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About COVID-19 vaccines

Information about the COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia

How to get the vaccine

Vaccination centres are open to people who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

About COVID-19 vaccines

The Australian Government is responsible for approving and purchasing COVID-19 vaccines. 

Two vaccines have been approved for use in Australia. You can find out more about these vaccines by visiting the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Effectiveness

As millions of people receive COVID-19 vaccines worldwide we are getting a better understanding of how well they protect us. The information below is based on the latest research from both trials and research in communities where many people have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

AstraZeneca vaccine protects you against getting COVID-19. 

  • With two doses of the vaccine, spaced 12 weeks apart, you are 80 per cent less likely to get sick with COVID-19.
  • After the first dose of the vaccine, you are over 90 per cent less likely to be hospitalised with COVID-19.

Pfizer vaccine protects you against getting COVID-19. 

  • With two doses of the vaccine, spaced by at least 21 days, you are 95 per cent less likely to get sick with COVID-19. 
  • After the first dose of the vaccine, you are over 80 per cent less likely to be hospitalised with COVID-19.

Development of COVID-19 vaccines and the approval process

Testing of COVID-19 vaccines

All vaccines are tested extensively. First in laboratories, followed by tests with animals, then clinical trials with thousands of people who have volunteered. After trials are complete the results are reviewed by independent scientists and researchers. The trial data is also reviewed carefully by Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) before vaccines are approved for use in Victoria. 

The development process for COVID-19 vaccines has been faster than usual. Because this is a global pandemic, governments around the world have made this a priority and lots of resources have been made available to scientists dedicated to developing COVID-19 vaccines. The rigorous safety testing and approval processes that are required for all vaccines have been followed. 

Learn more about how research and testing processes have been accelerated to develop COVID-19 vaccines in this Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre video, The Road to a COVID-19 Vaccine

Approving COVID-19 vaccines for use in Australia

The Australian Government is responsible for approving, purchasing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines in Australia. 

Before a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in Australia, it must pass the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) rigorous assessment and approval processes. This includes assessment of its safety, quality and effectiveness. Both COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved for use in Australia by the TGA have passed these rigorous approval processes

More information about Australia’s vaccine program is available at the Australian Department of Health website.

Monitoring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines

The TGA is actively monitoring COVID-19 vaccine safety in Australia and around the world. They are part of a network of international regulators that are monitoring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. 

As part of monitoring the safety of COVID-19 vaccines a short survey is sent to some people after they have their COVID-19 vaccine.  If you are selected to participate in this survey, you will receive a link to a survey three days, eight days and 42 days after your vaccination. The survey will be sent by SMS or email. It is optional to complete the survey.  

Survey results are shared with the TGA, AusVaxSafety and SAEFVic. The survey results are used to monitor the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia and to ensure a quick response to any trends. The survey results are deidentified, so the responses you give cannot be identified as yours.

About the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

The TGA is part of the Australian Government Department of Health, and is responsible for regulating therapeutic goods including prescription medicines, vaccines, sunscreens, vitamins and minerals, medical devices, blood and blood products.

The TGA safeguards and enhances the health of the Australian community through the effective and timely regulation of therapeutic goods. Therapeutic goods, including medicines and vaccines, must be entered in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) before they can be used in Australia.

Ingredients of COVID-19 vaccines

More about the ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines is available on the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines do not contain:

  • Milk 
  • Egg 
  • Latex 
  • Pork or pork product (such as pork gelatine).

Reviewed 03 May 2021

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