Checklist: before your COVID-19 vaccination

What to do before you get your COVID-19 vaccination

Always stay COVIDSafe

Vaccinated or not, always be COVIDSafe. This will keep yourself and your friends, family and loved ones safe. Follow these COVIDSafe guidelines:

  • 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
  • Wear a face mask when required
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow 
  • Follow current public health restrictions.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 and stay home until you receive a negative result if you:
  • feel even a little unwell
  • have been to an exposure site
  • have been in close contact with someone who might have COVID-19.

Don’t go to a vaccine appointment if you think you may have COVID-19. 

What to bring with you to your vaccine appointment

Bring these things, if you have them:

  • a face mask
  • any emails about your vaccination appointment (on your phone or printed)
  • photo identification, if you have one, such as a passport or driver’s licence
  • a Medicare card or Individual Healthcare Identifier number
  • proof of your eligibility such as an employee ID card, NDIS number, or carers documentation
  • information about your medical history, such as allergies, diabetes, history of blood clotting, etc.

Consider other vaccines you are getting

Try to space your COVID-19 vaccine at least 7 days away from other vaccines, such as the influenza vaccine. Vaccines can be spaced closer together if:

  • there are outbreaks of diseases like COVID-19 or flu
  • it’s difficult to schedule your doses 7 days apart.

Check whether you’re eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine

Read more about who can get vaccinated, including people with medical conditions or other special considerations.

Check where you can get a vaccine

Read more about how to get a COVID-19 vaccine. You can also view vaccination centre information including who they will accept, and waiting times for walk ins.

Read more about COVID-19 vaccines, including side effects and how far apart to space your doses.

Talk to your doctor if you have questions

Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about your health and getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

Make sure your Medicare details are up to date

You should make sure your Medicare details are up to date before you receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Visit the Australian Government Department of Health website to find out how to update your Medicare details.

If you don’t have a Medicare card

The vaccines are safe, voluntary and free for everyone. This includes people who don’t have a Medicare Card, refugees, people seeking asylum, temporary and provisional visa holders (including international students and temporary migrants).

  • If you do not have a Medicare card, you can apply for an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI). You do not need an IHI or a Medicare card to get a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre.  
  • An IHI or Medicare card will enable you to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
  • Individual Healthcare Identifiers are used to match the correct record to the person being treated - no clinical information is linked to the identifier. 
  • Applying for an Individual Healthcare Identifier and being vaccinated for COVID-19 will not impact your visa status or your eligibility for government payments.

Talk to your doctor about specific allergies

Tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to ingredients such as polyethylene glycol (PEG) (in Pfizer) or polysorbate 80 (in AstraZeneca)
  • have had an allergic reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or to an ingredient of the vaccine
  • have had anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) to other vaccines or other medicines.

If you have any of the above, you can still get a COVID-19 vaccine, but you must tell the immunisation provider beforehand. You will be asked to wait for 30 minutes after your vaccination to make sure you’re okay.

Vaccines are usually delivered by trained professionals who have the right medications and equipment on hand to respond to any issues.

Book your second dose

If this is your first vaccine, book an appointment or set yourself a reminder to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose at the recommended interval. Read more about how to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

Useful resources

The Australian Government has some useful resources for people getting their first COVID-19 vaccine:

Reviewed 26 July 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

24/7 Coronavirus Hotline

If you suspect you may have COVID-19 call the dedicated hotline – open 24 hours, 7 days.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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