Vaccination Information

Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines

To prevent COVID-19, everyone aged 16 years and older should get vaccinated, with a few exceptions. Vaccination is voluntary, but it’s essential to make an informed decision armed with credible information.

Find out more about the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines here. ‘Real life’ data from vaccination programs across the world, shows both vaccines have proven effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalisation and death. That’s why getting vaccinated is the most important factor to consider, not which of the vaccines is administered.

About the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine

Comirnaty (Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd) is a vaccine that can prevent people from becoming ill from COVID-19.

Comirnaty does not contain any live virus, and it cannot give you COVID-19. It contains the genetic code for an important part of the SARS-CoV-2 virus called the spike protein. After getting the vaccine, your body makes copies of the spike protein, and your immune system will learn to recognise and fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19.

We currently do not know how effective COVID-19 vaccines are at preventing the spread of the virus. This means that SARS-CoV-2 could potentially still infect a vaccinated person. Even if they have no symptoms or only mild symptoms they could still pass it on to others.

Read the TGA Pfizer/BioNTech ‘Comirnaty’ vaccine summary

Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) summary – Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

Read more from the Australian Department of Health

Learn about the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

About the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine

The TGA, from a regulatory perspective, has reviewed all the available evidence and determined that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine can be safely administered 4-12 weeks apart.

Drawing on the advice of the TGA and also from the implementation of the program internationally, our Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has determined that to create the very best immune response, ensure the most effective clinical protection and maximise broader community coverage, the vaccine should be administered 12 weeks apart.

The TGA has rigorously evaluated all clinical trial data and information provided by AstraZeneca, and has issued provisional approval.

Further data on safety, quality and effectiveness will continue to be provided to the TGA by AstraZeneca.

As part of Australia’s Vaccine and Treatment Strategy, the Australian Government has secured 53.8 million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, with 50 million doses to be manufactured onshore.

Read the TGA Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine summary

Consumer Medicine Information (CMI) summary – Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

Read more from the Australian Department of Health

Learn about the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Benefits of the vaccines

Pfizer/BioNTech

A very large clinical trial showed that Comirnaty is effective in preventing COVID-19 in people aged 16 years and older. People who had two doses of Comirnaty were about 95 per cent less likely to get COVID-19 than people who did not get the vaccine.

It was equally effective in people over the age of 65 years, and as people with some stable pre-existing medical conditions. Protection against COVID-19 starts from about 2–3 weeks after the first dose.

While one dose may give some protection, it may only last for the short-term. Two doses will give optimal protection. No vaccine is 100 per cent effective, so it is possible that you can still get sick from COVID-19 after vaccination.

We do not know how long the protection from Comirnaty will last. We will learn more about this over time.

Oxford AstraZeneca

COVID-19 Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine contains the active ingredient ChAdOx1-S. This vaccine is used to protect people aged 18 years and older against COVID-19.

COVID-19 is caused by a virus called coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine stimulates the body’s natural defences (immune system). It causes the body to produce its own protection (antibodies) against the virus. This will help to protect you against COVID-19 in the future. None of the ingredients in this vaccine can cause COVID-19.

The first group of Australians can receive the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine in early March.

We do not know how long the protection offered by the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine will last. We will learn more about this over time.

Before getting vaccinated

Discuss vaccination with your primary care provider before making an appointment if you:

  • Have had anaphylaxis (a type of severe allergic reaction) to any substance, or if you have an adrenaline autoinjector (e.g. EpiPen).
  • Have had a reaction to any vaccine in the past.
  • Have a bleeding disorder or are receiving anticoagulant therapy (a blood thinner).
  • Are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning a pregnancy.
  • Are immunocompromised (i.e. have a weakened immune system or take immune-suppressing medication).
  • Have received another COVID-19 vaccine (and which brand).
  • Have received any vaccine in the last 14 days.

Preparing for COVID-19 Vaccination

Print this advice from the government about preparing for COVID-19 vaccination.

What you should do before your COVID-19 vaccination

Visit health.gov.au website to read more

Cranbourne Turf Club now open. For bookings, please call 1800 675 398.Learn more about bookings here.
+