The Australian Government Department of Health announced that its COVID-19 Vaccination Program was officially launched by the Prime Minister, Chief Medical Officer, and Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer on 22 February 2021. Here are 9 quick facts to help you get familiar with the program in Australia.
1) Can I trust the vaccines in Australia?
The Australian Government follow rigorous regulatory procedures to ensure that all vaccines supplied in Australia are effective and safe for use. This involves robust scientific data and analysis before supporting a vaccine candidate. The Government is advised by the COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatments for Australia – Science and Industry Technical Advisory Group and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).
2) Are the vaccines free?
COVID-19 vaccines will be free for everyone living in Australia. You will not need a prescription from a GP to get vaccinated.
3) Is vaccination voluntary?
COVID-19 vaccinations are voluntary. If you choose not to have a COVID-19 vaccine your eligibility for Government payments won’t be affected.
4) Which COVID-19 vaccine will I receive?
There is more than one COVID-19 vaccine available in Australia. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved 2 vaccines for use in Australia as of now. They are the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine. This means these vaccines have met the TGA’s rigorous standards for safety, quality and efficacy. The vaccine you receive may depend on when and where you will be vaccinated and the clinical guidelines that determine who each vaccine is safe for. Click here for more about the COVID-19 vaccines by World Health Organisation.
5) Which COVID-19 vaccine is more effective?
Clinical trials for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines have shown that these 2 vaccines are effective in preventing the development of COVID-19 symptoms and protecting against severe disease.
6) How will vaccinations take place in Australia?
Vaccines will be delivered across the country through vaccination clinics run by states and territories at hospitals. A Commonwealth led in-reach workforce will ensure residential aged care and disability care residents and staff receive their vaccines. The number of locations will increase as more doses arrive in the country, including GP respiratory clinics, General Practices that meet specific requirements, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services and even some workplace vaccination sites and community pharmacies.
7) Is the a queue for vaccinations?
Vaccinations will take place in phases. Priority groups who are at a higher risk of COVID-19 will be the first people to receive the vaccines. They include quarantine and border workers, frontline healthcare workers and aged and disability care residents and staff.
8) When will I get my vaccine?
The Government has developed the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker to help you find out which phase you're in and when you will get vaccinated.
9) Do I need to register to get a COVID-19 vaccination?
There is currently no need to register to be vaccinated. You may be able to book online as the rollout progresses. You will have access to digital and non-digital options to book your vaccination, and receive appointment details.
If you need information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines or help with the COVIDSafe app, simply contact National coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline at 1800 020 080. This number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also inquire online via COVID-19 vaccine enquiries.