Find out when, and how, to get your COVID-19 vaccination
Vaccines are now being rolled out across the country in effort to control the spread of COVID-19.
The Prime Minister Scott Morrison received his vaccination yesterday, but how do you get yours?
The Federal Department of health has released guidelines on it's website, and the NSW Government released a fact sheet for its members about the vaccine.
• Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccination rollout starts February 22.
• Two doses of the vaccine are required to be effective.
• COVID-19 vaccines will be free and voluntary for everyone living in Australia. You will not need a prescription from a GP to get vaccinated.
• The Government will vaccinate as many Australians as possible against COVID-19.
• If you choose not to have a COVID-19 vaccine your eligibility for Government payments won't be affected.
• There is currently no need to register to be vaccinated. You may be able to book online as the rollout progresses.
How is the COVID-19 vaccination program being rolled out?
• The program is scheduled to commence late February, and will be rolled out in progressive phases (1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3) with the Pfizer vaccine.
• Use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker to find out when you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
• The Federal Government asked the states to nominate sites for 'vaccination hubs' for the first phase of the rollout. These hubs will be focused on Pfizer vaccine delivery to high-priority groups (e.g. quarantine workers and aged care) and were not open to members of the general public.
• To ensure broad vaccination across the general population (likely to be the Astra Zeneca vaccine), the Australian Government was engaging with GPs, Primary Health Networks, Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and pharmacists to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations in later phases of the program.
When will vaccinations for COVID-19 begin?
• Following its approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration on January 25 this year, the Federal Government advised the Pfizer vaccine was expected to be available in Australia from late February
• The Australian Government was responsible for securing and distributing COVID-19 vaccines. NSW Health was working closely with Australian Government agencies to implement a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination program in NSW.
• The vaccine rollout will be led by the Australian Government, with the State being engaged in some elements.
• Phase 1a will commence with the Australian Government rolling out vaccines in aged care
facilities through contracted providers and NSW Health will commence vaccinating high-priority groups. These groups have been identified by the Commonwealth and include quarantine and border workers, and frontline healthcare workers at particular risk of exposure to COVID-19.
What role will the 'vaccination hubs' play in the rollout?
• The vaccination hubs in NSW are being set up to provide the COVID-19 vaccine to the high priority groups in Phase 1a, including the healthcare workers and quarantine facility workers who are most at risk of being exposed to someone with the disease.
• Vaccine supply from the Federal Government will determine how rapidly the rollout can occur.
• The first three hubs will be located at Royal Prince Alfred, Westmead and Liverpool hospitals, with more hubs expected to follow. Sites chosen for hubs will have the necessary storage, vaccine handling and administration capacity. The hub at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital is located in proximity to quarantine facilities and oversees the Special Health Accommodation, which cares for people with COVID-19 and other close contacts.
• The hubs will not be open to members of the public during Phase 1a.
Why are the hubs not being set up to vaccinate everyone?
• The Federal Government advises the supplies of the vaccine are likely to be very limited at the start of the rollout. In addition, the Pfizer vaccine has to be stored at extremely cold temperatures (-70C), which means that it must be carefully managed.
• The Pfizer vaccine is just one of the COVID-19 vaccines that have been developed. Other vaccines that are easier to store and handle are expected to become available in Australia at a later date. It is expected that one of these other vaccines will be made available to the general public through usual vaccination providers such as general practitioners and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.
Which groups will be next in line after the first phase?
• After Phase 1a of the rollout, the Australian Government has identified the following groups as the focus of the next phase (Phase 1b): adults aged 80 and over; adults aged 70-79; Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 55 and over; 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 workers.
• If vaccine supply rapidly increases, it is expected that many people in these groups will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine through their usual vaccination provider, including GP practices, GP respiratory clinics and Aboriginal health services.
When will members of the public be able to get vaccinated?
• Some members of the public may be eligible earlier than others because they fall into one of the higher-risk categories. Information will be made available as soon as possible about the further phases of the vaccine rollout and locations to access the vaccine. This will depend on the approval and availability of vaccines, including a vaccine that is more suited to general community use.
What to do before you get vaccinated:
• Make sure you Medicare details are up to date.
You should not attend a COVID-19 vaccination appointment if you:
- Are unwell with fever, cough, runny nose or other symptoms that
could be from COVID-19.
- Are awaiting COVID-19 test results.
- Have tested positive with COVID-19 and you are in isolation.
- Are in quarantine.
- Are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
What to expect after the vaccination:
• There can be side effects after having the vaccination, that are usually mild and usually go away within one or two days.
If you think you are having an adverse reaction, contact your doctor.