Vaccines work by training the immune system in advance so that the body can quickly recognise and fight against viruses it is exposed to that can cause serious illness. Vaccines not only protect you but contribute to protecting those around you and the entire community.
As more people in Australia start to get their shots, you might have some questions. Which vaccine will you get and how? Are they safe? And the big one – when will you be able to get yours? Here’s what you need to know.
I'm 50 or over and want my shot. What do I do?
Good news! Everyone in Australia 50 and over is now eligible to receive an AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. In Australia, Tthe AstraZeneca vaccine is being prioritised for people aged 50 and over because they are at higher risk of severe COVID-19, meaning protection from an effective vaccine is important. The prioritised vaccine for people aged under 50 is the Pfizer vaccine.
Use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker
to find out when you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. If you are eligible now, you can view vaccination clinics and make a booking.
You can also call the national coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline on 1800 020 080
for details about which clinic to call but call centre staff are unable to book an appointment on your behalf. The vaccine has been prioritised for those in high risk occupations or with medical conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19.
I’m under 50. When will I get my shot?
You can use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker
to see what phase you are in and when you’re likely to get your shot. Currently if you are over 40 years old, you can get vaccinated now. The prioritised vaccine for people aged under 50 is the Pfizer vaccine.
There are some specific groups who are eligible even if they’re under 40 years old and the eligibility checker will help you to find if you fall into these categories.
Who is currently eligible?
- All adults aged 40 and over
- Quarantine and border workers
- Health care workers
- NDIS participants aged years 16 and over, and carers of NDIS participants of any age
- Aged care and disability care residents and staff
- People aged 16 and over with an underlying medical condition or significant disability
- People aged 16 and over who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
- People aged 16 and over who or are critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing
- Temporary visa holders aged under 50 years who are currently in Australia and have been approved for return travel to Australia through the travel exemption process
I’m under 50. Which vaccine is safe for me?
In Australia, the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is preferred in adults aged under 50. Younger people are more likely than older people to experience a very rare blood clotting complication that has been observed with the AstraZeneca vaccine.
This advice is under constant review and experts will reassess the benefits versus risks across age groups of vaccination especially and this advice may change if a large outbreak of COVID-19 were to occur in Australia.