Extra winter boosts for Covid-19

AMA Queensland welcomes ATAGI’s recommendation for a fourth ‘winter’ COVID-19 vaccine dose for vulnerable groups and urged anyone not yet boosted to get their third dose as COVID cases rise.

AMA Queensland President, Professor Chris Perry, said a booster shot not only helps reduce your symptoms of COVID-19 but also provides greater protection against variants.

“Like other vaccines including the flu shot and whooping cough/pertussis, it has been shown COVID-19 vaccines lose their effectiveness over time,” Prof Perry said.

“It’s very common in vaccinations to need more than one shot to build strong immunity as the protection can wear off over time and viruses change and mutate.

“Similar to how we have the flu shot every year, we need to be comfortable with receiving booster doses for COVID-19 and we’ll continue to get updated advice on this from ATAGI.”

Queensland data shows booster rates are as low as 40 per cent among some younger cohorts which is a major concern given the rising COVID cases in the state.

AMA Queensland Committee of General Practice Chair, Dr Maria Boulton, urged Queenslanders to book in for their booster shot as soon as possible with vaccines widely available.

“As COVID-19 cases continue to rise throughout the community, we’re encouraging everyone who is eligible to come in and get their booster shot if they haven’t already done so,” Dr Boulton said.

“Right now, GPs are also preparing to provide annual flu shots and we want to ensure everyone is up to date with their vaccines before the winter months close in.

“It’s also vital that parents get their children vaccinated given the outbreaks we are seeing at schools.”

Yesterday, Queensland recorded 11,018 new cases and this number is on the rise with many families isolating due to COVID-19.

If you have COVID-19, most people can end isolation seven full days after testing positive, if symptoms have ceased.