Reviewed September 14th, 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.
Victorian Department of Health Quick Links:
- COVID-19 vaccine information
- Current restrictions – Melbourne
- Case location and outbreaks
- Where to get tested
- Translated information about COVID-19
- Financial support for coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Isolation and quarantine – extra help and support
- Mental health resources
- Information for people with disability
- Join the COVID-19 WhatsApp channel
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 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.
- You must book a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine appointment. Walk ins are not accepted.
- 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.
- Priority access is now available at vaccination centres from Monday 23 August – Sunday 29 August 2021 for residential aged care and disability care workers to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
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.
- The Australian Government is sending notifications to people who registered their interest in getting vaccinated to prompt them to book an appointment. Notifications may be sent to people who have already booked or received their COVID-19 vaccine doses.
August 10 2021 Update
Expanded eligibility includes high risk young people aged 12-15 years
- In Victoria this eligibility applies to:
- Young people with specified medical conditions that increase their risk of severe COVID-19 (including but not limited to asthma, diabetes, obesity, cardiac and circulatory congenital anomalies, neuro developmental disorders, epilepsy, immuno-compromised and trisomy 21)
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people
- Young people in remote communities, as part of broader community outreach vaccination programs that provide vaccines for all ages (≥12 years)
- This change has been implemented following recommendation from ATAGI that people aged 12-15 years be prioritized for vaccination with Pfizer.
- Young people aged 12-15 years will be given two doses. The second dose should be given 6 weeks after the first dose
- Young people should speak to their doctor about any questions they (or their parents/guardians) have about vaccination. Young people are encouraged to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a general practice or community health service, although vaccines are also available through vaccination centres.
- Young people aged 12-15 years receiving COVID-19 vaccination at state vaccination centres can book online or by calling the coronavirus hotline.
- To receive a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre young people must attend a vaccination centre with a parent or guardian or other person with parental responsibility for the child who will give consent and accompany them during the vaccination process
- Proof of age must be provided to ensure the young person is at least 12 years old. For example, a school ID card, birth certificate, passport, doctors letter with date of birth or other proof of age.
- It is expected that updated advice for all other young people aged 12-15 years will be made in the coming months
Access to AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged 18-39 years
- As of Monday 9 August 2021, state vaccination centres will also expand access to the AstraZeneca vaccine for all individuals aged 18 to 39 years. Booking via online portal or call centre.
- People will be able to book at all state vaccination centres which provide AstraZeneca vaccine.
July 30 2021 Update
- The minimum interval for Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is changing to six weeks between first dose and second dose.
- The change to timing between Pfizer vaccine doses will allow more Victorians to receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine in coming weeks.
- This change has been implemented considering the epidemiological conditions, constrained Pfizer vaccine supply, and the benefit of providing more people with a level of protection against COVID-19. The change in the minimum interval remains consistent with ATAGI advice on the spacing of vaccine doses.
- This change only applies to Victorian vaccination centres, including efforts by Local Public Health Units and state commissioned community health services delivering COVID-19 vaccination.
- Commonwealth commissioned services including general practices and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations services are not required to follow this advice.
- New service delivery options are being put in place to reduce barriers to vaccination for those priority workforce groups and people who are most at risk of catching or getting very sick from COVID-19. These services are being provided to those who may have barriers to access vaccination centres. Services including a trial of taxi vouchers, group bookings at vaccination centres, and mobile in reach services.
- There have been further details released regarding classification of nurse immunisers.
- 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.