New Omicron specific Covid booster now available for Aussies

Aussie adults can now access greater protection from Covid-19 after isolation mandates were scrapped across the country.

From October 14, people who test positive for Covid-19 will no longer be subject to a five-day stay-at-home order following a decision by national cabinet last month.

But the country's booster program continues to roll on, with a new addition being added to the program for adults who have yet to get a third of fourth dose.

From today, Australians over 18 who have not received a booster shot can opt for an Omicron-specific version of the Moderna vaccine.

A new Omicron-specific booster is available for Aussie adults from today. Source: Getty
A new Omicron-specific booster is available for Aussie adults from today. Source: Getty

According to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), the new Moderna jab offers a small incremental benefit over the original vaccine when it comes to Omicron neutralisation.

It's the first combination Covid booster in Australia's vaccine program, which combines the original strain of the virus with the Omicron subvariant.

"The Moderna bivalent vaccine generates a modestly higher level of antibody response against multiple SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariants (approximately 1.6-1.9 times) including BA.1 and BA.4/BA.5, and a similar antibody response against the original virus, compared with the Moderna original booster vaccine," ATAGI said in a September statement.

The mRNA vaccine has a very similar safety profile to the original Moderna vaccine but also includes genetic blueprints for the Omicron BA.1 subvariant spike to better help defend against the variant which was widely prevalent in Australia during the time the vaccine was being developed.

Various combination boosters have also been rolled out in the US, the UK, Switzerland, Canada and the EU.

Where can I get the new Omicron specific booster?

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Aged Care confirmed the availability of the new booster shot.

"The Moderna bivalent vaccine will be integrated into the existing Covid-19 booster program and all sites participating in the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out program will have access to this vaccine in coming weeks," they said.

You can use the federal health department's clinic finder to see where the new boosters are available in your area.

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