Updated 18 May 2021
The first group of Australians began receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in February.
The Government’s priority is to protect our most vulnerable Australians first, and the frontline heroes who are protecting all of us. This includes aged care and disability care residents and workers, frontline health care workers, and quarantine and border workers.
For more information, see Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy.
COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone living in Australia.
All vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety before they are approved for use in Australia. This includes careful analysis of clinical trial data, ingredients, chemistry, manufacturing and other factors. Read more about vaccine safety.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be voluntary and free. As safe and effective vaccines become available the Government will vaccinate as many Australians as possible for COVID-19. If you choose not to have a COVID-19 vaccine your eligibility for Government payments won’t be affected.
Providing informed consent is required before getting each dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Written consent is not mandatory and consent may be given verbally.
Vaccination providers may ask for written consent in some settings according to their normal practices.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation has developed resources for patients and providers to help with providing informed consent to get a COVID-19 vaccination. This includes an optional consent form.
Vaccination of individuals under 18 will depend on the age groups for which each vaccine is approved. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been provisionally approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for individuals 16 years and older.
The TGA has granted a provisional determination to Pfizer to apply to vary its provisional registration for the vaccine for use in individuals 12 years and age or older.
The Australian Government has published a COVID-19 vaccination guide for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning pregnancy.
It currently contains advice relating to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and will be updated as advice on other vaccines becomes available.
Vaccination is not a silver bullet or a complete substitute for other public health interventions. Testing, contact tracing, quarantine and isolation will remain in place until evidence is established that the vaccination prevents transmission, and community coverage is achieved in Australia.
In Australia, mandatory quarantine with COVID-19 testing at regular intervals is still considered the best strategy for managing the potential public health risk posed by incoming travellers.
If favourable data on vaccination continues to be published over time, then this may trigger a decision as to whether there should be a scale back of other public health interventions.