Release date: 08/05/2022

The state government today launched a powerful public information campaign to encourage South Australians to ensure they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Although significant restrictions have been eased, it is important that people have the highest degree of protection possible against the virus, for themselves and their loved ones.

More than 350,000 eligible South Australians are yet to book in for their third COVID-19 vaccination, greatly increasing their risk of hospitalisation or even death.

New Omicron variants have recently been identified in South Australia which are at least as infectious as current variants, if not more infectious, and your best protection is ensuring your vaccinations are up to date, especially as we head into the winter months.

COVID-19 can have serious consequences. Anyone, at any age, and even if fit and healthy, can get sick with COVID-19 and some become seriously ill. More than 350 South Australians have died from the virus.

Your best shot to protect you and those around you this winter is to ensure you are fully vaccinated. The government is urging South Australians who aren’t fully vaccinated to book in for their third – or fourth – vaccination now.

You are due your COVID-19 third dose if you are more than 16 years old, and completed your primary course of COVID-19 vaccination more than three months ago. Children aged five to 15 need two doses to be protected.

Those at highest risk are eligible for a fourth COVID-19 dose – a ‘winter dose’ – if you had your third dose four months ago and you are 65 years or older, a resident of an aged care or disability care facility, severely immunocompromised, or Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and aged 50 years and older.

Third and fourth doses can be obtained at participating GPs, pharmacies, respiratory clinics and SA Health vaccination clinics. Visit www.fullyvaxxed.sa.gov.au to book your appointment today.


Quotes

Attributable to Premier Peter Malinauskas

South Australians have shown their willingness to protect themselves and their loved ones throughout the COVID pandemic, and we want to make sure everyone knows that the best way to keep doing this is to be fully vaccinated.

We’ve been pleased to be able to safely ease many of the restrictions South Australians have been living under, but in doing so we have to keep people’s health as the number one priority.

Being fully vaccinated will ensure you have the best protection against COVID-19.

Attributable to Minister for Health and Wellbeing Chris Picton

There’s still 28 per cent of eligible people who have had two doses, but not three. Our message to these people is clear, Omicron requires a third dose to be effective.

Coming forward for the third dose protects you, your families and helps our health care workers.

Attributable to Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier

Vaccination is our best defence against COVID-19, as individuals and as a community. Although Omicron overall can cause less severe disease than previous variants, it can still make you very sick and has been responsible for hundreds of preventable deaths in our state.

Three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine provide the best protection against Omicron. Please don’t hesitate to book your third dose as two doses leaves you vulnerable to serious illness.

With the winter months approaching I strongly recommend everyone to also get a flu vaccine. We are seeing an increase in influenza in the community now that international travel has resumed.

Background

The booster dose of an mRNA vaccine is up to 95% effective against hospitalisation for the first three months following receipt of the vaccine and remains up to 85% effective against hospitalisation four to six months from the time of the third dose.