3 February 2023

COVID-19 is still around and a fifth dose may be recommended for seniors who are severely immunocompromised.  Those with special needs should consult with their physician.

As 2022 came to an end the statistics provide evidence that the ‘virus’ remains active in our community.  U3A, with its demographic, must be alert to the risks that may present to any and all members and specifically to those who have existing medical conditions.

The state links below are still active and may be of use to U3A members based in those areas.


20 March 2022

Here’s why you might need a 4th COVID vaccine dose this winter

In The Conversation on 16 March 16, 2022, Associate Professor Nathan Bartlett, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, University of Newcastle writes:

“When I began drafting this article, COVID cases in Australia were coming down and the situation was stabilising.

New research released in February showed a fourth COVID vaccine dose didn’t add much extra protection on top of a third dose. It looked as if doling out fourth doses to all Australians was unnecessary

Unfortunately, the situation has changed again, and so has the risk calculation.”

Read the full article.


15 February 2022 (Reviewed August 2022)

Sources of advice

The Network advises our members to reference the advice on the web provided by State and National Health Departments:

NATIONAL  Free Australian health advice you can count on.

NEW SOUTH WALES  COVID-19 guidance and support for people in NSW.

QUEENSLAND  Coronavirus advice Queensland.

TASMANIA  Coronavirus advice Tasmania.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA  Information and advice on the COVID-19 coronavirus for the community and businesses in Western Australia.

If needed click this link to download a tutorial on the process of Obtaining Your Vaccination Certificate.

As the 2022 progress Booster Shots are very much part of the discussion, view the Bulletins below for some background on booster doses and a 4th COVID vaccine.


18 November 2021

GOOD NEWS: Yes, U3A activities are looking good for 2022

“2021 has been a long and difficult year in so many ways. When the last Special Bulletin was posted the COVID-19 situation was on the wane and then in a few short months we transitioned into long lockdowns in many parts of NSW.  Many U3As transitioned to Zoom sessions while others went into recess.  Former President Laurene Mulcahy’s words on 12 March (below) set the scene for where we were before Easter 2021.  Coronavirus is still around and our age cohort has to be both wary and cautious.  Many if not most are double vaccinated and now we are hearing what is next.  The Network acknowledges the advice from NSW Health and other authoritative sources, see the words in links in this bulletin.”

Denis Simond, President U3A Network NSW Inc.

It is some months since our last bulletin where we noted the need for COVID Safety Plans and the use of Zoom as a Covid Safe means of engaging with your members and the scene is very much turning to Booster shots

NSW Government Booster Vaccinations  

Booster vaccination – frequently asked questions

A couple of quotes from the above (dated 1.11.2021)

Why is a booster needed?

Studies show that the immunity created by COVID-19 vaccines begins to wane over time.  A booster shot strengthens your immune system and helps to maintain a high level of protection against serious illness from the COVID-19 virus.

Who is eligible for a booster shot?

Eligibility for booster vaccination includes people aged 18 years and over who received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine 6 months or more ago.

People who are immunocompromised and have received a third primary dose of a COVID-19 vaccine are not yet recommended to have a booster (fourth) dose.

The Network reminds all in the ‘U3A family’ that one’s own Doctor is the best source of advice on the personal suitability of the COVID-19 Booster or any other Vaccine.

Here’s a link to a recent article (27.10.2021) in The Conversation Australians will soon receive COVID booster vaccines. Why do we need them, and how effective are they?

Authors, Jennifer Juno, Senior research fellow, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and Stephen Kent, Professor and Laboratory Head, The University of Melbourne,  provide a helpful overview of the current advice: “Given our approved vaccines were originally marketed as two-dose jabs, why are we now looking at an extra dose?”