COVID-19: Information, resources and services

Reviewed January 20th, 2022

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

Victorian Department of Health Quick Links

Changes in Isolation, Quarantine, and Close Contacts

Latest COVID-19 Vaccination Updates

Specific Vaccine Information: Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna

Vaccine FAQs

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.


Changes to Isolation and Contact Tracing

  • Current guidelines for individuals who test positive: visit here
  • Current guidelines for COVID-19 contacts: visit here
  • More information on Rapid Antigen Tests: visit here
  • Managing COVID-19 at home: visit here
  • How can families and individuals prepare for COVID-19: visit here
  • Case in the workspace visit here

COVID-19 Vaccination Updates

January 19 2022 Update

Key Messages
Third dose interval reduced to three months
  • Effective 19 January 2022, the Victorian Government has reduced the third-dose interval from four months to three months from the second dose at state-run vaccination centres.
  • The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are recommended for use as third doses. Both vaccines are considered equally acceptable.
  • People aged 18 years and over will now be offered a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine three months after their second dose.
  • Pregnant women aged 18 years and over who received their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine three or more months ago are recommended to have a third dose.
  • Immunocompromised people that have received three primary doses can also receive their fourth dose. The interval has now been reduced from four months to three months from the third dose.
  • Visit the Doh website for locations, hours and access information before walking up. Bookings can be made online or by calling 1800 675 398.
  • COVID-19 third doses are available for Victorians aged 18 and over from local GPs and pharmacists – the Vaccine Clinic Finder can be used to locate the nearest option.
Third dose ‘booster blitz’
  • A four-day vaccination blitz will take place from 21–24 January (inclusive) to encourage people to get their third dose.
  • All state-run vaccination clinics are participating in the blitz, with a focus on eight flagship sites:
    • Royal Exhibition Building (walk-up access available 8am to 8pm daily during the blitz)
    • Latrobe University Bundoora (walk-up 8am to 8pm)
    • Sandown Racecourse (walk-up 9am to 6:30pm Saturday and Sunday)
    • Dandenong Plaza (walk-up 9am to 5pm)
    • Frankston’s Bayside Centre (walk-up 9:30am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday)
    • Sunshine Hospital (walk-up 8am to 8pm)
    • Bendigo Vaccination Hub (walk-up 9am to 8pm)
    • Ballarat Mercure (walk-up 8:30am to 3pm on Sunday)
  • Additional capacity will be created for people to get their third dose through extended opening hours, more staff and temporary cubicles.
  • Support will be put in place for some GPs/pharmacies to increase their opening hours.
  • Check the list of vaccination centres for participating locations and opening hours

December 17 2021 Update

Key Messages
ATAGI approves Pfizer for 5 to 11 year-olds
  • The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for children who are 5 to 11 years of age.
  • The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has approved the use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 5 to 11 years.
  • The recommended schedule for vaccination in this age group is 2 doses, 8 weeks apart. The interval can be shortened in special circumstances to a minimum of 3 weeks, such as in an outbreak response, prior to the initiation of significant immunosuppression or international travel.
  • Children who turn 12 after their first dose may receive the adolescent/adult formation of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to complete their primary vaccine course.
  • The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is expected to be available for this group in January
Vaccination of 5 to 11 year-olds through State-run centres
  • Vaccination of 5 to 11 year-olds through vaccination centres will begin from 10 January 2022.
  • Planning is underway to provide a safe, positive and appealing environment for 5 to 11 year-olds at vaccination centres
Boosters doses are recommended – Moderna now approved
  • ATAGI has recommended a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for all Australians aged 18 and over at five months after their second dose, reduced from six months.
  • ATAGI previously recommended that the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine was the preferred vaccine for use as a COVID-19 booster. ATAGI has now recommended that the Moderna (50µg) COVID-19 vaccine can also be used as a booster dose.
  • The Pfizer 30µg booster dose and the Moderna 50µg dose are considered equally acceptable as booster vaccines for all people aged 18 years and older, including pregnant women.
  • Providers should refer to the ATAGI statement for more information around the benefits, safety profile and other considerations for a Moderna booster dose.
  • Public bookings for Moderna boosters will begin on Monday 20 December.
  • Where people present for a booster before 20 December and request Moderna, this should be provided where possible

November 26 2021 Update

Key Messages
Who can get the booster dose now?
  • Anyone aged 18 and over who had their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine more than six months ago is encouraged to get a COVID-19 booster now.
  • Those who completed a primary vaccination course overseas with a COVID-19 vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration can also get a booster dose now.
  • A COVID-19 booster dose helps maintain protection against COVID-19 and prevent waning immunity.
  • Most people will receive the Pfizer vaccine as their booster dose.
  • Although not preferred, AstraZeneca (Vaxzervria) can be used as a booster dose for those who had AstraZeneca for their first two doses, and those who had a previous reaction to an mRNA vaccine.
  • Booster doses are different from third primary doses, which are to help immunosuppressed people obtain the same level of protection as the general population. Find out more at who can get vaccinated.
  • Read more about boosters in the ATAGI announcement.
Booster doses can now be booked online
  • COVID-19 booster doses are available from GPs and pharmacists and you can find one near you using Service Finder (healthdirect.gov.au). Boosters are also available at Victorian vaccination centres.
  • Anyone can call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 or use the online booking system to book a booster dose appointment, or walk-in to a vaccination centre.
  • Those who haven’t yet had their second dose can now book their second and booster doses at the same time using the online booking system.
  • Australian Immunisation Records are updated after a booster (or third primary dose for those who are severely immunocompromised). Digital certificates will show the last two COVID-19 vaccinations.
Vaccine Dose Intervals
  • Third primary dose (immunocompromised) – 2 months after second dose
  • Booster dose – 6 months after second dose
At-home COVID-19 Vaccinations
  • Anyone can now get their first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at home. This service is not currently available for booster doses.
  • To book an at-home appointment, call the coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline on 1800 675 398. For an interpreter, press 0.
  • People with special requirements or a disability are encouraged to contact a Disability Liaison Officer who can help with their booking. See vaccine information for people with a disability or special requirements.
  • Getting a vaccine at home takes about 45 minutes – this includes providing consent and monitoring for at least 15 minutes after vaccination.
  • View more information about vaccination at home

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.  

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 women about COVID-19 vaccines: The new resources provide clear information on the COVID-19 vaccine for women who are pregnant, trying for pregnancy and breastfeeding. The new resources are available in Vietnamese, Chinese (Simplified), Arabic as well as English.
  • COVID-19 Vaccines information: The information packs include communication resources that provide key COVID-19 vaccines information, such as recent updates to the COVID-19 rollout, information about booster doses, information on pregnancy and COVID-19 vaccines, videos featuring community members explaining the importance of getting vaccinated and videos featuring doctors answering questions about COVID-19 vaccines. These packs are available in:
  • Accessing Vaccine Certificates: Audio explainer in 19 languages providing instructions on how to access the COVID-19 vaccination certificate
  • Exposure Sites and Tiers explained in your language: The Victorian Government, in collaboration with multiple multicultural organisations, has developed resources in multiple languages with information about exposure site tier system.
  • Audio resources in your language: The Victorian Government, in collaboration with NEMBC, has also developed audio links in 17 languages explaining COVID-19 resources
  • Coronavirus explainer videos in your language. SBS and the Commonwealth Government have developed explainer videos on COVID-19, including COVID-19 vaccination roll-out explainer videos
  • COVID-19 vaccine information in your language. The Commonwealth Government has developed COVID-19 vaccine information in multiple languages
  • Information in your language about Commonwealth Government support payments and services. Services Australia have released information in a range of languages about their support payments and services. This includes information for business-owners, older people, those living in regional and remote areas, carers, students, and families
  • The Health Translations Directory provides a repository of health related information in multiple languages

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