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COVID-19 vaccine (COVID-19 vaccine) - English (English)

Information about COVID-19 vaccine rollout and safety.

If you are concerned, call the coronavirus hotline 1800 675 398 (24 Hours).
If you need an interpreter, call TIS National on 131 450.
Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

What you need to know

  • Everyone who is aged 40 years and over can get their COVID-19 vaccine now
  • Some people who are aged under 40 years are also eligible, including:
    • People who are at higher risk of getting COVID-19 because of their job, such as health care workers, disability care and aged care workers, emergency service workers, and hotel quarantine and airport and port workers
    • People who are likely to get very sick if they get COVID-19, such as people with a disability or medical condition
    • People who live, work or care for people who are at higher risk of getting sick or getting COVID-19, such as carers of people with a disability and people who live with hotel quarantine and border workers
    • For the full list see who can get vaccinated.
  • People aged 60 years and older can get the AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • People under 60 years of age will be given the Pfizer vaccine.
  • The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone. You do not need a Medicare card.
  • The vaccine is voluntary. You can choose to get vaccinated.
  • You need two doses (injections) of the same COVID-19 vaccine to be effective.
  • When you get your first dose, you will be told when you need to get your second dose.
  • All vaccines are carefully tested to make sure they are safe before they are approved for use in Australia.
  • If you are worried about your health or getting the COVID-19 vaccine, talk to your doctor.

Why you should get vaccinated

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • reduces your risk of getting sick with COVID-19
  • protects you against becoming very sick if you do get COVID-19
  • helps to protect your friends, family and community.

If most people are vaccinated, the virus can’t spread as easily. This also protects people who can’t get vaccinated.

Vaccine safety

  • All vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccine, need to pass strict safety standards set by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, before they are used in Australia.
  • You will be vaccinated by a qualified healthcare worker.
  • As with all vaccines, some people might experience normal side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. This could include:
    • pain where you had the injection
    • tiredness
    • muscle aches
    • fever and chills
    • joint pain.

Read information before you get vaccinated

For more information about side effects following your COVID-19 vaccine see:

If you have any concerns about the vaccine, you should talk to your doctor.

Effectiveness

As millions of people get vaccinated worldwide, we are getting a better understanding of how well the vaccines protect us. The information below is based on the latest research, including 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 up to 90 percent less likely to get sick with COVID-19
  • After the first dose of the vaccine, you are over 90 percent 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 percent less likely to get sick with COVID-19
  • After the first dose of the vaccine, you are over 80 percent less likely to be hospitalised with COVID-19.

Ingredients of COVID-19 vaccines

Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines do not contain:

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

When you can get a vaccine

The following people can get a COVID-19 vaccine now:

  • People who are 40 years and older
  • Hotel quarantine and border workers
  • Household contacts of hotel quarantine and border workers
  • Healthcare workers
  • Aged care staff and residents
  • Disability care staff and residents
  • People aged 16 years and over with an underlying medical condition
  • Adults with a significant disability
  • From 31 May 2021, people with a disability who are participants of National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
  • Carers (paid and unpaid) of some individuals eligible under Phase 1a and 1b, or of children with specified medical conditions – see COVID-19 vaccination program Phase 1b
  • Some disability and aged care support volunteers – see COVID-19 vaccination program Phase 1b
  • Critical and high-risk workers who are currently employed including:
    • defence force personnel
    • police, fire, emergency services workers
    • meat and seafood processing workers.
  • The Victorian Government has expanded access to include people in the following workplaces:
    • corrective and detention services including community correction staff
    • staff working within high-risk accommodation settings such as supported residential services
    • public transport drivers and workers that are public facing
    • ride share and taxi drivers
    • all staff at international ports of entry.
  • People that are vulnerable and at high risk of contracting or developing serious illness from COVID-19, such as:
    • those experiencing homelessness, sleeping rough, or in emergency accommodation
    • those receiving drug and alcohol support services
    • residents of residential mental health facilities
    • those in sensitive accommodation including high rise/low rise public housing, supported residential services, community housing, rooming houses and others
    • prisoners in custody and detainees within corrections facilities.
  • Travellers who have received a travel restriction exemption from the Australian Government to leave Australia
  • People who have already had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine (including individuals who have returned from interstate or overseas) can receive their second dose at the appropriate timing between doses regardless of the phase they are in.

Where to go to get your COVID-19 vaccine

If you are eligible, you can book an appointment at:

  • General Practices (doctors)
  • Community Health Services
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services
  • General Practice Respiratory Clinics
  • Vaccination centres.

You can get vaccinated by your doctor if you want to and your doctor is providing COVID-19 vaccines. The best person to talk to is your doctor if you have:

  • a pre-existing medical condition
  • questions or are nervous about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

How to book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment

There are a few options for booking your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

For people over 50

  • Book at a GP or health service near you
  • Book at a vaccination centre by calling 1800 675 398. Select 0 if you need an interpreter.
  • Some vaccination centres are allowing people to walk in without a booking. If you walk in, you may need to wait until an immuniser is free to give you a vaccine. Check which centres accept walk ins and their opening hours.

For people under 50

  • You should book an appointment by calling 1800 675 398. Select 0 if you need an interpreter
  • Some vaccination centres are allowing people to walk in without a booking. If you walk in, you may need to wait until an immuniser is free to give you a vaccine. Check which centres accept walk ins and their opening hours.

For more information about Victorian vaccination centres including opening hours visit Vaccination centres.

What to bring with you to your vaccine appointment

  • You will need to wear a face mask when you’re in a vaccination centre
  • Photo ID, if you have one
  • Medicare card, if you have one (although a Medicare card is not required)
  • Individual Healthcare Identifier number, if you don’t have a Medicare card
  • Employee ID or letter from your employer, if you are getting a COVID-19 vaccine because of your occupation
  • Information about your medical history such as allergies.

A very rare blood clotting side effect

There is a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a very rare condition, which involves blood clotting and low blood platelet levels. The condition is called Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).

Read the latest information from the Australian Governmentabout this very rare blood clotting side effect.

Translated factsheets in your language

How to prepare for your COVID-19 vaccination

Resources for Pfizer vaccine

More information

More information on Australia’s vaccination program, including the rollout plan, can be found on the Australian Government’s website.

Reviewed 13 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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