Patients naturally may have questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The information below may provide some answers, or alternatively the links in the side panel may be helpful.
Who will receive a vaccine?
Everyone in Australia will be offered a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine.
At first, doses will be limited so high priority groups will get their vaccines first.
COVID-19 vaccines will be voluntary
The COVID-19 vaccine will be voluntary and free. As safe and effective vaccines become available the Government will vaccinate as many Australians as possible for COVID-19.
Why should I get vaccinated for COVID-19?
- Vaccination is the most effective way to protect against infectious diseases.
- Vaccines strengthen your immune system by training it to recognise and fight against specific viruses.
- When you get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and helping to protect the whole community.
- Help reduce COVID-19 in the community
COVID-19 can spread quickly and widely. It has resulted in the deaths of over 1.9 million people worldwide and over 900 deaths in Australia.
When enough people in the community are vaccinated, it slows down the spread of disease.
Achieving herd immunity is a long-term Department of Health goal. It usually requires a large amount of the population to be vaccinated. Studies will monitor the impact of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia and whether herd immunity is developing over time.
It is not yet known if we can eradicate COVID-19. The first step is to reduce the harm it causes and its spread in the community. High immunisation rates also protect vulnerable people in our community who cannot be vaccinated, such as very young children or people who are too sick.
Reactions to vaccines
For the most recent information from the Department of Health, please see the links on this page.
Because COVID-19 vaccines do not introduce fully functional viruses, reactions to the vaccine are not a “mild form” of COVID-19. Reactions are the immune system’s response to the introduction of a foreign body.
It is not possible for the vaccine to infect a person with COVID-19 or cause changes to human DNA. Severe anaphylactic reactions to the Pfizer/BioNtech Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines appear to be uncommon.
Reactions can include local injection site pain, redness, swelling, and other more systemic symptoms such as fever, muscle soreness, fatigue, or headache.
For both the Pfizer/BioNtech and AstraZeneca vaccines approved in Australia, most reactions are mild (i.e. do not interfere with daily activities) and only last a day or two.
Moderate to severe reactions (i.e. headache, fever/chills, fatigue) are very uncommon and usually also resolve in two to three days.
The above information has been sourced from the Department of Health website and the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation.
How do I know when I am eligible for a vaccine?
Use the eligibility checker tool below to determine your elibility for the COVID-19 vaccine.
This checker can guide you on which phase applies to you and includes a comprehensive list of chronic conditions which apply for Phase 1b.