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Get vaccinated

Information about how to book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Getting vaccinated protects you against COVID-19, helps prevent you from getting seriously ill and reduces the spread of COVID-19 to others.

COVID-19 vaccines are available free for everyone aged 5 and over at pharmacies and GPs.

    • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in protecting you against COVID-19. When you get vaccinated, your body starts producing antibodies against the virus. These antibodies help your immune system fight the virus if exposed to it.
    • COVID-19 vaccines provide strong protection against serious illness, hospitalisation, and death.
    • Getting vaccinated helps those at a higher risk of falling seriously ill have an increased immunity, such as people who are severely immunocompromised, pregnant (including their unborn baby), adults aged above 65 years, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
    • mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are safe and effective for children. Three doses of the vaccine have proven to provide stronger and longer-lasting protection.
    • Getting vaccinated is a safer and more dependable way to build immunity to COVID-19 than getting sick with COVID-19. If you had COVID-19, you should still get vaccinated to receive maximum protection.
  • Children aged between 6 months and under 5 years who are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 are recommended a paediatric formulation of the Moderna vaccineExternal Link .

    Eligible children can receive 2 doses, 8 weeks apart, if they have:

    • a severely compromised immune system
    • disability that requires frequent assistance with activities of daily living, such as severe cerebral palsy or Down syndrome
    • complex or multiple health conditions which increase the risk of severe COVID-19.

    Some children with severe immunocompromise will require 3 primary doses. Speak to your GP for more information.

    ATAGI is currently not recommending COVID-19 vaccination for children in this age group who are not at increased risk.

    Bookings can be made via the vaccine clinic finderExternal Link for participating GPs state-wide or via the Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398 for specialist vaccination clinics in metropolitan Melbourne at:

    • Royal Children's Hospital
    • Monash Health
    • Western Health.

    Victorian Specialist Immunisation Service (VicSIS) is a specialist immunisation service for children at risk of experiencing an adverse event following immunisation, having a severe allergy, or having significant behavioural issues or disabilities that require vaccination under sedation.

    For children requiring specialist vaccination support, a GP or specialist can referExternal Link the child to one of four VicSIS clinics at:

    • Royal Children’s Hospital
    • Barwon Health
    • Monash Health
    • Western Health.

    For more information, visit VicSISExternal Link .

  • Primary course

    The recommended schedule for vaccination in this age group is 2 doses, 8 weeks apart.

    The dose interval can be shortened to a minimum of 3 weeks (for children who receive a Pfizer vaccine) or 4 weeks (for children who receive a Moderna vaccine) in special circumstances.

    A third primary dose is recommended for children in this age group who are severely immunocompromised. It is recommended they receive this dose from 8 weeks after their second dose.

    Additional doses

    Unless immunocompromised, this age group is not eligible for a third dose.

    Vaccines

    Children aged 5 can get the Pfizer vaccine. Children aged 6 to 11 can get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. They will receive a smaller dose of the vaccine, specifically for their age group.

  • Primary course

    The recommended schedule for vaccination in this age group is 2 doses, 8 weeks apart. The dose interval can be shortened to a minimum of 3 weeks (for people who receive a Pfizer vaccine) or 4 weeks (for people who receive a Moderna vaccine) in special circumstances.

    A third primary dose is recommended for people in this age group who are severely immunocompromised. It is recommended they receive this dose from 8 weeks after their second dose.

    Additional doses

    Children in this age group are eligible for an additional dose if they are:

    • severely immunocompromised
    • have a disability with significant or complex health needs
    • have complex and/or multiple health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19.

    For some in this age group, this may be the fourth dose if they had a three-dose primary course.

    Vaccines

    People aged 12 to 15 can get the Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax vaccine for their primary dose. Pfizer is the recommended vaccine for the additional dose.

  • Primary course

    The recommended schedule for vaccination in this age group is 2 doses, 8 weeks apart. The dose interval can be shortened to a minimum of 3 weeks (for people who receive a Pfizer vaccine) or 4 weeks (for people who receive a Moderna vaccine) in special circumstances.

    A third primary dose is recommended for people in this age group who are severely immunocompromised. It is recommended they receive this dose from 8 weeks after their second dose.

    Additional doses

    People aged 16 to 17 are also recommended to receive an additional dose after their primary course of vaccination. This will be a third dose for most people. However, for people who are severely immunocompromised, an additional dose will be a fourth dose, as they will already have had 3 primary vaccine doses.

    Everyone aged 16 and over who is severely immunocompromised or lives in disability care facilities can receive their winter dose 3 months after receiving their third dose (or fourth dose for people who are severely immunocompromised) or being infected with COVID-19 if it has occurred since the person's third dose.

    Vaccines

    People aged 16 to 17 can get the Pfizer, Moderna or Novavax vaccine for their primary course of vaccination. The primary course of vaccination is the first two doses, or three doses for people who are severely immunocompromised.

    They are eligible to receive a Pfizer vaccine for this additional third or fourth (for people who are severely immunocompromised) dose and a Pfizer vaccine for their winter dose (for those who are eligible to receive this dose).

  • Primary course

    The recommended schedule for vaccination in this age group is 3 doses. You can get your third dose 3 months after your second dose.

    Additional doses

    Additional doses are recommended for eligible people in this age group.

    You can receive the fourth doseExternal Link 3 months after receiving your third dose or after being infected with COVID-19 if it has occurred since your third dose and if you are:

    • aged 30 years and above
    • severely immunocompromised
    • residents of aged care or disability care facilities
    • at risk of severe illness due to complex medical conditions or disability.

    Vaccines

    A Moderna bivalent vaccineExternal Link is available as a booster dose in Australia to provide extra protection against the Omicron variants for everyone aged 18 and above.

    'Bivalent' means that the vaccine causes the immune system to create antibodies against two different variants of the COVID-19 virus, including Omicron variants.

    People aged 18 and over can also get the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, or Novavax vaccine for their primary course of vaccination.

    Everyone aged 18 and over can get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for their third dose, 3 months after their second dose.

    AstraZeneca is not preferred for use as a third dose for people who received AstraZeneca for their first 2 doses.

    Although not preferred, AstraZeneca or Novavax can only be used as a third dose under the following circumstances:

    • people who have a contraindication to mRNA vaccines (including those who have had a significant adverse reaction to a previous mRNA vaccine dose)
    • people who do not prefer an mRNA vaccine
    • third dose should be administered 3 months after the second dose.
  • Free COVID-19 vaccines are available at pharmacies and GPs.

    To make a booking with a GP or pharmacy, use the Vaccination Clinic FinderExternal Link .

  • You need a third dose to keep up your immunity against COVID-19.

    Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends COVID-19 third doses for anyone aged 16 and over who received their second dose 3 or more months ago.

    The Pfizer,Moderna and Novavax vaccines are approved for use as a third dose in people aged 18 years and over, regardless of which COVID-19 vaccine you received for your initial doses.

    People aged 16 to 17 will receive the Pfizer vaccine as their third dose.

    The AstraZeneca vaccine is only recommended for use as a third dose if you have had a significant adverse reaction to a previous mRNA vaccine dose (for example, Pfizer or Moderna) that means you cannot have another dose of an mRNA vaccine.

    ATAGI does not recommendExternal Link AstraZeneca for use as a third dose for people who received AstraZeneca for their first two doses.

    If you’re not sure which third dose you’re eligible for, talk to your GP.

    Your third dose will appear on your Australian immunisation history statementExternal Link and your COVID-19 digital certificate.

    Under Pandemic Orders, workers in key sectors who are already required to be up to date with their vaccination status with two doses, must get their third dose before being permitted to work on site. Visit Worker vaccination requirements for more information.

    If you completed your initial vaccination course overseas with a vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, you can get your third dose.

  • The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)External Link has approved a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine for priority groups.

    On 7 July, ATAGI expandedExternal Link the eligibility criteria for a fourth dose to help reduce severe illness from COVID-19.

    The fourth dose is now available to:

    • adults aged 50 years and above
    • adults aged 30 and above now have the option to receive a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

    In addition to the above, a fourth dose is also available to:

    • people aged 16 years and above who are severely immunocompromised
    • residents of aged care or disability care facilities
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 50 years and above
    • people aged 16 years and above who have a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness
    • people aged 16 years and above who have disabilities with significant, complex, or multiple health issues, which increase the risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19 infection.

    People who are now recommended to receive a fourth dose include people with:

    • immunocompromising conditions
    • cancers
    • specific chronic inflammatory conditions
    • chronic lung disease
    • chronic liver disease
    • severe chronic kidney disease
    • chronic neurological disease
    • diabetes requiring medication
    • chronic cardiac disease
    • disability with significant, complex, or multiple health issues, which increase the risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19
    • severe obesity
    • severe underweight.

    Eligible people can receive their fourth doseExternal Link 3 months after receiving their third dose or after having COVID-19 if infection has occurred since the person’s third dose.

    Pfizer and Moderna are the preferred vaccines for the fourth dose for people aged 18 and above. People aged 16 to 17 can only get the Pfizer vaccine as their fourth dose. AstraZeneca or Novavax can be used if an mRNA vaccine (such as Pfizer or Moderna) is contraindicated.

    Fourth doses are available at Victorian vaccination centres now, or at your local GP, pharmacyExternal Link or Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation.

    • Ensure you are eligible to receive a vaccine at the recommended interval.
    • Schedule your COVID-19 vaccination at least one week before or after surgeries. This will reduce the chance that adverse events following the vaccination (such as fever) are attributed as surgical complications (such as wound infection).
    • Talk to your doctor or regular health professional if you have concerns about your health and getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
    • Bring these items to your vaccine appointment:
      • 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 External Link card or Individual Healthcare IdentifierExternal Link (IHI) number if you have don’t have a Medicare card. You can still get vaccinated if you don’t have a Medicare card or a IHI number.
    • Vaccines are free. There may be an additional charge if you get vaccinated at a GP or pharmacy.
    • Vaccinated or not, always remember to be COVIDSafe. Don't go to a vaccine appointment if you think you may have COVID-19.
    • You must tell your immunisation provider beforehand if you are allergic to ingredients in a COVID-19 vaccine (such as polyethylene glycol in Pfizer or polysorbate 80 in AstraZeneca and Novavax) or have had anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) to other vaccines and medicines.

    After receiving your vaccine, you will be asked to wait for 15 minutes to make sure you're okay. Vaccines are delivered by trained professionals who have medications and equipment on hand to respond to any issues.

    For a day or two, you may experience some symptoms such as pain where you had the injection, muscle ache, headache, fever, or fatigue. Visit About COVID-19 vaccines for more information on vaccine side effects.

  • People over the age of 5External Link 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.

  • Victorians are encouraged to get an influenza vaccine this year to protect themselves against seasonal influenza. This will help protect our health system and our most vulnerable people.

    The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)External Link advises that COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time as an influenza vaccine.

Reviewed 09 November 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 6pm and 8am.

Please keep Triple Zero (000) for emergencies only.

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