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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.

If you are 16 and over, it is recommended you get a third dose of vaccine 3 months after your second dose to help keep you protected against COVID-19.

If you are 30 and over, it is recommended you get a fourth dose of vaccine 3 months after your third dose to help keep you protected against COVID-19.

Your doctor is the best person to speak to about which vaccine is right for you.

People who are immunocompromised

People aged 5 years and over who are severely immunocompromised will need three primary doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommendsExternal Link people aged 16 years and over who are severely immunocompromised receive a fourth dose of vaccine, 3 months after their third primary dose. This ensures people with suppressed immunity have the same level of protection against COVID-19 as the general population.

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.

People aged 5 and over who have had COVID-19 and are due for their next dose of COVID-19 vaccine should wait 3-months from testing positive before getting their next vaccine dose.

Waiting for a 3-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.

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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 29 December 2022

    Coronavirus Victoria

    Coronavirus Hotline

    Call the Coronavirus Hotline if you need help to report a rapid antigen test (RAT) or if you have any questions about COVID-19.

    The Victorian Coronavirus Hotline diverts to the National Coronavirus Helpline every night between 4pm and 9am.

    Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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