Everything you need to know about the booster jab - Institute for Respiratory Health

Everything you need to know about the booster jab

Friday, October 29, 2021 | News

As of mid-October, all Australians who have a severely weakened immune system may have a booster jab. This includes those affected by a lung disease, or being actively treated for cancer or organ failure.

  • For those who fall into this category they are encouraged to reach out to their GP or specialist to discuss whether a booster jab is required.
  • As of 27 October, Australia‚Äôs medicines regulator has provisionally approved Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots for 18 years and older, however those in disability and aged care will be prioritised. The rollout will begin on 8 November.
  • People will be eligible for a booster shot at least six months after their second shot.
  • Only Pfizer has been approved and AstraZeneca will not be used for booster shots.
  • Mixing and matching is possible, so for example you can have two AstraZenecas and then a Pfizer, or even one AstraZeneca and a Pfizer, this will provide a good immune response.
  • Why do we need boosters? As the virus spreads and evolves into new variants, some of the vaccines may lose their efficacy. Antibodies may decrease in your system over time and therefore the chances of getting infected increases. Booster shots can help to bolster immunity.
  • Will I need another booster shot after this one? This remains to be seen, researchers are still monitoring the situation in countries where booster jabs have already been rolled out.

What does this mean for people with a lung condition?

Many people with a lung condition will fall into the priority groups for the booster vaccine, including people with:

  • Poorly controlled asthma
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and bronchiectasis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Interstitial lung fibrosis
  • Pneumoconiosis
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)

If you’re unsure about your situation please speak to your GP or specialist.