The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose for people with a range of immunocompromising conditions including chronic liver diseases such as cirrhosis, autoimmune hepatitis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and alcoholic liver disease.
ATAGI said an extra winter booster should be given four months after the initial booster but should be delayed three months after a confirmed COVID-19 infection has cleared. Any Australian with a chronic, terminal, or severe illness, or those suffering from a significant disability are now eligible for the fourth dose. ATAGI also encourages those over 65 to consider the fourth dose during flu season. This new scheme aims to prevent poor outcomes of COVID-19 for those who are immunocompromised, during the winter months.
ATAGI has advised that the flu vaccine could still be given ahead of the additional booster for patients not yet eligible for a fourth dose.