Nearly half a million South Australians will be eligible to receive their fourth COVID-19 vaccination from tomorrow under changes to better protect people against the new Omicron variants and help ease winter demand on our hospitals.
Adults over the age of 50 are now strongly recommended to have a fourth (winter) dose, while those over 30 are also able to come forward and receive their fourth jab.
600 pharmacies and GP practices have availability for people to be vaccinated right across the state. In addition, SA Health sites will be available and expanding to provide extra vaccination options.
North Adelaide is one of the SA Health clinics where eligible South Australians can access a fourth dose from Monday, as well as the Noarlunga mass vaccination hub and newly opened clinic in the Elizabeth GP Plus.
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.
Three more sites will open following the eligibility changes: on Friday, 15 July, the Myer Centre clinic at Rundle Mall will return as the Wayville pavilion is reverted for Showgrounds uses. The Enfield clinic will also open its doors again later this month. SA Health will also soon open a pop-up clinic in the Adelaide Parklands to increase accessibility.
In addition, GPs and pharmacies have ample supply of the COVID-19 vaccine and will play a key role in administering fourth doses to help combat rising COVID case numbers.
More than 236,000 South Australians aged 50 to 64 years can get their fourth dose, and approximately 255,000 adults aged to 30 to 49 are eligible under the new rules.
Around 174,000 fourth doses have already been administered in South Australia, the second-highest take-up of any state or territory in Australia.
The interval recommended between the third dose, or a recent COVID-19 infection, and the fourth dose has also been changed by ATAGI to three months, which is consistent with the gap between second and third doses.
Nearly 200,000 South Australians yet to receive their third COVID vaccination are also being encouraged to roll up their sleeves and protect themselves and their families, and stay out of hospital.
To find details of the 600 GPs and pharmacies with latest booking times visit covid-vaccine.healthdirect.gov.au
For SA Health clinic locations and opening times visit covidvaccine.sa.gov.au
Attributable to Chris Picton
We expect thousands of South Australians to receive their winter dose and have taken immediate steps to boost capacity to meet that demand.
Over the coming days and weeks we will be further expanding our vaccination clinics while working closely with GPs and pharmacies who are now providing the majority of vaccinations in the community.
I want to thank all South Australians who are answering the call to get their third and fourth dose, and encourage everyone now eligible to receive a winter dose for the best possible protection against COVID.
Coming forward protects you, your loved ones and the South Australian community – and reduces pressure on our hospital system and frontline health workers.
Attributable to Chief Public Health Officer Prof Nicola Spurrier
The new Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 are rapidly becoming the dominant COVID-19 strain in South Australia and they are more infectious than Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 which caused our waves in January and April.
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.
Our vaccination sites and mobile clinics will continue to complement the efforts of GPs and pharmacies to ensure continued delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccination continues to be the best protection against severe disease and hospitalisation, and I encourage everyone eligible, particularly those over 50, to get the winter dose.
We are so fortunate to have such easy access to the vaccine in our state and I am urging South Australians to roll up their sleeves as we head into an expected surge in cases.