Should you wait to get a booster shot after catching COVID-19?

Millions more Australians are today eligible for a COVID-19 booster shot, but as cases soar around the country, one crucial question remains.

The federal government’s current health advice is that anybody who has tested positive for COVID-19, and is eligible for their first or second vaccination, should wait until they no longer suffer from “acute illness” before getting the jab.

But is it the same for boosters?

People who have COVID-19 should wait until they are feeling better to get their booster shot. (Alex Ellinghausen)

Essentially, yes, says Sydney doctor Michael Bonning.

Dr Bonning, the chair of the Australian Medical Association NSW Council, told that despite boosters not yet being considered part of the full vaccination rollout, the rules remained “exactly the same”.

Anybody who has tested positive to COVID-19 should wait until they no longer feel ill before lining up for the booster.

And for some, that can extend beyond the quarantine period.

“If somebody still has respiratory symptoms, they should remain in isolation,” he said.

“But people who have recovered can still feel knocked around, as you would after any respiratory illness, and it’s perfectly reasonable to wait.”

With that said, he urged everybody who was eligible and healthy to get the booster shot as soon as they could.

Australians will be able to get their COVID-19 vaccine booster shots after four months from early next year, and then three months from the end of January.
Millions more Australians are eligible for booster shots from today. (Getty)

“The booster significantly reduces the likelihood or severe illness,” he said.

The wait time for booster shots is as of today reduced to four months after somebody receives their second dose of vaccination.

That is set to shrink to three months by the end of January.

Dr Bonning said if the rules were changing, it was because the evidence was changing – particularly in regard to the world’s latest variant.

“Nobody knew anything about Omicron until three or four weeks ago,” he said.

A sign on display advises the public to the requirements of face masks.

How Australia faced the emergence of the Omicron variant

The federal health department also backed Dr Bonning’s comments on booster vaccines for COVID-positive people.

“People who have had COVID-19 can be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine,” a spokesperson said.

“If a patient tests positive for COVID-19 between their first and second doses, or between their second and booster dose the patient should delay their second dose or their booster dose until they have recovered from the acute illness.”

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