COVID-19 Vaccines

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

Last updated 3 November 2021

Vaccine safety webinar

View the ADAVB vaccination information session held on 30 September 2021, presented by Dr Katy Theodore. The webinar explores vaccination safety, how to make sense of the statistics and media headlines and strategies to address vaccination hesitancy and misinformation.

Download the presentation used in the ADAVB's vaccination information webinar.

Which vaccine can I get?

  • AstraZeneca is available to those aged 18 years and over (18 – 59 year olds must give consent on the risks).
  • Pfizer and Moderna are available to anyone aged 12 years and over at participating venues.  

Health care workers can access reserved appointments at vaccination centres.

Booster dose

Booster doses are now available to Australians aged 18 years and older where they have received their first and second doses at least six months ago.

Given that health care workers were prioritised at the commencement of the vaccine roll-out, many will now have reached or be approaching 6 months post their second dose.

A single booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine is currently recommended regardless of the primary COVID-19 vaccine used. AstraZeneca can be used (not preferred) where AstraZeneca was used for the first two doses and there are no contraindications, or where a significant adverse reaction occurred after a previous mRNA vaccine dose (e.g. anaphylaxis or myocarditis).

A COVID-19 booster dose helps prevent waning immunity (loss of protection) against COVID-19.

You can get a COVID-19 booster dose from a GP or pharmacy. You can also get it at a Victorian vaccination centre.

 

Booking a COVID-19 vaccine appointment

View information on how to book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

Eligible people are encouraged to book their appointment by calling the Victorian Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 or using the online booking portal.

Tell the hotline operator you are in the health care worker priority group. The online booking system allows you to access vaccine appointments as part of a priority group.

Before you get vaccinated

People who have already received a first dose of the AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine should receive a second dose of the same vaccine.

Remember to bring:

  • Medicare Card
  • Valid form of identification (i.e. Driver’s licence)
  • Proof of healthcare worker status if necessary (i.e. Copy of AHPRA registration or letter from employer)

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or have had an adverse reaction to the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, you should speak to your doctor.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) and Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australian and New Zealand (THANZ) have released a joint statement on the AstraZeneca vaccine.

People with the following conditions can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine:

  • History of blood clots in typical sites
  • Increased clotting tendency that is not immune mediated
  • Family history of blood clots
  • History of ischaemic heart disease or stroke
  • Current or past thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
  • Those receiving anticoagulation therapy.

Vaccine effectiveness

As billions of COVID-19 vaccine doses are administered worldwide, we are getting a better understanding of how well they protect us. There is now a strong body of evidence to support the effectiveness of all of the COVID-19 vaccines in reducing transmission and preventing serious illness and death.

Full protection usually starts at around 14 days after the second dose of all vaccines. This high level of protection for all vaccines also applies to new variants of COVID-19, including the Delta variant.

Access for all Victorians

Vaccines are free and available for all eligible Victorians.

A Proof of Employment letter prepared by the ADA can be used to prove eligibility for priority vaccination. 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 vaccination FAQs.

Variants

Emerging evidence shows that the Pfizer, Moderna and Astra Zeneca vaccines are 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 still work against the main, unchanged parts to the COVID-19 spike protein.

COVID-19 vaccines and workplaces

Some organisations have prepared advice on COVID-19 vaccines and workplaces:

Fair Work Ombudsman – Workplace rights and obligations 

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Employer Guide 

For information about HR implications for employers and employees relating to the Victorian public health order requiring healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19, visit this page or the ADA website or contact the ADA HR Advisory Service on 1300 232 462 or e: hrhotline@ada.org.au.

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 Service Victoria app can link to proof of vaccination when checking into venues using QR codes (must be fully vaccinated and have the latest version of the app to access this feature).

Women and pregnancy

The Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and ATAGI recommend the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at any stage of pregnancy. This is because pregnant women and unborn babies are at significantly increased risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccines are recommended for women trying to get pregnant and those who are breastfeeding. More information is available here.

Sources and further information