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27 Nov

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Vaccine News

All Australians over five years of age will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccines are not ‘live’ which means they do not carry any active part of the virus. We believe it will be an important vaccine for our patients to have. Below we have provided links to resources from the Australian Government, Department of Health, and Medicine/Vaccine advisory boards. We will endeavour to update our website regularly to reflect the most up to date information. Your GP will be helpful in providing advice regarding the vaccine.

COVID-19 2023 booster dose recommendations

ATAGI has updated its recommendations for a second 2023 booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, the goal of the vaccine program remains the prevention of severe illness from COVID-19.  The updated recommendations are:

A second 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose, is recommended for all adults aged ≥75 years if 6 months have passed since their last dose. 

A second 2023 dose can be considered for adults aged 65 -<75 years and for those with severe immunocompromise. Within these groups, the second 2023 dose would be of most benefit to those who have no known history of SARS-CoV-2 infection (therefore unlikely to have hybrid immunity), who are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 due to multiple complex comorbidities, or who reside in a residential aged care facility.

People who become eligible for 2023 doses should continue to receive these doses until updated advice becomes available in early 2024.

A person may be vaccinated earlier than the recommended 6-month interval in exceptional circumstances, such as before starting immunosuppressant therapy, before overseas travel or if someone cannot reschedule vaccination easily (such as in an outreach vaccination program).

Omicron XBB.1.5-based vaccines are preferred for both primary course and further doses. Adults may receive Comirnaty Omicron XBB.1.5 ≥12 years formulation (dark grey cap) and Spikevax Omicron XBB.1.5. Comirnaty bivalent Original/Omicron BA.4/5, Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron BA.4/5, Comirnaty bivalent Original/Omicron BA.1 and Nuvaxovid can also be used for primary or further doses but is not preferred. 

To assess your eligibility please discuss with your GP or specialist. Click on this link for further information

Information resources

Australian Government Department of Health

The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) have created a video explaining how the COVID-19 vaccines were developed quickly and safely.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provides information on the risk of clotting conditions in relation to COVID-19 vaccines.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group for Immunisations (ATAGI) provides information on the risk of clotting conditions in people with a history of clots, in relation to the COVID-19 vaccines.

Watch a video of Professor Michelle Giles, an Infectious Diseases physician and immunisation expert, discussing COVID-19 vaccinations and fertility.


Am I at greater risk of getting the coronavirus infection?
There is now some information from the UK and elsewhere saying that people without a functioning spleen may have a slightly increased risk of getting COVID-19. The reason why you had your spleen removed and any ongoing medical treatments would add to this risk. Additionally, if you get a viral infection you may get a secondary bacterial infection (e.g. pneumonia).

All patients registered with Spleen Australia are recommended to have COVID vaccines (any type), as per ATAGI guidelines, to provide effective protection from the virus.

Who should I contact if I have symptoms and/or have COVID?
If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, immediately get tested (PCR or RAT) and isolate until you get your result. If your symptoms are of concern, contact your GP. If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, call 000 for urgent medical help.  

When should I take my emergency supply of antibiotics?
Do not take your emergency antibiotics if you have symptoms of a viral infection. Get your symptoms assessed ASAP by your GP (eg. telehealth appointment) to determine if your symptoms are COVID related or a bacterial infection (or both). If the doctor feels your symptoms are due to a bacterial infection you will probably be prescribed a course of antibiotics. If you cannot get to see a doctor promptly (within a few hours) and feel very unwell, take your emergency supply of antibiotics. When you do get to see a doctor tell them what you have taken.

Last updated 27/11/2023

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