The Australian government has committed to providing all Australians with free access to COVID-19 vaccines. This factsheet includes must-know information on the vaccines as part of the National Rollout Strategy.
Australia's COVID-19 Vaccine National Rollout Strategy identifies the priority populations and the locations across the country where the vaccines are administrated. Frontline healthcare workers, quarantine and border workers, as well as aged and disability care residents and workers are the priority population in the rollout strategy.
Children under 16 will only be immunised if medical advice later suggests it’s warranted. Until then, they won't be getting any of the three vaccines.
Most people will get vaccinated in hospitals, GP clinics, respiratory clinics, community pharmacies and Aboriginal health services, except for those living or working in residential aged care and disability care facilities who will get vaccinated on-site.
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities vaccine plan
The Australian government implementation plan aims to be accessible and culturally safe for those from culturally, ethnically and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.
Vaccination providers have to work with community organisations and leaders in their region to ensure that their clinic is operating in a culturally safe way. To make this happen, part of the plan is to include CALD support staff in the vaccination clinics.
Some of the requirements include a diverse workforce, bilingual workers, and interpreters to provide the necessary information to ensure people receive a second dose of the vaccine.
Your vaccination will be stored in a public record
The government has to store some information on the individuals who get vaccinated in order to keep track of who has had it. It's the obligation of the Australian Vaccination Program providers to enter the patient record for each COVID-19 administered vaccine.
The information on individuals' vaccine status is expected to be available through My Health Record, Medicare (Immunisation History Statement), or a certificate printed hard copy at the time of vaccination, followed by an electronic copy record via email.
The level of immunisation will vary
It takes two weeks for the body to start generating antibodies to protect itself against the virus, but ‘protection’ doesn’t mean ‘immunity’. RMIT immunologist Dr Kylie Quinn explained to SBS the different levels of vaccine efficiency:
Level 1 - prevent infection altogether
Level 2 - unable to prevent infection, but might stop progressing to cause disease
Level 3 - unable to prevent disease, but doesn't develop into a severe disease
All COVID-19 vaccines are free
The vaccines are free for all Australian citizens, permanent residents and all visa holders. Anyone in Australia on a student, working, skilled, family, partner, refugee, asylum seekers, temporary protection visa holders, humanitarian, regional, bridging or special visa is eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccine.
Individuals in detention facilities are also eligible, including those whose visas have been cancelled.
SBS Coronavirus information in your language sbs.com.au/coronavirus
Government Coronavirus information
- Department of Health - COVID-19 Vaccine information in your language.
- Department of Home Affairs - COVID-19 information in your language.
- People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others
- If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test
- Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, Tasmania.