Book in for a booster and protect yourself from COVID-19
Tasmanians are being urged to stay up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations and, if it’s been longer than six months, to book in for a booster to ensure they are fully protected from serious illness.
This follows an increase in COVID-19 activity over the past few weeks, along with a decline in the number of Tasmanians who are up to date with their COVID-19 vaccination, including older Tasmanians.
Acting Director of Public Health, Dr Scott McKeown said vaccination remains the best defence against serious outcomes from COVID-19, including hospitalisations and death.
“I remind all Tasmanians to make sure they’re up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations, especially if you’re an older Tasmanian or in a higher-risk group,” Dr McKeown said.
“Everyone aged 65 years and older is recommended to have a 2023 COVID-19 booster, and those aged 18 to 64 years should consider a 2023 booster.
“A second 2023 booster is also recommended for all adults aged 75 years and older, and younger adults with risk factors for serious illness, if six months have passed since their last dose.
“Immunity to COVID-19 reduces over time and booster doses are needed to maintain immunity and protect from severe illness, especially among those at highest risk.
“We know that most cases of severe illness or complications from COVID-19 continue to be in older adults so if you’re due, make sure to book in for a booster as soon as possible and ensure you are fully protected.”
If your clinic or pharmacy does not provide COVID-19 vaccinations, check the Australian Government vaccine clinic finder to find a vaccine provider near you.
People at higher risk can also stay safe by:
- Making a plan with their GP for testing and treatment if cold or flu symptoms develop;
- Consider wearing a face mask in crowded indoor spaces.
It is also a reminder for anyone with cold or flu like symptoms to protect others by not going to work or school, and not visiting residents of high risk settings like aged care facilities or hospitals.
Dr McKeown said the increase in COVID-19 activity is not unexpected and follows months of low and stable activity.
“We know from past patterns of COVID activity that there will be peaks and troughs over time and it’s important to remember the current case numbers are significantly lower than those seen in previous waves,” Dr McKeown said.
The Department of Health publishes a Respiratory Surveillance Report each fortnight that provides a summary of the respiratory illnesses currently circulating in the Tasmanian community, such as influenza, RSV, and COVID-19.
The Respiratory Surveillance Report is available at: https://www.health.tas.gov.au/publications/respiratory-surveillance-report