New COVID booster will protect you, your family and your friends


People eligible for a COVID vaccine booster are being urged to take advantage of the new vaccines now available. 

The latest XXB 1.5 vaccines provide better protection against the COVID-19 strains of the virus now in the community. 

Bass Coast Health CEO Jan Child said with the summer holidays approaching, now is the perfect time for people to update their vaccination status to give the best chance of staying safe during the holiday season. 

“We have been seeing many more cases of COVID in the health service from our community and illness can be severe and long-lasting, particularly among people who are elderly or who have compromised immune systems,” she said. 

“Maintaining a current vaccination status, with the latest vaccination available, gives you and others the best protection against COVID-19.” 

Eligible people are advised to have a booster if it’s been six months or more since their last vaccination or COVID-19 infection. 

For people with risk factors, such as a compromised immune system, a booster is recommended if they’re aged 75 and over, and should be considered if they’re aged 18-74 years. 

For people without risk factors, a booster is recommended if they’re aged 75 and over, and should be considered if they’re aged 65-74 years. 

To receive the best protection against serious illness or death from COVID-19, eligible people should receive all recommended doses appropriate for their age or individual health needs. Vaccinations are available from select Pharmacists and from some GP’s.

People can also reduce their risk of inadvertently spreading COVID-19 by following public health measures such as staying home when unwell and symptomatic; avoiding crowded indoor spaces; wearing a properly-fitting mask; covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze; disposing of tissues carefully; regularly washing and sanitising your hands; and cleaning surfaces that are commonly touched by people. 

“We also encourage people with respiratory symptoms to take a Rapid Antigen Test to detect COVID so that the virus can be detected early,” Ms Child said. 

“The earlier COVID is detected, the less likely it is that COVID will spread and the sooner eligible people can access antiviral treatment that is effective in reducing the severity of disease. Rapid Antigen Tests can be obtained from council service centres.”