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June 8, 2022

Vaxxed: Two out of three ain’t rad

Adelaideans are seeing the message everywhere: double vaxxed isn’t fully vaxxed. We take a look behind the slogan to understand why we should get a third shot.

  • This article was produced in collaboration with SA Health.
  • Image: Covid-19 survivor Peta is one of a number of South Australians appearing in a new ad campaign

South Australians have done really well to look out for themselves, and each other, through social distancing, mask wearing and vaccination. The state’s double-vaxxed rate is now at 93.8 per cent for people aged 12 and over, and we’re free again, as we ‘live with COVID’.

However, it’s important to know that even though the COVID-19 variants now circulating may seem relatively harmless, the severity of the disease can vary from person to person, and it can still be fatal.


Even if you’ve had COVID-19, it’s important to get your third shot.

So, why do you need to book a third shot ­– even if you’ve had COVID-19?

The fact is, immunity decreases over time. That’s not to say it goes away completely, but you don’t have the same protection as you may have had some months before.

While it’s understandable to think if you’ve had COVID-19 you don’t need a third shot, it’s not true. Immunity is complex. It depends on your body’s response to the disease and/or immunisation, the immune memory produced and the variant in circulation.

A third shot helps to keep your immunity levels up, meaning you’re less likely to catch it. But even if you do – and there’s been more than 510,000 reported cases in SA since the pandemic began – you’re better protected against severe symptoms. So, you’re less likely to end up in hospital, and also less likely to spread it to someone else.

Avoiding the virus also means avoiding ‘long COVID’. This lingering nasty could affect your brain, heart and lungs for years to come, although as yet not enough is known to state its exact impact on long-term health.

Here’s what else you should know:

—If you’ve had COVID-19 (confirmed by a positive RAT or PCR test), you should wait just three months before getting vaxxed. This will lead to a better immune response, giving longer protection from reinfection.

—Getting a third shot is safe for people who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.

—You don’t have to have the same vaccine for your third shot as you did for your first two. Pfizer is widely available for people aged 16 and over, including at SA Health vaccination clinics. While Moderna is available for people aged 18 and over, you’ll have to go to a participating GP or pharmacy.

—From now through to late August, you can also get a Pfizer shot on a Saturday at some primary schools.

—It’s worth getting a flu shot at the same time. After two years of almost no flu in SA, it’s back in a big way. There have been 1,194 reported cases to 21 May this year, compared with only 12 for the same period last year.

—Lastly, and importantly, by getting your third shot, you’ll help protect others in our community and help them stay out of hospital this winter.

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