This page provides a primary point of information and resources for Victorian COVID-19 vaccination providers based on information and minimum site requirements set out by the Commonwealth.
Compliance with these guidelines is a condition of the Public Health Emergency Orders and Secretary's Approvals that will authorise the necessary Victorian workforce to deliver the vaccine.
The authorised workforce includes:
- medical practitioners
- nurse practitioners (within scope of practice)
- nurse immuniser
- pharmacist immuniser
- paramedic with experience in immunisation.
Administering the vaccine
The COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia require injection into muscle and are usually given into the deltoid muscle in the upper arm.
Usually, people receive the same brand of vaccine for their first two doses with spacing of doses as recommended by ATAGI.
Standard pre-vaccine and post-vaccine procedures will apply, including a checklist and a minimum 15-minute observation period following vaccination. It is recommended that individuals with a history of anaphylactic reaction to vaccines be monitored for 30 minutes after vaccination, rather than 15 minutes.
The COVID-19 vaccine should not be administered with other vaccines except for the Influenza vaccine.
Informed consent is required before administering each COVID-19 vaccine dose. Consent can be verbal or written:
Managing side effects
Normal and very common reactions to vaccination include:
- pain, redness and/or swelling at the site of injection
- muscle aches
- fever and chills
- joint pain.
Serious reactions like allergic reactions are possible but extremely rare. Advise patients to seek medical advice straight away if:
- their body reacts in an unexpected way
- they received the AstraZeneca vaccine and experience symptoms of
- they received the Pfizer vaccine or the Moderna vaccine and experience symptoms of
- they have any concerns about potential side effects of vaccines.
An immediate allergic reaction to a vaccine or medication includes any hypersensitivity-related signs or symptoms consistent with urticaria, angioedema, respiratory distress (for example wheezing, stridor), or anaphylaxis that occur within four hours of administration.
Vaccine providers should attempt to determine whether reactions reported following vaccination are consistent with immediate allergic reactions versus other types of reactions commonly observed following vaccination, such as a vasovagal reaction or post-vaccination side effects (which are not contraindications to receiving the second vaccine dose).
COVID-19 and the Influenza vaccine
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 populations.
advises that COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered (given on the same day) with an influenza vaccine. ATAGI recommends it is acceptable to co-administer a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine that is additional to the primary course (third or fourth dose in some circumstances) with an influenza vaccine.
To reduce pain and discomfort at the vaccination site, people can:
- apply a clean, cool, wet washcloth over the area
- use or exercise their arm.
To reduce discomfort from fever, advise people to:
- drink plenty of fluids
- dress lightly
- take over-the-counter medicine such as paracetamol.
Advise people to call a doctor or healthcare provider if:
- the redness or tenderness at the vaccination site increases after 24 hours
- their side effects are worrying them or do not seem to be going away.
Reviewed 11 November 2022