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About COVID-19 vaccines


What to expect with your COVID-19 vaccine

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Queensland has two COVID-19 vaccines available:

  • the Pfizer vaccine (also known as Comirnaty)
  • the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Both vaccines have been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

Vaccine effectiveness

The vaccines have been made differently but both the Pfizer and the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines offer strong levels of protection against COVID-19. Recent reports indicate the relative effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine to be up to 90% and AstraZeneca vaccine up to 80% with two doses.

Having a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step to take to reduce the serious effects of COVID-19 in people who become infected with the virus. Current evidence shows that people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine have a much lower chance of developing more serious symptoms from COVID-19. This is compared to those who did not get the vaccine.

Even though the COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be very effective there is still a chance you may get COVID-19. No vaccine is 100% effective.

It is important to understand that the COVID-19 vaccines will not infect you with the COVID-19 virus, because the vaccines do not contain live COVID-19 virus.

The vaccines are designed to trigger our immune system to make antibodies to the spike protein of the virus. This means if you were to ever get the COVID-19 virus, your body is better prepared to fight the illness.

Importantly, even after vaccination, Queenslanders will still be encouraged to wash their hands regularly and maintain physical distance to help protect yourself and others.

For more information please read the Queensland COVID-19 vaccine information resource.

Vaccine development and testing

During development, vaccines are tested on thousands of volunteers through a number of phased trials which are designed to assess the vaccine for safety and side effects and demonstrate:

  • how the vaccine works
  • that the vaccine prompts an effective immune response in different people
  • that the vaccine is effective in preventing the general population from getting the disease

No testing phase has been skipped during the development of the COVID-19 vaccines. Some of the testing phases have been combined or run at the same time to help test COVID-19 vaccines quickly and make them available as soon as possible.

How is the COVID-19 vaccine given?

The vaccine is given via an injection into your upper arm by a health professional who has been trained in giving the COVID-19 vaccine.

To get the full benefit of the vaccine you will need two injections:

  • two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, at least 21 days apart.
  • two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, at least 28 days apart, but most likely 12 weeks apart.

While one dose may give some protection, it may only last for the short-term. It will take some time for your body to build an immune response, you may not be protected against COVID-19 until after your second dose. We will continue to learn over time about how long the protection will last.

Who can get the COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccinations will be given in a planned, staged approach. Those who are at higher risk of getting COVID-19 or of severe illness if they get COVID-19 will receive the COVID-19 vaccine first. Read more about Queensland’s vaccine rollout.

The Pfizer vaccine is suitable for people aged 16 years and older. The AstraZeneca vaccine is suitable for people aged 18 years and older.

Who cannot get the COVID-19 vaccine?

You must not get a COVID-19 vaccine if you have had any of the following:

  • Anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction) to a previous dose of the same COVID-19 vaccine
  • Anaphylaxis after exposure to any ingredient of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Pregnant and breastfeeding women

If you are breastfeeding you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine at any time. You do not need to stop breastfeeding before or after vaccination.

At this stage, COVID-19 vaccines are not routinely recommended to be given during pregnancy as there is limited experience with the use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women. As we learn more about the vaccines, this advice may change.

If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before you receive this vaccine.

Side effects

All medicines and vaccines can cause side effects. If you do experience any side effects, most of them are minor and temporary. However, some side effects may need medical attention. Read about potential COVID-19 vaccine side effects.

Vaccine product information

Vaccine safety monitoring and reporting side effects

If you have had a COVID-19 vaccination and think you may be experiencing side-effects, you can check online for advice.

Check side effects

Suspected side effects can be reported to your vaccination provider or other healthcare professional. They will then make a formal report on your behalf to Queensland Health.

Questions and answers about COVID-19 vaccines

What is a COVID-19 vaccine?

Just as we have vaccines to help protect us against diseases like measles, whooping cough, chicken pox or the flu, there is a vaccine that will help protect you against COVID-19. There are different types of COVID-19 vaccines, but they all aim to protect you against COVID-19.

Queensland has two COVID-19 vaccines available:

  • the Pfizer vaccine (also known as Comirnaty) which has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
  • the AstraZeneca vaccine which has been provisionally approved by the TGA.

How does the vaccine work?

Some infectious diseases are unknown to your body and your body doesn’t know how to protect you from them. A vaccination is an effective and safe way to teach your body’s immune system how to fight off certain diseases. After having a vaccine, your body creates antibodies to protect you from that disease.

If you have the COVID-19 vaccine and are exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19 in the future, your immune system will be respond faster and better against the virus, and protect you against the severity of the disease.

Why do we need a vaccine if we can keep social distancing and wearing a face mask to prevent the spread?

The COVID-19 vaccine is the best way to protect against severe COVID-19 disease. The measures we’ve put in place so far help to protect all Queenslanders and will continue to be important to control the spread and effect of the virus in the community.

We don’t want to live under restrictions forever and vaccination is a critical step in combating the virus and protecting people long-term from severe disease. Things like physical distancing, wearing a mask when appropriate, frequently washing your hands and staying home if you’re feeling sick will still have a role to play as we move through the pandemic.

Where can I get information about vaccines?

Information should only be taken from trusted sources, such as the Australian and Queensland Governments.

Vaccine safety

How do I know the vaccine is safe?

Before a COVID-19 vaccine is used in Australia, it must be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The TGA assesses the safety, quality and effectiveness of the vaccines before they are registered for use in Australia. This process is amongst one of the most thorough in the world.

What does the vaccine approval process look like?

All vaccines go through trials and tests as they are developed and before they are approved for use. This includes being tested on thousands of volunteers before it is approved.

For the COVID-19 vaccines, no testing phase has been skipped. Instead, some of these phases have been combined, or run at the same time as each other. Having these ‘overlapping’ time frames has helped test COVID-19 vaccines quickly and help make them available to save lives earlier.

What are the trial phases?

Phase 1 clinical trials usually include a few dozen healthy adult volunteers and focus primarily on assessing safety, and also on demonstrating that the vaccine works.

Phase 2 clinical trials have hundreds of volunteers and can include sub-groups such as older adults, children or people with pre-existing medical conditions. These trials aim to show the vaccine prompts an effective immune response in different people and confirm that it is safe.

Phase 3 clinical trials include many thousands of participants and aim to show that a vaccine is effective in preventing people from the general population getting the disease. Phase 3 trials also thoroughly assess the vaccine for safety and side effects. This phase often also involves placebo groups comparing the response of people who receive a non-COVID-19 vaccine against the real product.

Are there side effects of having the vaccine?

Reactions to vaccines do happen. Most reactions are minor, temporary and are expected, such as a sore arm or headache. In very rare circumstances, we can see severe reactions such as anaphylaxis.

Common side effects are likely to occur in more than 1 in 10 people who receive a vaccine. If you experience one of the common side-effects of the COVID-19 vaccine that is actually a sign that the vaccine is doing what it was made to do.

Vaccines work by stimulating your immune system. So when you experience symptoms like headache or fever, after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, this is a sign that your immune system is being prepared and is being trained to recognise, and fight, against the virus that causes COVID-19.

Read more about the possible side effects of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.

Will the vaccine give me COVID-19?

No.

The vaccines do not contain the live virus itself. Each vaccine is designed so you won’t get the disease you are being protected against

Does the COVID-19 vaccine protect me immediately?

No.

After you receive your first dose of the vaccine you should have some protection from COVID-19 after about 2 weeks. But you need to have a second dose to have lasting protection.

Some vaccines require a second dose. What happens if I don’t get the second injection?

After your first dose, you will need your second dose of the same vaccine to be effective.

The time period between your first and second dose will differ and depend on which vaccine you receive.

  • For the Pfizer vaccine it will be a minimum of 21 days (3 weeks) apart
  • For the AstraZeneca vaccine it will be a minimum of 28 days (4 weeks) but mostly will be 12 weeks (3 months) apart

While one dose may give some protection, it may only last for the short-term. It will take some time for your body to build an immune response, you may not be protected against COVID-19 until after your second dose.

We will continue to learn over time about how long the protection will last.

Do I need to get both the influenza vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes.

As always, all Queenslanders will be encouraged to have their flu vaccination in the lead up to flu season. You should wait at least 14 days between having the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine.

Can I get my influenza vaccine at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine?

No.

There is no clinical evidence to suggest that the COVID-19 vaccines react with any other vaccine. However, to be safe, experts have suggested waiting at least 14 days between having the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine.

How were these vaccines developed so quickly?

In response to the impacts of COVID-19 felt right around the world, unprecedented funding and collaboration occurred between regulators, governments, vaccine developers and scientists.

For COVID-19 vaccines, no testing phase has been skipped. Instead, some of these phases have been combined, or run at the same time as each other. Having these ‘overlapping’ time frames has helped develop COVID-19 vaccines quickly and help make them available earlier to save lives.

Who should get the vaccine (age, health status)?

Everyone who can get vaccinated, should.

We are prioritising certain groups for vaccination, through a planned, staged implementation and rollout schedule.

Who should not get the vaccine?

Currently, the Pfizer vaccine is not approved for use on children under the age of 16 and the AstraZeneca on children under the age of 18 years.

Is the COVID-19 Vaccine safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women?

At this stage, COVID-19 vaccines are not routinely recommended to be given during pregnancy as there is limited experience with the use of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women. As we learn more about the vaccines, this advice may change.

If you are breastfeeding you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine at any time. You do not need to stop breastfeeding before or after vaccination.

If you are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or are planning to have a baby, read this decision guide or ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice before you consider receiving this vaccine.

If I’ve had COVID-19 and recovered, am I now immune and don’t need the vaccine?

No.

All Queenslanders, regardless of whether they have had the disease already or not, are strongly encouraged to receive COVID-19 vaccination.

Will children receive a COVID-19 vaccine?

Currently, the vaccine is not approved for persons under the age of 16.

What happens if you have a reaction to the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?

If you have had anaphylaxis (a type of severe allergic reaction) to a previous dose of a COVID-19, or to one of its ingredients, you must not have that vaccine again. Your healthcare provider can help to determine whether it will be safe for you to have an alternative COVID-19 vaccine.

If you have a suspected allergic reaction which is not anaphylaxis after a COVID-19 vaccine, you may still be able to have the second dose of the vaccine, but in some cases precautions are needed such as a longer period of observation after vaccination or referral for allergy testing.

You can find out more about the ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines in the Consumer Medicine Information, which is available on the TGA website.

Is one vaccine safer than the other?

All COVID-19 vaccines which have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) offer strong levels of protection against COVID-19. Both vaccines are safe and will protect older Queenslanders against COVID-19, especially against severe disease.

You should speak to your doctor before having the vaccine if you have any concerns.

Will the vaccine affect my fertility?

No. There is no evidence to suggest any vaccines, including the COVID-19 vaccines, have any effect on male or female fertility.

Can I get a blood clot from the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine?

The latest information from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) for consumers on a specific clotting condition being reported after COVID-19 vaccination.

https://www.health.gov.au/news/atagi-statement-consumers-specific-clotting-condition-after-covid-19-vaccination

Allergies and other medical concerns

I have severe allergies, can I still get the vaccine?

Yes, you can still get the AstraZeneca vaccine, but you are encouraged to have a prior discussion with your health provider, if you have any concerns.

The potential for an adverse event, such as an allergic reaction following vaccination for people with a history of severe allergies, is well known. This is why it is standard protocol to closely monitor anybody in this situation for 30 minutes after their vaccination.

I have asthma can I get vaccinated?

Yes. People who experience asthma can get the AstraZeneca vaccine.

I have hay fever can I get vaccinated?

Yes. People who experience hay fever can get the AstraZeneca vaccine.

What do I need to do if I have a bleeding disorder?

People with bleeding disorders and people who are receiving anticoagulant therapy need to tell their immunisation provider who can determine the appropriate injection method depending on your condition.

Vaccine effectiveness

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines?

The results from the clinical trials to date have shown both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines to be effective in providing protection against COVID-19.

The relative effectiveness of the COVID-19 Vaccines available in Australia is very high, with data showing the Pfizer vaccine to be up to 90% and AstraZeneca vaccine up to 80% with two doses.

Therefore, depending on the vaccine someone receives, for every 10 people vaccinated, we could expect 8-9/10 in the population to have protection from the COVID-19 virus. This would increase our ability to prevent people contracting the illness.

If as many people as possible are immunised against COVID-19, regardless of which vaccine they have, this will go a long way in keeping everyone safe.

Do the vaccines protect against the UK variant of COVID-19?

Yes.

Health authorities in the UK have reported that there is currently no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines (AstraZeneca and Pfizer) would not protect against the mutated virus variants. Health authorities will continue to monitor the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against variant strains.

Does AstraZeneca protect against the South African variant of COVID-19?

You may have seen reports that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not as effective against the South African variant strain of COVID-19. These claims are currently based on limited and early data at this point in time.

As with any vaccine developed, health authorities will continue to monitor the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against any variant strains circulating in the community, including the South African variant. Viruses will evolve and change over time, which is why we have a new or “seasonal” flu vaccine each year, health authorities will continue to evolve the COVID-19 vaccine as well, if required.

Health authorities in the UK have reported that there is currently no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 vaccines would not protect against the mutated virus variants. As with any vaccine developed health authorities will continue to monitor the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against any variant strains, including the South African variant.

Could vaccines cause COVID-19 to mutate in the community, causing more dangerous strains/variants?

No.

There is absolutely no evidence to suggest this or that any other vaccine poses any risk to public safety through the creation of mutations. In fact, the opposite is true, with vaccines having proven to be one of the most effective public health measures humankind has ever embarked upon, saving millions of lives each year.

Once I’ve had two doses of the vaccine, do I still need to follow social distancing advice and lockdowns?

Yes.

At this stage we are still assessing the effects of the vaccine at both the individual and population levels. As we gather more data from both here and overseas, we will adjust the public health response needed accordingly.

One dose will not be effective in giving adequate protection against COVID-19 in most people hence the need for the two doses.

About the different types of vaccines

What is the difference between the Pfizer vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccine?

Different companies have produced vaccines using different techniques. However, both vaccines instruct our immune system to make antibodies to the spike protein of the virus. They are both effective and offer strong protection against COVID-19.

Is one vaccine more effective than the other?

Both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca offer strong levels of protection against COVID-19.

Why does the Pfizer vaccine have to be kept so cold?

The Pfizer vaccine needs to be stored at extremely cold temperatures to stop its core materials (messenger RNA) from degrading.

Is there more than one type of COVID-19 vaccine available?

Yes, there are several types of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Australian Government will supply three vaccines to Australians. Even though these vaccines have gone through a lot of testing as part of their development, Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will do more tests and assessments before registering them for use in Australia.

The Pfizer vaccine will be made available first, followed by the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Novavax vaccine is the next vaccine that will be made available.

Will I get to choose which vaccine I have?

No.

As supplies of the vaccine are received, people in order of the following priority will be given the vaccine available at the time.

  • their increased risk of exposure
  • people who have an increased risk of severe disease
  • if working in services critical to societal functioning

The general public will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, as millions of doses will be manufactured in Australia.

Vaccine rollout

When can I get vaccinated?

Find out when it is your turn to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and how to book if you are eligible via the Vaccine Eligibility Checker.

Why should I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Having a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step to take to reduce the serious effects of COVID-19 in people who become infected with the virus. Current evidence shows that people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine have a much lower chance of developing more serious symptoms from COVID-19. This is compared to those who did not get the vaccine.

Do I need to bring any documentation to my COVID-19 vaccination appointment?

Yes.

There are a few things you can do to prepare yourself for your vaccination such as:

  • Wear a short sleeve shirt
  • Bringing your booking confirmation if you have one
  • Photo identification or employee identification if applicable
  • Medicare card
  • Information about any medical conditions you have or medications you are taking

Any vaccines you’ve had in the past 14 days or any previous COVID-19 vaccines you may have been given including the brand and date it was given to you

Who are the priority groups to get the vaccine?

  • Priority Group 1a:
    • quarantine and border workers
    • frontline healthcare workers at the highest risk of exposure
    • aged care and disability care staff
    • aged care and disability care residents
  • Priority Group 1b:
    • elderly adults aged 70 years and over
    • other health care workers
    • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults over 55
    • younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability
    • critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing

Why are there priority groups and how have they been determined?

The priority groups have been determined by the Australian Government, based on advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). The priority groups are categorised by the group’s risk of exposure to COVID-19 and their risk of severe disease

The prioritisation of these groups ensures those who are at the highest risk of exposure to COVID-19 or who are at the highest risk of a severe disease are offered the first opportunity to be protected against COVID-19.

I fit into the priority group 1a but have not been notified to receive a vaccine. Who do I contact?

While you may belong to the first priority group, Priority Group 1a will be rolled out in stages, starting with those most at risk of exposure to COVID-19 in their day-to-day work.

You will be invited for vaccination at the earliest opportunity.

If you have any questions or concerns, speak with your employer or call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

How long will it take to get through the vaccination program?

We expect it will take 6-12 months for all Australians to get vaccinated, dependent on vaccine supply.

What if I am in the first priority group and don’t want to receive the injection?

We are asking all Queenslanders to get vaccinated.

The vaccine is our best chance at reducing the seriousness of COVID-19 in individuals and potentially controlling the spread in community.

I don’t want to wait. Will I be able to get the vaccine privately?

Currently, vaccines will only be available through State Government vaccination schemes.

Are First Nations people a priority for vaccination?

Yes.

First Nations people over the age of 55 are eligible to receive the vaccine in Priority Group 1b.

Queensland Health is working very closely with the Australian Government to ensure practical and sensible vaccination strategies are implemented in rural and remote communities. This means that for some rural and remote communities, a whole of communication vaccination approach will be taken instead of vaccinating only those who are eligible according to the phases outlined in the National vaccination rollout strategy.

There will be many vaccination locations across Queensland where you can get the vaccine, and many will be in rural and remote locations. The vaccines will be available at your local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service, GP-led respiratory clinics, GPs, state and territory health services and pharmacies.

Read more information for First Nations people.

I have an underlying medical condition, when will I be vaccinated?

It is our responsibility to ensure that those who need the vaccine the most, access it first.

People with specific underlying medical conditions and people with disability are in a high priority group, and will be eligible for vaccination before the rollout of the vaccine to the general population.

Complete the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker to find out when it is your turn to get vaccinated and how to book if you are eligible for the current phase.

Why isn't my chronic condition listed under 1b?

The chronic conditions listed under the 1b priority list are recommended by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. They include those who are most likely to get very sick from a COVID-19 infection.

It is important we vaccinate those at risk of severe illness, first.

If I live in a rural area, when and how will I get the vaccine?

People living in Queensland’s rural and remote regions will be offered the COVID-19 vaccine at the earliest possible opportunity.

We will be working collaboratively with the Australian Government to ensure an effective and efficient vaccination rollout for our rural and remote communities.

Your local Hospital and Health Service is working on outreach options and mobile vaccination facilities among other alternatives to cater for individual communities.

What if I do not want to get the vaccine?

We are asking all Queenslanders to get vaccinated.

The vaccine is our best chance at reducing the seriousness of COVID-19 in individuals and potentially controlling the spread in community.

I have a phobia to needles, what should I do?

Like all vaccines, our vaccination providers are well trained at ensuring those with a needle phobia are treated compassionately and sensitively while they are receiving their vaccine.

Can I mix the vaccine doses?

No.

You will require two doses of the same vaccine to be properly vaccinated because they deliver instructions to the immune response in different ways.

Do I still need to get the vaccine even if most people are already getting vaccinated?

Yes.

We reach ‘herd immunity’ when enough people are immunised to stop or slow the spread of the disease. This reduces the likelihood of infection, which protects people who can’t be vaccinated.

Experts anticipate a herd immunity of 65% or higher will be needed for COVID-19.

I usually go to my local GP for my vaccinations, can I get the COVID-19 vaccine there?

Anyone who wishes to be vaccinated by their local GP, when they are eligible, can do so.

Complete the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker to find out when it is your turn to get vaccinated and how to book if you are eligible for the current phase.

Can I get the vaccine anywhere in Australia, for example when I'm on a holiday?

Yes. If you are eligible to receive the vaccine, you can make an appointment with any approved GP within Australia.

What if I am interstate when I am due to receive my second vaccine?

If you are interstate and require your second dose of the vaccine, you can make an appointment with an approved GP within Australia.

Will you have to be vaccinated to travel? Who makes this decision?

While there is no mandatory vaccine in Australia, it’s possible that in future, vaccination against COVID-19 might become a requirement for travel to certain destinations or for people working in certain high-risk workplaces. If this becomes the case, there will be exemptions in place for people who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons.

What if I have already had COVID-19?

Even if you have had COVID-19, you will still need to be vaccinated.

We are still learning how the body responds to COVID-19 and we don’t know how long immunity from having the disease (natural immunity) lasts.

The vaccine is our best chance at reducing the seriousness of COVID-19 in individuals and potentially controlling the spread in community.

Should I still get vaccinated if I am feeling unwell on the day?

If you have a fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea, loss of smell and or taste:

Will the person administering the vaccination be vaccinated as well?

Those who are most at risk of exposure to COVID-19 will be prioritised to receive the vaccine. This group includes vaccination providers.

What are the rules around PPE at COVID-19 vaccination hubs and clinics?

In consultation with clinical stakeholders, the Queensland Government has set guidelines for PPE during the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

The amount of PPE required by staff to wear varies depending on the risk of COVID-19 – low, moderate and high.

When there is a high number of COVID-19 cases and community transmission, PPE gear such as surgical masks and protective eyewear must be worn by staff administrating the vaccine. Those receiving the vaccine and staff not in direct contact with the vaccine recipient are required to wear surgical masks.

This applies to moderate COVID-19 cases as well.

For low risk COVID-19 cases there is no requirement to wear PPE.

What proof will I be provided that I have received the vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccination will be reported to the Australian Immunisation Register, operated by Services Australia. Following your vaccination, you will be able to access your immunisation history through your Medicare Online account, the Medicare Express Plus app, myGov or My Health Record. If you can’t access these channels you can request your immunisation history by phoning Services Australia. Healthcare providers can also print immunisation history statements on behalf of their patient.

Can I be anaesthetised to have the vaccine?

No.

Can I have a support person with me when I receive the vaccine?

Yes. Those who require additional support are welcome to bring their support person.

Do immunodeficiency or autoimmune treatments need to be stopped to have a COVID-19 vaccine?

It is important that regular treatments for immunodeficiencies and autoimmune conditions are continued, because stopping these treatments can place people with these conditions at greater risk from COVID-19.

Vaccination should occur on a different day (if possible) from regular infusion treatments, such as immunoglobulin (Ig) or immunosuppressant infusions. Speak to your treating clinician about the best timing for your vaccination.

What if I am unable to leave my home to receive the vaccine?

Certain groups may be eligible for additional vaccine support. Processes around vaccination procedures will be released to the public shortly.

Does priority access to the vaccine also mean that it is being trialled on me?

No.

By the time of release to Queenslanders, the vaccine will have been deemed safe and effective by the Therapeutics Goods Administration using the same policies and procedures as all current vaccines.

How is the COVID-19 vaccine given?

Like most vaccines, this will be injected into your upper arm muscle by a health professional who has been trained in giving the COVID-19 vaccine.

Following your vaccine, you will be asked to wait a minimum of 15 minutes to ensure you don’t have any reactions. We follow this procedure for all vaccines.

However, if you have a history of severe allergies we will monitor you closely for 30 minutes after their vaccination.

To get the full benefit of the vaccine you will need two injections, at least several weeks apart.

I never get the flu shot, why do I need this vaccine?

We are asking all Queenslanders who can be vaccinated, to be.

The vaccine is our best chance at reducing the seriousness of COVID-19 in individuals and potentially controlling the spread in the community.

Can I leave quarantine to have my vaccination?

No. You cannot leave quarantine to have your COVID-19 vaccination.

You should schedule your vaccination appointment for after the completion of your mandatory quarantine.

Cost and vaccine wastage

How much does the vaccine cost?

The vaccine will be made available free of charge to all Australians.

Can I still get the vaccine for free if I do not have a Medicare Card / am not an Australian resident?

The vaccine is free for all Australian citizens, permanent residents and most visa-holders.

What do you do with leftover vaccine if someone doesn’t show up?

Queensland Health has plans and procedures in place to ensure a safe and successful rollout of COVID-19 vaccines across the state. In the event of unused vaccine that would otherwise be discarded, Queensland Health has ready access to a pool of ‘standby’ vaccine recipients.

If an individual cannot attend their vaccination appointment, they are encouraged to reschedule. We want every Queenslander who can be vaccinated, to be.

Privacy and personal information

Who gets my personal details for the COVID vaccine and how will this information be used?

Queensland Health will use your personal details for the purposes of program safety and disease surveillance. Your personal details will also be provided to the Australian Immunisation Register, as required by Australian Government law.