COVID-19 Vaccines

Find below information to help with questions that you or your patients might have about the COVID-19 vaccine. Updated 22 July 2021

Which vaccine will I get?

Victoria is now offering the Pfizer vaccine to people in eligible priority groups aged 16 years and over. For people yet to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, all health care workers are now eligible to receive Pfizer vaccine, regardless of age.

How to book 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.

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.

Before you get vaccinated

People who have already received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine should receive a second dose of AstraZeneca.

Remember to bring:

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

If you have questions about a pre-existing medical condition and getting 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 millions of people receive COVID-19 vaccines worldwide we are getting a better understanding of how well they protect us. The information below is based on the latest research from both trials and research in communities where many people have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

AstraZeneca vaccine protects you against getting COVID-19. 

  • With two doses of the vaccine, spaced 12 weeks apart, you are 80 per cent less likely to get sick with COVID-19
  • After the first dose of the vaccine, you are over 90 per cent less likely to be hospitalised with COVID-19.

Pfizer vaccine protects you against getting COVID-19. 

  • With two doses of the vaccine, spaced by at least 21 days, you are 95 per cent less likely to get sick with COVID-19 
  • After the first dose of the vaccine, you are over 80 per cent less likely to be hospitalised with COVID-19.

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.

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.

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