COVID-19: Information, resources and services

Reviewed October 18th, 2021

This page is updated regularly with key messages and resources to support you and the people you work with during the COVID-19 epidemic. If there is something missing, please contact us.


Resources

Latest COVID-19 Vaccination Updates

Specific Vaccine Information: Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna

Vaccine FAQs

Victorian Department of Health Quick Links

Multilingual Information

Information for Service Provider

Further Information

Victorian Department of Health Quick Links:

To make an appointment to get vaccinated, call the COVID-19 hotline on on 1800 675 398. The hotline is open 24 hours, 7 days a week.


COVID-19 Vaccination Updates

September 22 2021 Update

Key Messages
  • From 13 September everyone aged 12 years and over will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine have been approved as safe for young people aged over 12 years old.
  • The Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) has carefully evaluated the evidence of the safety and effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna vaccine for young people. This evidence includes clinical studies with young people aged 12-15 years. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) also reviewed the evidence and supported the approval of the COVID-19 vaccines for those aged 12 years and older.
  • The best person to talk to if you have concerns about your health and being vaccinated against COVID-19 is your doctor.
  • In addition to providing vaccination, general practitioners and other regular healthcare providers are the best source of information regarding personal health and decisions around COVID-19 vaccines. This is especially the case for people with underlying medical conditions, or questions about their health and COVID-19 vaccines. 
  • The COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone in Australia.
  • You do not need an Individual Healthcare Identifier or a Medicare card to get a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre..
  • The COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe and voluntary. The more people who are vaccinated, the greater the protection for those vaccinated and the whole community.

September 12 2021 Update

Vaccination program expanding to include 12-15 years
  • From 13 September, eligibility for COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine will expand to include all young people aged 12-15 years.  
  • Young people aged 12-15 years will be able to get vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine through vaccination centres, doctors’ clinics and community health services. In-reach services to schools and community pop ins are planned to support vaccine uptake.  
  • Bookings can be made via the Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398 and the online portal. The online portal will be configured for people 12-15 years from Sunday 12 September.  
  • Anybody concerned about getting vaccinated should speak with their doctor.  
  • The change in eligibility is based on updated advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)
Consent for children and young people
  • Anyone who presents for vaccination must provide informed consent. Consent can be provided verbally.  
  • For young people aged 12-17 years, consent may be established by: 
    • A parent or guardian can attend the vaccine appointment with the young person and provide consent for them (note: only one parent or guardian may attend with the young person). 
    • A young person may attend a vaccination centre with a consent form signed by a parent or guardian.  
    • A young person may provide their own consent, if deemed to be ‘Gillick competent’ (mature minors) by a senior and experienced immuniser.  
Access to COVID-19 vaccines for everyone:
People do not need an Individual  Healthcare  Identifiers or a Medicare card to get a COVID-19 vaccine at a  vaccination centre.  
  • To ensure everyone can access a free COVID-19 vaccine a Medicare card or IHI is not required to get a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre.  
  • This is to support refugees, people seeking asylum, temporary and provisional visa holders (including international students and temporary migrants) to get their COVID-19 vaccine.  

September 4 2021 Update

  • From Tuesday 7 September to Sunday 19 September a blitz will run to support final year secondary school students, year 11 students doing VCE Unit 3 and 4 subjects and staff required to supervise on-site examinations to get vaccinated before exams start.
  • The eligible students and staff will be required to book an appointment – this is a not a ‘walk-up’ blitz.  
  • A dedicated hotline will be set up for final year students, teachers and exam supervisors to book an appointment. This is the only way they will be able to access an appointment as part of the blitz; there will be no walk-ups or online bookings.    
  • The details of this hotline will be shared with students, parents and school staff. Appointments can be booked from 8am Monday 6 September for Year 12 students and from Wednesday 8 September for Year 11 students sitting Year 12 exams (unit 3 and 4 exams). 
  • People will receive the Pfizer vaccine if they are aged under 60 years and AstraZeneca if they are aged 60 years or over.  People will be able to book their second dose of Pfizer from three weeks after their first dose if they book via the call centre hotline. AstraZeneca appointments should be booked from 6 weeks.   
  • Anyone eligible to participate in the blitz that already has a COVID-19 vaccination booked at a state vaccination centre will be able to cancel their existing appointment at the time of booking an appointment as part of the blitz if they wish to bring forward their vaccination.  

August 24 2021 Update

  • At vaccination centres anyone aged 16-59 years will be able to receive the Pfizer vaccine or choose to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. Those aged 60 and over will continue to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • People aged 16-39 who’ve booked in to a vaccination centre for their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine will be offered the Pfizer vaccine. People aged 18-39 who are due for the second dose (having already had one AstraZeneca) will be offered the AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • You do not need to provide any evidence you are eligible to get vaccinated. You should still bring your Medicare card or IHI to your vaccination appointment.

August 16 2021 Update

  • Over the course of the next 5 weeks, Victoria will be increasing the number of appointments available to encourage more Victorians to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Read the media release about the 1 million appointments.  
  • People with a specified medical condition or people with a significant disability can access reserved first dose Pfizer appointments.  
  • State vaccination centres are to ensure that printed copies or site signed eligibility declaration forms are available and accepted as evidence. Individuals that attest to being eligible (i.e. due to medical conditions) can sign an eligibility declaration form.  
  • The first drive through vaccination centre in Australia has been established in Melton. Hosted at a former Bunnings Warehouse site this new service will support more people to access COVID-19 vaccines. Read the media release about the drive-through vaccination centre.  
  • People who are breastfeeding can receive either Pfizer or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines.  
    • People who are currently eligible can receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.  
    • People aged 18-39 who are otherwise not eligible can choose to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.  
    • People who are breastfeeding are not eligible to receive a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on this basis.    

Vaccine Brand Information

Pfizer

Eligibility
  • Based on the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), people aged 12-59 years are eligible for the vaccine
  • Eligible people over the age of 60 can also receive the Pfizer vaccine
Access to Reserved Pfizer appointments
  • The following people can access Pfizer first dose regardless of age:
    • All health care workers
    • Pregnant women who are at 24 weeks or more into their pregnancy, or have complicated or high-risk pregnancies as determined by your health care provider
    • Public and private residential aged care and disability care workers and residents
    • Hotel quarantine and border workers
    • Household contacts of hotel quarantine and border workers
    • Household contacts of healthcare workers on COVID-19 wards, screening wards and healthcare workers who are likely to interact with COVID-19 patients
    • Household contacts of Ambulance Victoria officers
    • Meat and seafood processing worker and associated cold chain transportation
    • People who are vulnerable and at high risk from COVID-19, including residents of high risk accommodation
    • Residential care workers
    • Family violence workers (DFFH-funded)
    • Family and parenting services staff
    • Sexual assault services (CASA)
    • Child protection staff
    • Housing staff
    • Correction staff and residents
    • COVID response authorised officers involved in household engagement programs, hotel quarantine and ports of entry.
    • Victorian Building Authority Authorised Officers
    • Other care services workforces who undertake frontline activities

AstraZeneca

Eligibility
  • Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) will prioritise the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged 12-59 years
  • Eligible adults aged 18-59 can choose to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. If you book and AstraZeneca appointment you will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine
Expert Advice
  • The AstraZeneca should not be used in people who have a history of
    • Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST)
    • Venous thrombosis
  • Patients with a history of these conditions should therefore not be vaccinated with AstraZeneca and can be referred to their closest Victorian Specialist Immunisation Services (VicSIS) clinic
Watch out for:

After your AstraZeneca vaccination go to your doctor if you:

  • Have a new headache following the vaccination and lasts more than 48 hours post vaccination
  • Vomit or feeling like you want to throw up

Moderna

Eligibility

Moderna vaccines are being delivered through participating pharmacies in Victoria. Everyone aged 12-59 years is eligible for the Moderna vaccine.

Safety
  • Very large clinical trials have shown that the Moderna vaccine is effective in preventing COVID-19 in people aged 12 years and older.
  • Clinical trials show that adults who had two doses of the Moderna vaccine were about 94 per cent less likely to become ill from COVID-19 than people who did not get the vaccine. The vaccine was also effective in people aged over 65 years (86%) and in adolescents aged 12-17 years.
  • Anyone who gets vaccinated must provide appropriate consent. Consent can be provided verbally.
  • You should not receive the Moderna vaccine if you have had:
    • anaphylaxis (a type of severe allergic reaction) to a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine i.e. Moderna or Pfizer
    • anaphylaxis after exposure to any component of the vaccine, including polyethylene glycol (PEG)
    • myocarditis and/or pericarditis attributed to a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (i.e. Moderna or Pfizer)
    • any other serious adverse event, that an experienced immunisation provider or medical specialist attributed to a previous dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (i.e. Moderna or Pfizer) and without another cause identified.

The current recommendation interval between doses is 6 weeks for the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccine

Medical Attention

You should seek medical attention if:

  • You think you are having an allergic reaction. Call 000 if you experience severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, a fast heartbeat or collapsing.
  • You have:
    • chest pain, pressure, or discomfort
    • irregular heartbeat
    • skipped beats or fluttering
    • fainting
    • shortness of breath or pain when breathing

Vaccine FAQs

My child is getting vaccinated. What consent is required?
Anyone who gets vaccinated must provide appropriate consent. Consent can be provided verbally or in writing.
• For young people aged under 18, consent can be provided verbally by a
parent or guardian who attends a vaccination appointment.
• A parent or guardian can provide written consent by signing a consent form.
• In the absence of written or verbal consent from a parent or guardian, people aged 12 – 17 may provide their own consent, if they are assessed as having decision making capacity by a senior and experienced immuniser

Can I take my foster child to get vaccinated?
Young people aged 12 to 17 must have a guardian’s consent to be vaccinated unless they are assessed by a senior and experienced immuniser as having decision making capacity. Their parent or guardian (including foster parents) can attend the vaccination centre with them.

When can I get vaccinated?
Everyone aged 12 years or older can now get a COVID-19 vaccine

Can I still get a COVID-19 vaccine if I am not an Australian citizen?
You do not need an Individual Healthcare Identifier or a Medicare card to get a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre.
• If you do not have a Medicare card, you can apply for an Individual
Healthcare Identifier (IHI)
.
Individual Healthcare Identifiers are used to match the correct record to the person being treated – no clinical information is linked to the identifier.
• Applying for an Individual Healthcare Identifier and being vaccinated for
COVID-19 will not impact your visa status or your eligibility for government
payments.

How many injections do I need?
Whether you receive a first dose of Pfizer, Moderna, or AstraZeneca you will need to have a second dose at least six weeks apart

I do not speak English, but my child does. How can I give consent for their vaccination?
One parent or guardian can attend a vaccination appointment with their child and provide consent verbally.
A parent can provide consent by signing a consent form. These are available in more than 60 languages.
People aged 12 – 17 may provide their own consent, if deemed appropriate by a senior and experienced immuniser.
You can ask an interpreter to be at your child’s appointment by calling the
Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 and pressing 0. Ask the interpreter to help you make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a Victorian Government vaccination centre.
View the Australian Government’s translated information about COVID-19 vaccines.
View vaccine information from the Australian Government in your language.
View other translated resources from the Victorian Government.

I’m an international student living in Australia. Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine?
Everyone aged 12 years or older can now get a COVID-19 vaccine.
COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone living in Australia.
You do not need an Individual Healthcare Identifier or a Medicare card to get a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre.
• If you do not have a Medicare card, you can apply for an Individual
Healthcare Identifier (IHI)
.
• Individual Healthcare Identifiers are used to match the correct record to the person being treated – no clinical information is linked to the identifier.
• Applying for an Individual Healthcare Identifier and being vaccinated for
COVID-19 will not impact your visa status or your eligibility for government
payments.

Can parents/guardians of a child attend the child’s vaccine appointment?
For COVIDSafe reasons, only one parent or guardian can attend a vaccination appointment with a child.
A parent can provide consent verbally at the appointment or by signing a consent form.
People aged 12 – 17 may provide their own consent, if deemed to be mature minors by a senior and experienced immuniser.

Can I receive a COVID-19 vaccine if I am pregnant?
People who are 24 weeks pregnancy or who have complicated or high-risk
pregnancies are able to access reserved Pfizer appointments at vaccination centres.
To book a reserved Pfizer vaccine appointment, call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.

Why are people who are late in their pregnancy or who have a high-risk pregnancy encouraged to get vaccinated?
People who are at least 24 weeks pregnant and people who have complicated or high-risk pregnancy are encouraged to get a COVID-19 vaccine. People who are pregnant are at higher risk of complications if they get COVID-19 including increased possibility of premature birth.
To help you get a COVID-19 vaccine you can access reserved Pfizer appointments at vaccination centres.
To book a reserved Pfizer vaccine appointment, call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.


Multilingual Information


Information for Service Providers

  • Health Provider Talking Points. The Immigrant Health Service at the Royal Children’s Hospital have released talking points for those providing health services to refugee, migrant, and asylum seeker communities.
  • Help for Migrants in Transition. The Australian Red Cross offers support for refugees, people seeking asylum, people in immigration detention, and other migrants. This includes material and financial support. You can access more information on their services and referrals via their website.
  • Settlement support services are provided by Life Without Barriers and AMES. More information can be found on the relevant sections of their websites.

Further Information