The 2023 COVID-19 booster dose is available for everyone aged 18 and above.
Getting your booster dose remains the best way to prevent severe illness or hospitalisation, especially in people over 65 and those at higher risk of severe illness. The new bivalent vaccines are preferred for booster doses.
You can have your booster dose 6 months after your last dose or COVID infection.
Children aged between 5 and 17 years who are at risk of severe illness can also receive a 2023 booster dose.
Get your next dose at your local pharmacy or GP. Find one near you using the Vaccine Clinic .
Book a booster
Booster doses are additional doses after a primary vaccination course (2 doses). They protect you from getting very sick with newer variants of COVID-19.
Most Victorians had their last COVID vaccination more than 6 months ago. Immunity wanes over time so your protection against the virus is low. Recharge your immunity with a booster dose and protect yourself before winter.
Boosters should be taken 6 months following the previous dose or 6 months after your last COVID infection.
If you are eligible and aged 12 years and older, you can choose the bivalent vaccine as your booster, which targets both the original COVID-19 strain and the omicron variant. Bivalent vaccines are preferred for booster doses.
Boosters are free for all Victorians. You can get them from your local pharmacy or GP. Find one near you using the Vaccine Clinic Finder.
Who can get vaccinated?
Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends 2 doses as a primary course for:
- everyone aged 5 years and above
- at risk children aged between 6 months and 5 years.
2023 booster dose
The 2023 booster dose is available for:
- everyone aged 18 and above
- at risk children aged between 5 and 17 years.
The 2023 booster dose is particularly recommended for people at higher risk of severe illness, including:
- everyone aged 65 and above
- everyone aged 18 and above who are at risk.
At risk adults and children include those with a disability, severely compromised immune system and complex or multiple health conditions, which increase their risk of severe COVID-19.
You may need additional doses based on your medical condition. Please speak with your healthcare professional.
People who are pregnant
Pregnant people are at higher risk of becoming very sick with COVID-19 and can get vaccinated at any point during pregnancy.
People trying to get pregnant or are breastfeeding can also get vaccinated.
People with individual health needs
Some children and adults have individual health needs that affect which vaccine they get and how many doses. They may also be able to get additional support to get vaccinated. These groups should speak to their GP or specialist.
They include children and adults with:
- a disability
- a severely compromised immune system
- complex or multiple health conditions.
For more information about getting vaccinated for these groups, see Additional vaccination information for specific groups.
Which vaccine can you get?
For your primary course:
- if aged between 6 months and 5 years, you can choose the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine
- if aged between 5 and 11 years, you can receive the Pfizer vaccine
- if aged between 12 and 17 years, you can choose the Pfizer or Novavax vaccine
- if aged 18 years and older, you can choose the Pfizer or Novavax vaccine.
For booster doses, if you are eligible:
- children aged between 5 and 11 years can receive the Pfizer vaccine
- children aged between 12 and 17 years can choose the Pfizer or Novavax vaccine
- adults aged 18 years and older can choose the Pfizer, Pfizer bivalent, Moderna bivalent or Novavax vaccine.
All vaccines are approved for use in Australia and continue to provide very strong protection against serious illness from COVID-19. Omicron-specific bivalent vaccines are preferred for boosters.
Before your appointment
If you have any concerns about your health and getting the COVID-19 vaccine you can:
- speak to a GP or health professional
- call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080.
You should bring a face mask, appointment confirmation, and a Medicare Card or Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) number if you have them.
Tell your provider if you are allergic to any ingredients in any COVID-19 vaccine or have had a severe allergic reaction to other vaccines or medicines in the past.
For more information about the different vaccines and how they work, see About COVID-19 vaccines.
After your appointment
You will be asked to wait 15 minutes after getting a vaccine. This is to make sure you are feeling okay, and the provider can respond to any issues.
For a couple of days after a vaccine you might experience:
- pain where you had the injection
- muscle ache
These side effects are mild and a sign the vaccine is working. Speak to a GP if they become severe or are not going away after a few days.
All vaccines have a rare risk of severe side effects. Your provider will share what to watch for. If you experience these side effects, you should talk to a GP immediately.
For more information about vaccine side effects, see About COVID-19 vaccines.
Reviewed 24 March 2023