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.
Patients aged 12 years and over who hold a valid Medicare card are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
Non Medicare card holders
If you don't have Medicare, you can still access the COVID-19 vaccine free of charge. Non Medicare card holders are required to access the vaccine at a public vaccination site. The closest alternative is the Bondi Junction Respiratory clinic.
Where else can I access the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine?
You can access the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a range of locations including those listed below.
St Vincent’s Hospital COVID-19 Vaccination Centre
RPA COVID-19 Vaccination Centre
Royal North Shore Hospital COVID-19 Vaccination Centre