COVID-19 Vaccines

Find below information to help with questions that you or your patients might have about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccination program commenced on 22 February 2021. Victorian healthcare workers have played a critical role in the pandemic and are among the first to receive the vaccine as part of the Phase 1B roll-out.

Where can I get the vaccine?

Click here to check your eligibility and find a GP clinic near you who will be administering the vaccine.

Some clinics may not be accepting bookings until they have confirmation of supply of vaccine doses, and some may prioritise existing patients.

Access for all Victorians

Vaccines are free and will be available for all eligible Victorians during each phase, including equitable access across geographic, social and cultural groups.

A Proof of Employment letter prepared by the ADA can be used to prove eligibility for vaccination in Phase 1b. Registered dental practitioners can also use evidence of their AHPRA registration.

Visit the ADA website for the Proof of Employment Letter for Priority Groups and updated vaccination FAQs.

Dental staff will receive either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine depending on what is available at the location where they receive the vaccination. You will not have a choice of which vaccine you receive.

Safety and quality

Vaccination sites will be supported by comprehensive clinical safety and quality procedures, and an appropriately trained and supervised vaccination workforce. Data systems are in place to underpin monitoring, analysis and reporting of safety, quality and adverse events. Specialist services will manage adverse events following immunisation.

Australia is one of the first countries to be able to undergo a complete assessment and approval process. On 25 January 2021, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced provisional approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in Australia. During the TGA’s rigorous and independent assessment of the vaccine’s safety, quality and effectiveness, all steps were taken and data analysed. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine trials demonstrated the vaccine is generally well tolerated, effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19, and protects against severe disease and hospitalisation. The TGA’s decision was also informed by the Advisory Committee on Vaccines, an independent group of clinical and scientific experts, with consumer representation. On 16 February 2021, the TGA granted provisional approval of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use in Australia.

Variants

It is anticipated that the Pfizer and Astra Zeneca vaccines will be effective against the newer strains of COVID-19. This is because the vaccines work by inducing what is known as a polyclonal response – a collection of immunological response to many different parts of the COVID 'spike' protein. In the new variants, only a limited part of the spike protein is changed, and much is unchanged. So the vaccines should still work against the main, unchanged parts to the COVID-19 spike protein.

Vaccine certificates

Proving you’ve had a vaccine can help to open up our economy, as more and more people are vaccinated. Australians can already access their immunisation history statement through Medicare for proof of vaccination, both digitally and in hard copy, if required. The government is working to enhance these existing digital and non-digital options.

Vaccine characteristics

 

Predicted vaccine rollout (supply dependent)

 

Women and pregnancy

Clinical trials for new medicines do not typically include pregnant or breastfeeding participants. In preparation for the vaccine rollout, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is currently finalising clinical advice for healthcare providers on the use of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia in 2021. This is likely to include advice in relation to pregnant women. This advice will be provided as soon as it is received.

HR implications

Find information about any HR implications on the ADA website.

Sources and further information