COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a virus, the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 virus (SARS-CoV-2). The virus can affect people of any age. Older people and people with some health conditions have an increased risk of suffering from severe illness, or death, from the disease. The best prevention from severe illness to ensure that your vaccination is current.
How does the 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, 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.
Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for all people aged 5 years and older and these vaccinations are able to be administered in community pharmacy. Vaccination may also be recommended for some children aged 6 months to 5 years who are considered to be at greater risk of severe ilness. Currently, these children are not able to be vaccinated in community pharmacy.
Can I have the COVID-19 vaccine if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective in pregnancy. If you are pregnant and unvaccinated, you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and your baby will also be at higher risk of catching COVID-19 in the first few months of life.
If you are trying to become pregnant, you do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.
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.
Am I up to date?
Most people require two doses, initially, to obtain the full benefit of the vaccine. People with severe immunocompromise require a third initial dose.
The dosage interval currently recommended is 8 weeks. Our pharmacists will encourage you to book your second or subsequent dose at the time of your appointment so as not to forget.
The majority of Australians have completed their initial course of COVID-19 vaccination.
Experts are continuously monitoring the data and considering risks and benefits to inform ongoing advice about booster doses.
A 2023 booster is recommended for all adults over 65 years and adults aged 18-65 years who have medical conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19. A 2023 booster may be considered for other adults, and children who have medical conditions that increase their risk of severe disease, based on a risk-benefit assessment.
A second 2023 dose is recommended for all adults over 75 years, and can be considered by adults 65 to 75 years and those with severe immunocompromise, if more than 6 months has passed since their last COVID-19 vaccination or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
To book your vaccination with one of our trained pharmacists, click the booking link below:
How do I know if I have COVID-19?
A positive result on a COVID-19 test indicates that you are infected with COVID-19. Rapid antigen self-tests can be used at home to help you determine whether you may be infected with COVID-19.
What if I test positive?
Anyone with COVID-19 can pass the virus onto other people. Isolation is no longer required if you have COVID-19, however staying at home protects other members of the community. If you feel unwell, you should stay at home. You should also avoid visiting high-risk settings like hospitals, aged care and disability care facilities for at least 7 days or until your symptoms have resolved.
To protect those around you, you should also wear a mask if you are outside of your home, work from home if possible, avoid public areas and practice good hygiene.
Management of COVID-19
Most people do not require prescription treatment for COVID-19 and are able to manage their symptoms with over the counter medicines.
Rest and fluids, such as water or a rehydration solution, are recommended to improve your recovery.
Your doctor may consider prescribing antiviral treament if you are over 70 years or at higher risk of severe illness form COVID-19. It's important to discuss a plan with your regular doctor before you get sick so that you are able to contact them for a script as soon as possible if you test positive. You need to start oral antiviral treatment within 5 days of testing positive or symptoms starting.