COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out across Australia. In Gippsland, vaccines have already been administered to aged care residents, elderly adults, people with a specified medical condition, Aboriginal and Torres Islander adults and healthcare workers (Phase 1a and 1b of the Commonwealth Government rollout.)
Am I eligible? Where can I book?
As the Phase 1b rollout begins at some local GP clinics, you may want to check whether you (or family and friends) are eligible. Go to https://covidvaccine.healthdirect.gov.au/eligibility
Once there, you can also make a booking. Do be patient as places may initially be limited. The vaccine is free.
If you’re wondering where you fit in to the national rollout, here is the list.
|Quarantine and border workers|
|Frontline health care worker sub-groups for prioritisation|
|Aged care and disability care staff|
|Aged care and disability care residents|
|Elderly adults aged 80 years and over|
|Elderly adults aged 70-79 years|
|Other health care workers|
|Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people > 55|
|Younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability|
|Critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing|
|Adults aged 60-69 years|
|Adults aged 50-59 years|
|Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 18-54|
|Other critical and high risk workers|
|Balance of adult population|
|Catch up any unvaccinated Australians from previous phases|
|< 16 if recommended*|
Must I have the vaccine?
The vaccine is voluntary. The choice is yours. We encourage you to read about the different vaccines and the Commonwealth immunisation strategy by clicking here or going to www.health.gov.au
Being informed by a credible, accurate source is important.
Can I choose which vaccine to receive?
Not at this stage. The vaccine at the clinic on the day is the vaccine you’ll receive.
Will the vaccine make me sick?
There is no live virus in the vaccine so no risk of acquiring COVID-19 from the vaccine.
However, some side effects from vaccination may be similar to symptoms of COVID-19. How do you know you don't have COVID? If you develop general symptoms like fever, headache or tiredness in the first two days after vaccination and if you are sure you don't have any respiratory symptoms such as a cough, sore throat or runny nose, chances are this is related to your vaccination.
But ask yourself these questions - have you come into contact with someone in hotel quarantine? Have you been in a location where there is community transmission of COVID-19? If you're still unsure after this self-assessment, contact the COVID-19 hotline 1800 675 398 to talk through your concerns or your GP.
Will I still need a flu shot?
Definitely but timing is important.
If you are receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, you should plan to get other vaccines like your flu shot at least 14 days before or after your first dose or 14 days before or after your second dose. If you are receiving the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, you should get your flu shot 14 days before the first dose of Pfizer or 14 days after the second dose.
I’m pregnant. Should I get the vaccine?
The Commonwealth Government advises clinical trials for new medicines do not typically include pregnant or breastfeeding participants. Each country that is hosting or has hosted clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccine candidates has different guidance regarding use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy. In preparation for vaccine roll-out, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has provided a decision guide for breastfeeding and pregnant women for the Pfizer vaccine
I’d like to find out more information