26 September 2023

Fourth COVID dose the latest key to protection

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South Australians over the age of 30 are now eligible to receive their fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccination.

Announcing the new SA Health guidelines for winter, the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Chris Picton said adults over 50 were strongly recommended to get their fourth jab, while those over 30 were also being urged to get the dose for the best possible protection against new Omicron variants.

Mr Picton said 600 pharmacies and GP practices – which now provided the majority of vaccinations across the State – had ample supplies of the COVID vaccine to meet increased demand.

“SA Health clinics will also expand, offering extended hours to provide additional vaccination options in the community and help combat rising COVID case numbers,” Mr Picton said.

“Regional clinics will also be able to provide fourth doses, with sites set to have longer opening hours to meet an expected increase in demand,” he said.

He said more South Australians at higher risk of severe illness from COVID were also now able to access life-saving antiviral treatment.

“Anyone aged over 70 who tests positive to COVID can now access oral antivirals through their GP on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, while people over 50 with at least two risk factors are also eligible under the expanded program,” he said.

Chief Public Health Officer, Nicola Spurrier said the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which were more infectious than Omicron BA.1 and BA.2, were rapidly becoming the dominant COVID-19 strain in South Australia

“Your best protection during this next wave is ensuring your vaccinations are up to date, and for adults over 30 years this means four doses,” Professor Spurrier said.

Details of SA Health clinic locations and opening times can be accessed at this PS News link.

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