New data shows that only 66% of Aussies over the age of 16 have received their COVID booster shot and somewhere, Lil Jon is crying.

The Department of Health publishes regular updates tracking how many of us have rolled up our sleeves for the third jab. According to their latest March spreadsheet, only 66.1% of those eligible have received more than two doses.

While these numbers aren’t optimal by any stretch of the imagination, we get it. We really do. At this point in the panny-d ⁠— it’s fair to say that we’re all pretty bloody exhausted of it all.

The last thing most of us want is for someone to nag us about getting a booster but unfortunately as Daryl Braithwaite once sang “that’s the way it’s gonna beeee little darlin”.

There are probably loads of reasons why people who got the first two doses haven’t booked in for a third. Let’s bust a few myths for those among us who might be tentative about going back for round three.

Myth 1. “COVID is over.”

As much as it pains me to say it, the BA.2 subvariant is sneaking up on us.

A spike of cases in New South Wales promoted NSW Health to call for new restrictions (even though NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard didn’t accept the recommendation).

During this spike, the numbers doubled overnight from 10k to 20k so now might be a perfect time for a booster for you NSW folk.

Myth 2. “I already had COVID, I’m immune.”

If you’re one of the millions of Aussies who got COVID over the New Year period, chances are you had a nice little boost of immunity in the weeks following.

According to many of the state health departments in Australia, that immunity might only last a single month so getting your booster is still necessary.

Myth 3. “I’m fully vaxxed and have a sweet vax certificate to prove it.”

Not for much longer, kiddo.

In February, the Australian Technical Advisory Group (ATAGI) officially recommended that we change our language around vaccination.

This means “up to date” is the new term used to describe vaccination status. You can read our full explainer on that here.

High-risk workplaces are even starting to enforce deadlines for booster shots.

Victorian workers in healthcare, education, aged care, food processing and food distribution are all expected to get their third shot by specific dates in March.

If the rules around the third shot are similar to those of the second, we might be needing a booster before we can head to the pub.

If that isn’t the ultimate reason to roll up ya sleeve a third time I don’t know what is.

Image: Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images