COVID-19 vaccine booster dose alert

Covid 19 PA

Vaccinating pharmacists take note…

The Moderna Spikevax vaccine has been approved as a booster dose over the weekend with a different dose volume to the primary vaccination course.

The ATAGI statement on Moderna as a booster outlines the arrangements for Moderna booster doses and indicates the below:

  • The Moderna Spikevax booster vaccination is authorised for all patients aged 18 years and older, including pregnant women.
  • The dose for the Moderna Spikevax vaccine as a booster is 0.25mL (50µg), which is half the recommended dosage of the Moderna vaccine used for the primary course.
  • Severely immunocompromised people, as defined in the ATAGI statement, should receive three primary doses of an approved vaccine at the standard dose. In the case of Moderna Spikevax, this would be 0.5mL (100µg) for the three primary doses. At the time of publication, ATAGI has no advice regarding booster dosing following the three primary doses in this patient cohort.
  • The interval between completion of the standard two-dose primary vaccination course and the administration of a booster dose has been reduced to five months as per the ATAGI statement on booster interval.

PDL has received many calls regarding booster dosing issues, and we would like to remind pharmacists to remain vigilant when commencing new or expanding on existing services.

Some additional points for consideration to reduce the risk of vaccination incidents include:

  1. Ensure you have clear protocols in place and on display for the various vaccination dosing schedules. The Pharmacy Programs Administrator (PPA) previously provided a one-page summary poster on COVID-19 Vaccines in Australia, which you can update with the most recent guidance as an interim measure until an updated version is available.
  2. Remain calm and be organised. There is a high demand for vaccinations and conducting vaccination services alongside other pharmacy responsibilities can be extremely stressful and challenging. Having consistent processes and well-informed, supportive staff can help to minimise areas of risk.
  3. Do not be rushed or bullied into providing vaccinations outside approved schedules and protocols. PDL continues to receive reports of people pressuring pharmacists, lying or being confused about past vaccine numbers or brands. Checking the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) every time can prevent this occurrence.
  4. If you encounter unusual circumstances or requests, seek further advice. Pharmacists can contact the Vaccination Operations Centre, the patient’s general practitioner or State Vaccination Hubs for further advice.


For immediate advice and incident support, call PDL on 1300 854 838 to speak with one of our Professional Officers. We are here to support our pharmacist members 24/7, Australia-wide.