How does the COVID-19 vaccine work?
A vaccine teaches your body’s immune system how to fight off a certain disease. After having a vaccine, your body creates antibodies to protect you from that disease. This means if you are exposed to the COVID-19 virus after having the vaccine your immune system will be able to respond faster and better against the virus protecting you against severe disease.
Is the COVID-19 vaccination safe?
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) ensures that Australians have access to vaccines that are proven to be effective and safe. All vaccines undergo a strict approval process before they are made available to be administered.
When can I get my COVID-19 vaccination?
The roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines will be available in phases. Vaccinations are expected to be available at pharmacies and GP clinics as part of the Phase 2 roll-out. You can check on the Australian Government Department of Health “Vaccine Eligibility Checker”
How is the COVID-19 vaccine given?
The vaccine is given via injection into the upper arm by a trained health care professional. It is given in two doses to obtain the full benefit of the vaccine. The dosage interval depends on which vaccine you are given. You will likely be encouraged to book your second dose at the time of your first dose so as not to forget.
Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?
The COVID-19 vaccine will be available to all Medicare-eligible Australians and most visa-holders. The vaccine is not compulsory and completely voluntary, as are all vaccinations in Australia. There may however be circumstances in the future that vaccination may be conditional e.g., border entry or re-entry requirements, age care visitation etc.
Can I have the COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
At this stage, the COVID-19 vaccines are not routinely recommended to be given during pregnancy due to limited data on the use in pregnant women. As more is learnt this advice may change.
If you are breastfeeding you can receive your COVID-19 vaccine at any time. You don’t need to stop breastfeeding before or after the vaccination.