Are you up to date with your COVID-19 vaccination? 4 December 2023 COVID-19 is very much in the news again with Australia said to be in its 8th wave. Cases are rising across the country but, according to a new report from the Grattan Institute, rates of vaccination have “plunged”, with 2.5 million people over the age of 65 not up-to-date with their vaccinations at the start of winter 2023. With the silly season fast approaching and the likelihood of more gatherings, parties and events, the risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 should not be ignored. The Australian Technical Advisory Group (ATAGI) recommends an additional 2023 dose if you are an adult aged 75 years or older and it has been six months or more since your 2023 COVID-19 booster dose or last confirmed infection. If you are aged between 65 to 74 you are advised to consider a 2023 booster if you haven’t already had one; and all adults with underlying risk factors that increase their risk of severe COVID-19, such as diabetes, are recommended to have a 2023 booster – if they haven’t had one yet. This will protect you, your loved ones, and any vulnerable people in the community. You can get vaccinated earlier than the recommended six-month interval, if considered appropriate. This may apply to people starting immunosuppressant treatment, before going overseas, or if you cannot reschedule vaccination easily (such as in an outreach or inreach vaccination program). With the Federal Government set to roll out two new COVID-19 vaccines from next week that will offer better protection for the latest strains of SARS-CoV-2, the timing couldn’t be better. The two new vaccines are known as monovalent booster vaccines, which means they have only one target, and that is the subvariant of Omicron known as XBB.1.5 (sometimes known as Kraken). Pfizer’s vaccine will be available to eligible people aged five years and older and the Moderna vaccine is available for those aged 12 years and older. Vaccines remain free for people from five years of age. Visit your GP, pharmacy or find your closest clinic here: healthdirect.gov.au/australian-health-services.