Oct 28, 2021

Is it OK to mix vaccines for your booster shot – and when do you need one?

Elderly woman booster shot

Victorian aged care residents have already started to get their booster shots, after the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommended them as a high-priority group.

Aged care residents and people with disabilities will be prioritised in the booster rollout. 

Frontline workers at increased risk of catching the virus, including healthcare staff, have also been recommended for the third jab.

All booster shots will be Pfizer, regardless of the person’s original vaccines.

Most aged care residents received the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, while the majority of aged care workers received AstraZeneca. 

Infectious diseases expert Professor Robert Booy said having the Pfizer vaccine after two doses of AstraZeneca is “perfectly safe” and “very effective”.

Professor Booy said anyone who received their second dose more than six months ago can get their booster shot.

“If you’ve completed your second dose more than six months ago you’re going to be in line before Christmas to get the booster,” he said. 

Professor Booy believes booster jabs should be compulsory for aged care workers.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said there are enough vaccines in Australia to vaccinate everybody as their six-month milestone passes.

ATAGI has promised to review recommending Pfizer boosters for the broader adult population in January 2022.

The group will also make a recommendation on the Moderna vaccine “in due course”, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald. However, Moderna has not applied for its vaccine to be used as a booster.

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