With 80 per cent of Australians over 16 having received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, we're looking forward to reuniting with family and friends, and getting back to the things we love.

From education disruption to social isolation, Australia's children and young people have experienced huge disruptions due to the pandemic.  

While children may be less likely to get COVID, they are still at risk of catching and spreading the disease. That’s why vaccination is our way out of this pandemic.  

In Australia, the COVID-19 vaccination is currently free, safe and recommended for everyone aged 12 years and over. Read on for everything you need to know about young people getting vaccinated. 

Can my child get a COVID vaccine?  

Yes! If your child is aged 12 and over in Australia, you can now book a COVID-19 vaccine. You can book through the Vaccine Clinic Finder here

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for people 12 years and older. The government plans to expand the rollout to under 12s once the vaccine is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).  

If you’re a parent, you may be asked to consent to your child being vaccinated. In some states and territories, older adolescents may be able to provide their own consent. 


I’m a young person aged over 12. Why should I get vaccinated against COVID-19?  

 There are many benefits to vaccination. Not only are you protecting yourself from catching and spreading the virus, but also reducing the risk of severe disease and long-term side effects.  

The vaccine will also bring us together again. Once the majority of the country is vaccinated, we can look forward to reconnecting with family and friends, getting back to school and doing the things we love, such as team sports and travel. 

Book your or your child's vaccination
Trinity, 16, just had her first dose of the COVID vaccine and she couldn’t be happier. © Supplied

What do young people have to say about the vaccine?  


“My first big decision and so happy I have
taken the first step in keeping myself, 

my family and my friends safe.”

- Trinity, 16

“Now that I’ve had my vaccine, I don’t
feel as worried about going back to school
and dancing.”

- Cadence, 12 

“Our whole family is now vaccinated. 
We can’t wait to go on holidays and
get back 
to our normal routine.”

- Brianna, 13 


What are the side effects of the vaccine in children and young people?  

Children may experience some side effects after vaccination, however symptoms in children are generally milder than for adults. Most side effects last no more than a couple of days and your child will recover without any problems.  Common reactions to vaccination include:  
  • pain, redness and/or swelling where you received the needle  
  • mild fever  
  • headache 
If you have any concerns about symptoms you can get more information here.

How do I talk to my child about the vaccine?  

It’s natural for young people to be curious and to have lots of questions about COVID-19 vaccinations – and maybe even fears. Here are some tips for speaking to children before and after they receive a vaccine. 
  • Stay up to date with the latest information and discuss any concerns or questions with your GP. Explain what you know in an age-appropriate way to your child.  
  • Start a conversation with your child and invite them to share what they have heard about COVID-19 vaccines. It’s important to listen to their responses and acknowledge any fears they have about being vaccinated. 
  • Remember children take emotional cues from adults, so oversharing fears may not be constructive and may make your child feel uncomfortable. Explain that your child will receive a needle in their arm, that they’ll feel a small prick and their arm might be a little bit sore afterwards.   
  • Reassure your child by telling them it’s normal for their arm to be a little bit sore, and it means the medicine is working.  

Remember to book a second appointment!  

It is important that you or your child gets two doses of the vaccine as the second dose is likely to prolong the protection against COVID-19.  The recommended interval for Pfizer is three weeks but may be longer if you are in an area that is experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak. 
Book your vaccination

More information 

You can visit the Department of Health website for more information about the vaccine.  

You can call the National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline on 1800 020 080.  

If you need information in a language other than English, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450. If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can call the National Relay Service on 133 677.