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Getting vaccinated

Information about getting vaccinated including how to prepare and what to expect.

How to get the vaccine

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

What you need to know about getting vaccinated against COVID-19

  • The vaccines are free for everyone in Australia, including people who don’t have Medicare access.
  • The vaccines are voluntary - you can choose if you want to get vaccinated against COVID-19. The more people who are vaccinated, the more protected our community will be. 
  • You need two separate doses (injections) of the vaccine to give you the best protection against vaccination COVID-19. 
  • The two doses need to be given a few weeks apart. For the Pfizer vaccine you need to wait at least 21 days between doses. For the AstraZeneca vaccine it is recommended that you wait 12 weeks between doses.
  • The best person to talk to if you have concerns about your health and getting the COVID-19 vaccine is your doctor/general practitioner (GP).
  • When you attend a vaccination centre, you will need to wear a face mask.
  • Learn more about what to bring with you to your vaccine appointment.

Why should I 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.

Flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine

The flu vaccine should not be administered at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine.  It is recommended that you wait at least 14 days after you receive the COVID-19 vaccine to get the flu vaccine.

The same applies if you have a flu vaccine first, you should wait at least 14 days before being vaccinated against COVID-19.   

For more information visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Your first appointment

The Australian Government has provided the following information to help people who are currently eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine prepare for their first appointment.

After your first appointment

Both vaccines that have been approved by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration, the Pfizer vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccine, require two doses.

After you receive the COVID-19 vaccine you may experience some side effects. These are usually minor, expected side effects similar to what can occur with other vaccines. After your first dose, you will be asked to wait at the vaccination site for at least 15 minutes to make sure you feel okay. 

At your first appointment you will get the first dose of the vaccine. After your first appointment you will be able to book for your second dose. After each appointment it’s important to continue to practice COVIDSafe behaviours. 

For more information about what happens after your first appointment and possible side effects, visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Reviewed 14 May 2021

Coronavirus Victoria

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