Illawarra residents are being asked to check if they need to get an extra COVID vaccine, as a new vaccine becomes available in the region.
The Medical Director of the South Eastern Primary Health Network Dr Katherine Michelmore said the new shot was a good reminder about vaccination amid rising COVID cases and the Christmas season.
"Many of us will attend social gatherings over the next few weeks and may have contact with people who are vulnerable," she said.
"The new vaccines have been found to provide improved protection against the COVID-19 strains circulating in the community, which could be life saving for some members of our community."
Dr Michelmore said the new jab - the XBB 1.5 vaccine - provided the best protection against the virus.
"While the new COVID-19 vaccine is preferred over other vaccines, people should discuss with their GP which vaccine is best for their circumstances," she said.
"All currently available COVID-19 vaccines continue to protect against severe disease."
"It is recommended that everyone at risk of severe illness - that is, everyone aged 65 years and over as well as younger adults who have medical comorbidities, disability or complex health needs - have their 2023 booster dose."
You can check your eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccines here.
To book a vaccination appointment view the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder.