Where can I book my fourth-dose COVID-19 vaccine? Here’s what you need to know about getting your winter booster
As of next Monday, Australians aged 30 and older will be eligible for a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Yesterday, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunization (ATAGI) specifically recommended the shot for people over 50and said people aged 30 to 49 could choose to have a fourth dose.
So how and where can you book your fourth vaccine? Here’s what you need to know about rolling up your sleeve again.
Where can I get my fourth dose?
You can get it at:
- A participating GP
- A participating pharmacy
- The Access and Sensory vaccination clinic – for people who may require additional support to get their vaccinations
Health Minister Mark Butler said there were almost 10,000 points of primary care, pharmacies, and GP surgeries where Australians could go to get their fourth dose.
“We have lots of capacity in the system,” he said.
“They’re running at a much lower level of activity than they were at the peak of vaccinations last year, about 80 percent lower, so there’s lots of capacity in the system.
Butler also said there were “more than enough” vaccines to accommodate the public’s needs.
“There are lots of vaccines in the system to accommodate people catching up with those booster doses I’ve said they’re overdue for, as well as their third dose or even their fourth dose if they’re over 65s.”
How do I book a vaccine appointment?
COVID-19 Clinic Finder
You can find your nearest participating GP or pharmacy by using the government’s national vaccine clinic finder, COVID-19 Clinic Finder.
After entering your postcode, you’ll be shown a list of clinics in your area, where you have the option to filter by “nearest “ or “earliest available “.
After that, you can proceed to make your booking online.
Easy Vaccine Access (EVA)
If you need some assistance with making a booking, you can use EVA, a call-back service that’s available every day from 7am to 10pm (AEST).
All you need to do is send an SMS with “Hey EVA” to the number.
You’ll receive a reply asking for your details, such as your name and preferred date and time for a call back.
A trained operator from the National Coronavirus Helpline will call you at the scheduled time to help book your vaccination.
How long do I need to wait to get my fourth shot after my last dose?
But if you’ve had COVID-19 since receiving your booster shot, you have to wait until three months after you acquired the infection.
GP shortages causing long waits for appointments
ATAGIs recommendation to expand eligibility for the fourth dose came with a clear message: The pandemic isn’t over and Australians should brace for a winter of rising COVID-19 infections.
Despite Mr Butler saying the healthcare system has “lots of capacity”, a shortage of doctors coupled with rising infections are causing major wait times.
Bruce Willett from the Royal Australian College of GPs said there was no doubt general practitioners were in high demand.
“Normally, flu peaks as a late winter phenomenon,” Dr. Willett said.
“On top of that, we’re seeing record numbers of COVID and we’re seeing a whole raft of other viruses like RSV.
The situation is likely to get worse.
A report by Deloitte released in May this year shows demand for GPs will increase by nearly 40 percent in the next decade – nearly 50 percent in the cities.
Experts are warning a rise in infections in across states will likely put pressure on Australia’s hospitals in coming weeks.
Loading form …