ATAGI has reviewed the available evidence and advises that for people aged 12 years or older, a bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is now preferred over original (ancestral) vaccines for primary vaccination.
ATAGI further advises that:
- People aged 12-17 years are recommended to receive a BA.4/5-containing bivalent vaccine for both the primary course and booster doses.
- People aged ≥18 years are recommended to receive either a BA.1-containing bivalent vaccine or a BA.4/5-containing bivalent vaccine for both the primary course and booster doses.
- People aged ≥12 who have commenced their primary course with an original (ancestral) vaccine are recommended to complete the course with a bivalent vaccine.
- ATAGI considers there to be no additional safety concerns when using bivalent vaccines for the primary course, compared with the original vaccines.
- When using a bivalent vaccine for primary vaccination, the number of doses and the interval between the doses are the same as for the original (ancestral) vaccine formulations.
- Original (ancestral) vaccines continue to be available for individuals aged ≥12 years who either prefer to not to receive a bivalent primary course; or who cannot or choose not to have an mRNA vaccine..
- There is currently no bivalent vaccine available for children aged 6 months – 11 years, and existing original vaccines should continue to be used for this age group.
- The ATAGI COVID-19 2023 Booster Advice provides guidance on which individuals are recommended, or can consider, a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for additional protection against severe COVID-19.
- Western Pacific