About vaccination

Before you book in for a COVID-19 vaccination, you can learn more about how safe, effective and essential they are for protecting us and those we care for. Find out how vaccination is the best way to protect ourselves and those we care for and get us back to the way of life we know and cherish.

Vaccination is free, safe and the best way to protect yourself, your family and the community. Both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective in protecting people against severe illness, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

At our vaccination clinics, we administer AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines and use up-to-date Government guidelines to administer the most appropriate vaccine for you. You cannot choose the vaccine you receive. All Australians aged 50 and over are eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine and all those aged 40 to 49 are now eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Anyone aged under 50 who wishes to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine can do so with informed consent.

If you are aged 50 and over and have medical reasons for requiring the Pfizer vaccine you must have a medical referral from VicSIS signed by a specialist. A GP, specialist or clinician must apply for the referral on your behalf; self-referrals are not accepted by VicSIS. Please note a direct referral from your GP alone cannot be accepted as Pfizer eligibility at our vaccination clinics.

Neither vaccine contains animal products or alcohol.

COVID-19 vaccination – What is it? Is it safe?

How COVID-19 vaccines work

COVID-19 vaccine safety and approvals process

COVID-19 vaccines are free and available for everyone in Australia

Additional resources

About the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine

Our high-volume vaccination centres are currently administering the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to anyone aged 50 or above and those under 50 with informed consent.

Vaccination protects you against COVID-19 and prevents seriously illness, hospitalisation or death from COVID-19.

With two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, spaced 12 weeks apart, you are 80 per cent less likely to get sick with COVID-19.

After the first dose of the vaccine, you are over 90 per cent less likely to be hospitalised with COVID-19.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advises that the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine is the preferred option for adults aged under 50 years. However the AstraZeneca vaccine can be considered where the benefits clearly outweigh the risk for that individual, and they can give informed consent based on an understanding of the risks and benefits.

Adults under 50 years who wish to proceed with booking for the AstraZeneca Vaccine should read the information provided by the Australian Government prior to booking. Our immunisers will ensure informed consent is obtained prior to vaccine administration.

People of any age who have had the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without any serious adverse effects such as blood clots or anaphylaxis, can safely book in to be given the second dose.

Learn more about this vaccine, risks and potential side effects:

Speak to your doctor if you have any concerns about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

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.

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, as well 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.

Learn more about the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Frequently asked questions

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