With the winter months ahead now is the time for people with disability to seriously consider increasing their vaccination protection with early warnings messages from government and the health profession.
According to Professor Jaya Dantas from the Curtin University School of Population Health, the winter months are a concern as Australian will have to contend with both Covid and influenza.
“Due to the border closures both international and domestic in the last two years influenza cases were very low, but with borders re-opening and Omicron still around in the community, now is not the time to be complacent,” she told F2L.
She said those aged over 60 years, who are immunocompromised, with chronic conditions, or have a disability, need to have the fourth Covid vaccine.
“Vaccine immunity reduces after a period of time and hence the need for the third and fourth dose of the vaccine. Everyone working in the disability sector should also get the flu vaccination along with the priority groups.”
The recommended time frame for getting the additional Covid booster shot is usually four months after the third dose of a booster dose.
As for a fifth vaccination? “At this stage a fifth dose of the vaccination has not been recommended.”
Dantas said there is lot of research being conducted around the world around anti-virals which can be given to priority groups who get Covid to prevent disease severity and possible hospitalisation; long Covid and mental health impacts; research and clinical trials on vaccines that will be effective with all variants and the impact on vulnerable populations.