COVID-19 Booster Vaccine Approved

Booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine have now been approved for use in Papua New Guinea.

The Controller of the National COVID-19 Pandemic Response, Police Commissioner David Manning issued this announcement after the Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee (MESAC) advised the National Control Centre that the additional vaccine coverage is now recommended.

MESAC advised that there is now overwhelming evidence that a COVID-19 booster shot is prudent even for the people who are fully vaccinated, as an additional layer of protection.

More generally people who had their primary vaccination more than six months ago should receive a booster dose to enhance effectiveness.

Manning added that the MESAC recommendation is online with prevailing advice from medical specialists in partner countries and the World Health Organisation.  

Formal advice to the NCC was provided by Deputy Chairman of MESAC, Professor Sir Isi Kevau at the UPNG School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Commissioner Manning said the MESAC advice is that the booster should ideally be of the same vaccine as the person originally received, but this can be changed for those who have received Astrazeneca or Sinopharm.

“This means that a person who has been fully vaccinated with Astrazeneca or Sinopharm vaccine should receive a booster shot of Astrazeneca or Johnson & Johnson. While those who have had a Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccine would receive a Johnson & Johnson booster shot,” Manning explained.

However the Pandemic Controller said people will continue to exercise freedom of choice in terms of whether they wish to receive the COVID-19 vaccine or not, or the type of vaccine they wish to receive.

When receiving a booster dose, it is recommended that people need to refer to the table below, to know which to receive as a booster and the time intervals.

Type of Vaccine Received Previously

Type of Vaccines to be Given as primary Series or Booster Dose

Time Interval

J&J Vaccine (first dose)

Second Dose of J&J

2-6 months after first dose

AstraZeneca Vaccine (2 doses fully vaccinated)

AstraZeneca or J&J Booster Dose

6 months after the second dose

Sinopharm Vaccine

AstraZeneca or J&J Booster Dose

3-6 months after the second dose.


Frieda Kana