Additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose (booster)
1 September 2023 – The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended some people at higher risk of severe illness get an additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose (booster) if eligible. Read what the latest advice from ATAGI means for you.
Simple steps to protect yourself
Speak to your doctor before you get sick
Understand what test to do when you feel unwell
Check if you're eligible for antivirals
Stay up to date with your recommended vaccinations
Some people with disability are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Speak to your doctor about which COVID-19 test is right for you before you get sick.
Ask your doctor whether they recommend COVID-19 antiviral medicines or other treatments for COVID-19 if you test positive.
Antivirals work best when taken as soon as possible, usually within 5 days from when your symptoms start.
Vaccinations for people with disability
Stay up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations to help protect yourself.
You may be eligible to get an additional COVID-19 vaccination. For more information, visit Booster vaccination or talk to your doctor, Aboriginal Medical Service, or vaccination provider, about your needs and your vaccination options.
Vaccinations for disability support workers
NSW Health strongly encourages people providing care to people with disability to stay up to date with all recommended vaccinations – including COVID-19 and influenza – to protect against severe disease for themselves and the people they care for.
Find out more about the recommendations from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) regarding COVID-19 boosters.
Getting tested for COVID-19
If you have COVID-19 symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough or fever), contact your doctor for testing advice.
If your doctor recommends a COVID-19 PCR test, they will give you a pathology referral form for a free COVID-19 PCR test.
The referral form will have a private pathology provider location on it which you will need to visit so you can get tested.
For more information, visit What COVID-19 test should I do?
If you test positive to COVID-19
You do not have to self-isolate at home if you test positive for COVID-19.
NSW Health still recommends you stay home if you test positive. Staying home when you have COVID-19:
- helps you recover
- protects other people
- stops the spread of COVID-19
If you have tested positive to COVID-19:
- contact your doctor and tell them about your positive test result. Your doctor will discuss your care and provide you with medical support if needed, such as a prescription for antiviral medicines if you are eligible. These medications work best when taken as soon as possible.
- Follow the advice for people testing positive to COVID-19 and managing COVID-19 safely at home.
- If you are concerned about your symptoms, you should contact your doctor, or the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 who will connect you to care.
- Call Triple Zero (000) immediately if you have difficulty breathing, develop chest pressure or pain, or have severe headaches or dizziness. Tell them you have COVID-19.
COVID-19 antiviral medicines
Antiviral medicines target the virus that causes COVID-19, to help stop it from infecting healthy cells in your body and multiplying. This means you are less likely to get very sick and go to hospital.
If you get COVID-19 you might be able to get antiviral medicines. Talk to your doctor now about antiviral medicines to find out if you are eligible and if they are right for you.
Antivirals work best when taken as soon as possible – usually within 5 days from when your symptoms start.
If you can't speak to your doctor, contact healthdirect on 1800 022 222.
If you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19
If you live with or have spent a long time with someone who has COVID-19, you are at increased risk of getting COVID-19.
Monitor for symptoms (such as a runny nose, sore throat, fever, cough). If you get sick, NSW Health recommends that you get tested and stay home until your symptoms have gone away.
For people who are deaf or have hearing impairment
COVID-19 information and services that can help people with hearing impairment.
Resources for carers
If you are supporting and caring for someone with disability, there are resources to keep informed about COVID-19, the rules and tips for staying healthy.
- Carer Gateway (Australian Department of Social Services)
- NDIS carer and participant information (NDIS)
- Information for people with disability and their supporters (Australian Department of Social Services)