The Australian Government has invested $363 million to support research and development, to contribute to the global effort to find successful vaccines and treatments to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Latest Updates

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccination information relevant to health professionals, our community and Residential Aged Care Facilities.

The COVID-19 Vaccine in Australia

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Australia has commenced. 

We’ve sourced the latest information for both health professionals and community members on what the Australian Government has planned for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia. 

Children aged 12 years and older are recommended to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

The National Centre of Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) offers information on their webpage to those who have concerns about the severity of COVID-19 in children, COVID-19 vaccines in children, and attending school during the pandemic.

Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network has also provided an informative Q&A video about COVID-19 vaccines for children 12 years and older.

From Friday 1 October, people aged 60 and over will be able to access any COVID-19 vaccine, including the Comirnaty (Pfizer) or Spikevax (Moderna) vaccines, at all vaccination sites, regardless of where they live. This means:

  • people aged 18+ can access any COVID-19 vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna and Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca)); and
  • people aged 12+ can access the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines.

Individuals who have had one dose of AstraZeneca without any serious adverse effects should have the second dose of AstraZeneca to gain full protection. They should not attempt to receive an mRNA vaccine for their second dose.

The Department of Health (DoH) has released the COVID-19 Vaccination Policy which outlines how COVID-19 vaccines will be accessible on a rolling basis, dependent on vaccine delivery schedules and the identification of groups for most urgent vaccination.

Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccine National Rollout Strategy identifies:

  • Priority populations for vaccination, and the phases in which vaccines will be provided in Australia
  • Details for how vaccines will reach frontline health care workers, quarantine and border workers, and aged and disability care residents and workers
  • Initial locations, across Australia, at which vaccines will be administered

The Australian Government has appointed Aspen Medical, Healthcare Australia, International SOS, and Sonic Clinical Services to supplement the existing immunisation workforce for the Phase 1a rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This surge workforce will help provide immunisations for priority groups including residential aged care, residential disability care and their carers.

Read the media release for more information.

The DoH has also provided a roadmap presentation of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout across Australia.

COVID-19 vaccines will be free for everyone in Australia. This includes all Australian citizens, permanent residents, temporary visa-holders, and those without a Medicare card. International students and asylum seekers will also be eligible.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved an application by the company AstraZeneca to change the name of their COVID-19 vaccine being used in Australia from AstraZeneca to Vaxzevria.

This brings the name of the vaccine in line with the name that is being used in other parts of the world, including Europe and North America. This is expected to alleviate confusion and further clarify that the vaccine produced by CSL and Seqirus in Melbourne is the same as that produced internationally.

It is very important to note that this is the only change to the vaccine. It’s estimated that the supply of Vaxzevria-branded products will commence in Australia in late 2021.

The Australian Government has secured 25 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. This is the second messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccine to be purchased by the Government.

Supply in Australia will only commence once the vaccine is approved as safe and effective by Australia’s regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

A complete course of Moderna’s vaccination is likely to be two doses given 28 days apart.

Read the media release for more information.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Our Health Professionals

We recommend health care professionals stay up-to-date with the latest advice and information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. We endeavour to keep you informed as information changes. 

There are a range of resources available to help you answer questions from your patients around COVID-19 vaccines. 

The Department of Health (DoH) has created the Is it True? webpage which provides answers to common questions from community members. 

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) also regularly update their COVID-19 vaccine FAQs webpage based on the latest information.

A range of resources and guides have been developed to help answer any questions and help patients make an informed decision about the COVID-19 vaccines: 

DoH has also developed a webpage with the latest information about the development and plans of the COVID-19 vaccine. Find out about how the vaccines are tested and approved, who will get the vaccine, how to get the vaccine and why it’s important to get vaccinated. 

Visit health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines for more information. 

The Department of Health (DoH) developed the Arm Yourself campaign to encourage Australians aged 12 years and over to book an appointment to receive a vaccination approved by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

The DoH has provided resources in a kit to help build understanding about the vaccines available for young people and the importance of getting vaccinated. 

This kit includes:
• key messages
• sample website and newsletter content
• links to videos that you can share on social media channels
• links to information sheets for young people, their parents or guardians.

Access the COVID-19 vaccination – Youth community kit via the DoH website.

The latest edition of the COVID-19 vaccines multicultural audiences stakeholder pack, developed by the Department of Health (DoH), is now available. Click on the links in the stakeholder pack to access translated COVID-19 vaccine information and details about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the AstraZeneca vaccine, vaccine eligibility and vaccine safety. Resources include posters, factsheets, audio files and social media content.

The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) has released a number of articles relating to the COVID-19 vaccine. These include:

The DoH has also made COVID-19 vaccine posters available for practices to help their patients stay informed:

The DoH, in partnership with the Australian College of Nursing, has released two COVID-19 vaccination training modules available for free to all authorised vaccination providers. Vaccination providers must have already undertaken routine immunisation training, and have the authority to administer vaccinations in their state.

Training is also available for non-clinical and administration staff, which covers information regarding handling, storage and administrative reporting. Administrative or non-clinical staff can enrol in non-clinical modules without an AHPRA number. Further information is available on the DoH website.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a three-hour online learning module to prepare health professionals involved in administering the COVID-19 vaccine.

NSW Health has created a COVID-19 Vaccination in NSW factsheet for health care workers that includes the National COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, health care priority groups, vaccination hubs and more. 

The Department of Health (DoH) has published a COVID-19 Vaccine Information sheet to assist health care workers to talk about the vaccines with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients.

The recently passed Australian Immunisation Register Amendment (Reporting) Bill 2020 means that recognised vaccination providers must report information relating to vaccinations they administer, and vaccines they are notified about that were given outside Australia, to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). More information is available on the Department of Health website.

16 new MBS items are now available to enable GPs and suitably qualified health professionals to assess patients for their suitability to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The 16 new MBS COVID-19 vaccine suitability assessment items are categorised by: Practitioner (GP/OMP) + Location (metropolitan/non-metropolitan) + Time Period (business/after hours) + Dose (first dose/second dose).

  • MBS items 93624, 93625, 93626, 93627, 93634, 93635, 93636 and 93637 are available to assess patients’ suitability for the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine dose.
  • MBS items 93644, 93645, 93646, 93647, 93653, 93654, 93655 and 93656 are available to assess patients’ suitability for the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Please download the MBS factsheet to find out more information. 

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has provided advice about influenza and COVID-19 vaccines, particularly the timing of administering these vaccines. Find out more by reading the ATAGI Advice on the relative timing of administering influenza and COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 guidance

Following the successful onboarding of more than 4,600 primary care vaccination sites between March and April 2021 (including 4,400 general practices), the Commonwealth further expanded participation in the COVID-19 Vaccination Program through general practices to up to 900 additional sites. 

Expression of interest for general practices to join the COVID-19 Vaccination Program was closed on Monday 31 May 2021.

Community Pharmacists were also invited to express their interest to participate in Phase 2A onwards of the national rollout strategy. The EOI process was managed by the Pharmacy Programs Administrator (PPA) on behalf of the Department of Health (DoH).

Submissions have closed and are reviewed by the DoH.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Our Community

To help you keep up-to-date with the latest advice about the COVID-19 vaccine, we’ve sourced a range of information and resources for you and your family.

My Health Record was updated to allow people to access their COVID-19 vaccination digital certificate to show proof of vaccination when needed.

The digital certificate will become available once their vaccination provider has reported all the required doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

You can access your proof of COVID-19 vaccination in English and other languages.

For more information head to the Digital Health website.

The COVID-19 vaccine has already protected millions of Aussies. If you’re living in an area that has a stay-at-home order in place, you can still attend your vaccination appointment if you don’t have symptoms.

To book you vaccination, use the Vaccine Eligibility Checker. It now reflects the updated advice to include pregnant women and aged 12 years and over. 

healthdirect also created a side effects checker for use after receiving the vaccination.

While you wait to be vaccinated for COVID-19, there are some things you can do to get ready.

This includes continuing to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, and making sure your details are up-to-date.

Find out what you can do to be ready for your COVID-19 vaccine on the Department of Health’s website. 

In response to questions and misinformation circulating around the COVID-19 vaccines, the Department of Health (DoH) has released a new feature on their website.

Is It True? has been designed to help answer questions people may have about COVID-19 vaccines and respond to vaccine misinformation they may have heard with all answers being fact-checked by public health experts. 

The National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) also regularly updates its COVID-19 vaccine FAQs webpage based on the latest information.

A range of resources and guides have been developed to help you make an informed decision about the COVID-19 vaccines: 

Visit health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines for more information about the development and plans of the COVID-19 vaccine. Find out about how the vaccines are tested and approved, who will get the vaccine, how to get the vaccine and why it’s important to get vaccinated.

Minimum vaccination requirements for workers from the eight affected local government areas (LGAs) including Blacktown, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool and Parramatta are now in place.

Construction workers from affected LGAs must provide evidence that they have received:

  • Two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, or
  • One dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least three weeks before attending work, or
  • One dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and, if less than three weeks since that vaccine was administered, a negative COVID-19 test in the previous 72 hours. NSW is currently trialling rapid antigen testing and when approved by NSW Health, that form of testing may be used as an alternative to a negative PCR test.

Visit the NSW Health website to find out more information.

Information about COVID-19 vaccinations has been translated into multiple languages.

Access information about receiving your Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination in Arabic, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Dari and Hindi below:

Access information about receiving your Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination in Korean, Persian, Tamil, Turkish and Vietnamese below:

Learn about the vaccine rollout in your preferred language by visiting the Department of Health’s website

The Department of Health has created a short 30-second video for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders on how to stay informed about the COVID-19 vaccine. There is also a COVID-19 Vaccination Common questions information sheet for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that has recently been updated. 

The National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) and the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS) have released a resource that provides information and answers questions about COVID-19 vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. You can access this resource online

There is more than one COVID-19 vaccine available in Australia.

The vaccine you receive will depend on:

  • When and where you will be vaccinated, and
  • The clinical guidelines that determine who each vaccine is safe for

Find out more on the Department of Health’s website.

You should wait at least seven days between a dose of the seasonal flu vaccine, and a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

This is a precautionary measure to manage the common side effects that come with many vaccinations.

Find out more information on the Department of Health’s Is It True? webpage. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Residential Aged Care Facility Staff and Community

We’re working with residential aged care facilities (RACFs) to support them with the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

RACF staff and community can find out more on our Residential Aged Care Facilities webpage.

Information on this page is correct as of 2:30pm AEST Monday 18 October 2021.