Many Australians are now wondering when you can get a booster shot after contracting the virus.
Here is what we know about the booster shot.
How long after COVID-19 can I get a booster?
There is no official requirement to delay a booster shot after having COVID-19.
However, the recommendation from the vaccination advisory body ATAGI is that you wait until any acute symptoms of your illness are gone.
That means any active symptoms like a runny nose or fever.
You can book an appointment as soon as you feel well, and it doesn’t matter whether you get Pfizer or Moderna.
Why do I need a booster shot?
Two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine provide a very good level of protection against serious illness caused by the virus, however this can be boosted even more with a third shot.
“A booster dose will make sure the protection from the first two doses is even stronger and longer-lasting, and should help prevent spread of the virus,” the Australian Government said.
Basically, the booster shot means you’re more protected against severe disease from COVID-19 or dying from the virus.
Who is eligible for a booster?
You can currently get a booster shot four months after your second vaccine dose.
From January 31, this interval will be changed again to just three months between the second vaccine dose and booster shot.
Doctors and pharmacies will have their booster intervals brought forward from the end of the month, in line with Federal Government guidelines.
The website will show you all the availabilities at pharmacies, GPs and state-run clinics.
All you need to do is select one and book in.
Does it matter which booster brand I get?
You can have the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine as a booster dose regardless of which vaccine you had for your first two doses.
There isn’t any advice suggesting that either vaccine brand is better than the other.
Health authorities simply recommend you get a booster and either brand will bump up your immunity to COVID-19.
No, but they’re strongly recommended by health authorities.
However, in some states, a third shot is mandatory for essential workers like health care and disability workers.
Should I have a booster if I’m pregnant?
ATAGI recommends if you are pregnant and have had two doses, you should receive a booster dose four months after your second dose.
What are the side effects?
Common and mild side effects similar to those of the first two doses can occur for the booster shot.
This includes pain at the injection site, tiredness, headaches, muscle or joint pain, or fever and chills.
The Federal Government said there is limited evidence of serious side effects “such as myocarditis and pericarditis following a Pfizer and Moderna booster dose”.