Australia’s first combination COVID-19 booster has been released today according to the Department of Health and Aged Care.
The newly released vaccine, Spikevax Bivalent Omicron, is made by American pharmaceutical company Moderna and is available to anyone over the age of 18 in Australia. Unless it is being administered as a person’s primary dose, or it’s one of the first three doses a person who is severely immunocompromised receives.
Like previous boosters, it’s not recommended to receive the Spikevax Bivalent Omicron less than three months after your last COVID-19 vaccine. However, it is said to be safe for the vaccine to be administered at the same time as non-COVID vaccines.
Associate professor and infectious disease physician at the University of Queensland, Paul Griffin, strongly recommends that anyone who can get the newest vaccine, definitely should.
“I would certainly encourage everyone who’s not completely up to date and not had their four doses – if that’s what they are eligible for – if you haven’t had that now, it’d be a great time to go and get your booster,” Professor Griffin said.
While trials have found that the possible negative effects of the Spikevax Bivalent Omicron vaccine are similar to those of previous vaccines, with some people experiencing pain at the injection site, fatigue, headaches and muscle aches.
The new Moderna vaccine is the first combination vaccine of its kind in Australia, with combination vaccines having already been rolled out in other parts of the world such as Switzerland, United States of America and the United Kingdom.
The chemical combination of the vaccine is equal parts original SARS-CoV-2 virus and Omicron BA. 1 variant.
This new vaccine comes after it was announced that on 14 October the mandatory five day isolation period, after testing positive to COVID-19, would be lifted Australia wide.
To find out where the new boosters are available, you can use the health department’s clinic finder.
PHOTO: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (2020) by U.S. Secretary of Defense is available HERE. The image has not been modified and is used under a Creative Commons License