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COVID-19 vaccination

8-minute read

Key facts

  • COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for people aged 18 years or older.
  • COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for children aged 6 months to 17 years with medical conditions that may increase their risk of severe disease or death from COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 vaccination is free for everyone living in Australia.
  • COVID-19 vaccines are shown to be highly effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19.
Illustration of a person receiving a vaccination
Illustration of a person receiving a vaccination

Booking your vaccination

Use the Service Finder to book your COVID vaccination.

Need help finding a service?

Use our guided search to find a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

Why should I get vaccinated against COVID-19?

COVID-19 can cause serious, long-term health conditions, and sometimes death.

If you’re not vaccinated, your risk of serious illness from COVID-19 increases.

When enough people in the community become immunised, it’s more difficult for the virus to spread. This hd Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services.

The easiest way to make an appointment is by using the free online Service Finder tool. Select the COVID-19 vaccine clinic option and enter your postcode to find clinics near you.

If you have had a COVID-19 vaccine before, you don’t have to return to the same clinic for your next dose. You can also get vaccinated interstate.

Illustration of a person receiving a vaccination
Illustration of a person receiving a vaccination

Booking your vaccination

Use the Service Finder to book your COVID vaccination.

Need help finding a service?

Use our guided search to find a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine and the flu shot on the same day?

You can have a COVID-19 vaccine and flu shot on the same day. You should get each vaccine in a separate arm so if you do get a sore arm, you know which vaccine has caused that side effect.

Having 2 different vaccines on the same day can potentially increase your chances of having a mild to moderate reaction. If you've had a reaction after a previous COVID-19 vaccine or influenza vaccine, you may choose to space your vaccinations out this time.

Children aged 6 months to 4 years can have COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines (including an influenza one) on the same day if having them on different days is not practical. However, it’s preferable to space COVID-19 vaccination out from another vaccination by 7 to 14 days.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more advice on when to schedule your vaccinations.

Do COVID-19 vaccines have side effects?

Call 000 if you experience severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, a fast heartbeat or collapse.

The most frequently reported side effects include injection-site reactions, such as a sore arm. Other reported side effects include:

  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • fever and chills
  • fatigue

Most side effects last no more than a couple of days and you'll recover without any problems.

You should seek medical attention after vaccination if:

  • you think you are having an allergic reaction
  • you're worried about a potential side effect or have new or unexpected symptoms
  • you have an expected side effect of the vaccine that hasn't gone away after a few days

If you’re concerned, the best person to speak with is your doctor.

You can report suspected side effects to your vaccination provider, other healthcare professionals or Therapeutic Goods Administration.

CHECK YOUR SYMPTOMS — Use the Symptom Checker and find out if you need to seek medical help.

Is COVID-19 vaccination mandatory?

Vaccination is not mandatory for most Australians. But if you work in certain industries, you may need a vaccination to keep attending your workplace. Check with your employer to see if this applies to you.

For information about vaccine mandates and recommendations that may be relevant where you live, check with the health department of your state or territory:

How do I prove my vaccination?

There are 3 free ways to prove you have been vaccinated against COVID-19:

  • a COVID-19 digital certificate
  • your immunisation history statement (IHS)
  • an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate for overseas travel

The COVID-19 Digital Certificate or IHS can be viewed or printed through:

  • Medicare Online via MyGov
  • Express Plus Medicare mobile app
  • My Health Record

You can learn more about getting proof of COVID-19 vaccination on the Service Australia website:

Which vaccine types and vaccine brands are available in Australia?

XBB vaccines are the preferred COVID-19 vaccines over other available vaccine types.

The following COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in Australia.

Paediatric (children) vaccines

  • Comirnaty Omicron XBB.1.5 (Pfizer) 5 – 11 years
  • Comirnaty Original (Pfizer) 5 – 11 years
  • Comirnaty Original (Pfizer) 6 months – 4 years

Adolescent and adult vaccines

  • Comirnaty Omicron XBB.1.5 (Pfizer) 12 years and older
  • Comirnaty bivalent Original/Omicron BA.4/5 (Pfizer) 12 years and older
  • Spikevax Omicron XBB.1.5 (Moderna) 12 years and older

Speak with your doctor, pharmacist or vaccine provider about which COVID-19 vaccine you should have.

You can also visit the Australian Immunisation Handbook for clinical advice on COVID-19 vaccines.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: May 2024

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