COVID – 19 vaccination information for staff

November 24, 2023

The Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia (TGA) has approved a new Moderna and Pfizer monovalent Omicron XBB.1.5 COVID-19 vaccine for use as primary and additional doses. The new COVID-19 monovalent XBB.1.5 vaccine should be widely available on 11th December 2023.  (


Unfortunately, ATAGI has placed very restrictive guidelines on who can receive a booster in 2023. (

According to ATAGI,

  • Among persons who have not had a COVID-19 vaccine in 2023, COVID-19 boosters are RECOMMENDED for those
  • aged 65 and above
  • aged 18-64 if they have a risk factor (see Table 1 below: factors for severe COVID)


  • For persons who have had a COVID-19 vaccine in 2023, COVID-19 booster is RECOMMENDED for those
  • aged 75+


  • For persons who have had a COVID-19 vaccine in 2023, COVID-19 booster may be CONSIDERED for
  • aged 65-74
  • aged 18-64 if they are severely immunocompromised (see Box 1 below). An individual with an unlisted condition may be considered where the treating physician has assessed the patient as having a similar level of severe immunocompromise to the listed conditions in Box 1.

Given the above restrictions Western Health recommend you seek advice from your GP/ treating physician to discuss eligibility and administration.

If restrictions to COVID-19 boosters ease and stock is available, Western Health will consider making COVID-19 vaccines available to staff.




Table 1: Risk factors for severe COVID-19

Risk conditions at increased risk of severe COVID-19
  • Immunocompromise
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions requiring medical treatment with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), immune-suppressive or immunomodulatory therapies
    • E.g. Systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis
  • Haematological diseases or cancers
  • Cancer within the past 5 years requiring chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy or targeted anti-cancer therapy (active treatment or recently completed), or advanced disease regardless of treatment
  • Chronic lung disease
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • Cystic fibrosis
    • Interstitial lung disease
    • Severe asthma (defined as requiring frequent hospital visits or the use of multiple medications)
  • Chronic liver disease
    • Cirrhosis
    • Autoimmune hepatitis
    • Non-alcohol fatty liver disease
    • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Severe chronic kidney disease (stage 4 or 5)
  • Diabetes mellitus requiring medication
  • Chronic cardiac disease
    • Ischaemic heart disease
    • Valvular heart disease
    • Congestive cardiac failure
    • Cardiomyopathy
    • Poorly controlled hypertension
    • Pulmonary hypertension
    • Complex congenital heart disease
  • Disability with significant or complex health needs, e.g. trisomy 21
  • Multiple comorbidities which increase the risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19
  • Complex multisystem disorders
  • Severe obesity with BMI ≥40 kg/m2
  • Severe underweight with BMI <16.5 kg/m2

Table 1- from



Box 1- from