via the Medicare Express App or through MyGov.
When should I receive Dose 2 of the AstraZeneca vaccine?
On Tuesday 13 July 2021, ATAGI released updated recommendations on the interval between AstraZeneca doses in an outbreak setting. You can now receive your second dose anywhere between 4 to 8 weeks after your first.
BEFORE YOU PROCEED
Before you proceed with booking your second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, it is important that you are aware of the following important information:
If you have received the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, you cannot elect to receive the Pfizer vaccine for your second dose, except in very limited circumstances which include: incidence of anaphylaxis to your first dose of AstraZeneca, or history of one of the contraindications to AstraZeneca.