Victoria government logo

Vaccine information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine

All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 5 years and over are eligible to receive two primary doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The 2023 booster doseExternal Link is available for:

  • everyone aged 18 and above
  • at risk children aged between 5 and 17 years.

The 2023 booster dose is particularly recommended for people at higher risk of severe illness, including:

  • everyone aged 65 and above
  • everyone aged 18 and above who are at risk.

On 1 September 2023, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)External Link updated its booster recommendation.

An additional 2023 booster dose is recommended for people 75 years and above.

An additional 2023 booster dose can be considered for:

  • people aged between 65 and 74 years
  • people aged between 18 and 64 years with severe immunocompromise.

At risk adults and children include those with a disability, severely compromised immune system and complex or multiple health conditions, which increase their risk of severe COVID-19.

You may need additional doses based on your medical condition. Please speak with your healthcare professional.

Culturally safe vaccination

    • Albury Wodonga Aboriginal Health Service (Albury, Wodonga and Wangaratta)
    • Ballarat and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BADAC) (North Ballarat)
    • Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative (BDAC) (North Bendigo)
    • Budja Budja Aboriginal Cooperative (Halls Gap)
    • Dandenong & District Aborigines Co-operative (Dandenong)
    • Dhauwurd-Wurrung Elderly & Community Health Service Inc. (Portland)
    • First Peoples Health and Wellbeing (Thomastown and Frankston)
    • Gippsland and East Gippsland Aboriginal Co-operative (Bairnsdale)
    • Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative (Horsham)
    • Gunditjmara Aboriginal Co-operative Ltd. (Warrnambool)
    • Kirrae Health Services Inc. (Purnim)
    • Mallee District Aboriginal Services (Mildura, Swan Hill and Kerang)
    • Moogji Aboriginal Council East Gippsland (Orbost)
    • Njernda Aboriginal Medical Centre (Echuca)
    • Ramahyuck District Aboriginal Corporation (Sale and Morwell)
    • Rumbalara Aboriginal Co-operative (Shepparton)
    • Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative (Geelong)
    • Victorian Aboriginal Health Service (Fitzroy and Epping)

Information for people who have recovered from COVID-19

If you’ve had COVID-19, it’s still important to get vaccinated, including getting any booster doses you are eligible for. An infection with COVID-19 will provide some natural immunity, but it will decrease over time. Vaccination is important to get maximum protection against further COVID-19 infections.

You can have your booster dose 6 months after your last dose or COVID infection.

Waiting for a 6-month period after infection before COVID-19 vaccination is to provide better and longer protection against re-infection from COVID-19.

People with Long COVID-19 symptoms can still get vaccinated (including third doses) and can discuss this with their doctor or Aboriginal health service if they have any questions.

View the ATAGI statementExternal Link on vaccination after COVID-19 infection, or more information in the Victorian COVID-19 Vaccination Guidelines.

Who you can talk to if you have questions

If you have concerns about your health and getting the COVID-19 vaccine, talk to your doctor or your local Aboriginal health service.

You can also call the free COVID-19 National Helpline on 1800 020 080. Open 9 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week, you can call this number and have a yarn with culturally safe staff who can answer your questions and direct you to support services.

community unity immunity banner

Registered Nurse Naz Rind discusses how to support your community by getting vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccines, fertility and pregnancy

Currently, there’s no evidence to show that COVID-19 vaccines affect fertility in women or men.

You can get a vaccine if you are:

  • trying to become pregnant, or
  • already pregnant, or at any stage of your pregnancy.

In fact, the risk of getting very sick due to COVID-19 is much higher for pregnant people and their unborn babies.

Getting vaccinated while pregnant may even help give your baby some level of protection from COVID-19.

Dr Glenn Harrison discusses COVID-19 vaccine side effects

Dr. Ngaree Blow discusses COVID-19 vaccine safety

Stay COVIDSafe, even after your COVID-19 vaccine

Even after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you still need to be COVIDSafe.

Remember, there's some people that cannot get vaccinated for some medical reasons, so staying COVIDSafe helps keep them safe.

    Get tested for COVID-19 if you:

    • feel even a little unwell
    • have been in close contact with someone who might have COVID-19.

    Then, stay home until you receive a negative result.

    To stay COVIDSafe:

    • wash your hands with soap and water often, or use hand sanitiser when you can't wash your hands
    • keep 1.5 metres distance from other people (physically distance)
    • wear a face mask inside where asked, or when you can't physically distance
    • cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.

    Don't go to a vaccine appointment if you feel unwell or think you may have COVID-19.

    More information

    For more information, call the National COVID-19 Helpline on 1800 020 080, or visit COVID-19 information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

    Reviewed 20 September 2023

    Coronavirus Hotline

    Call the National Coronavirus Helpline if you have any questions about COVID-19.

    Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

    Was this page helpful?