Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout begins

Tags Health and Wellbeing Government

Posted 1 week ago

The Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine requires two doses at a minimum of 21 days apart. [Source: iStock]
The Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine requires two doses at a minimum of 21 days apart. [Source: iStock]

The Federal Government's COVID-19 vaccination rollout started on 22 February, with Australia's most vulnerable and front line workers receiving the first coronavirus vaccine dose.

As part of Phase 1a of the Australian Government’s coronavirus vaccine rollout strategy, a  total of 1.4 million doses will be given to:

  • quarantine and border workers 

  • frontline health care worker sub-groups for prioritisation

  • aged care and disability care staff

  • aged care and disability care residents

The COVID-19 vaccination is free. You can choose whether to have the vaccination or not. 

In this first phase, people will be receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine, which requires two doses at a minimum of 21 days apart.

People with disability and their support workers will be some of the first people to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia if: 

  • you are a person with disability living in disability residential accommodation, and 

  • you are living with two or more other people with disability.

If you are a person with disability living in residential care, you will get the vaccine in your home. Your support provider will let you know when your vaccination day will be.

The Australian Government Department of Health has provided the following information for people with disability explaining what will happen when you get the vaccine . 

Before vaccination day

Everything will be organised for you so you can have your vaccine at your home. Your support provider will talk with the people who will give you the vaccine to make sure everything goes well on your vaccination day. 

These people are experienced in giving vaccinations. Before you have the vaccine, you, or the person who usually makes decisions for you, will need to decide whether you want the vaccine. Your support provider will give you information or talk to you about what the vaccine is for and why you may want to have it. 

If you want more information you may want to talk to your doctor or someone else so you know whether you can have the vaccine. Your support provider may ask you to talk to your doctor about the vaccine to make sure you can have it. If you say yes to having the vaccine, everything will be organised for you.

What to expect on vaccination day

If you would like a support person when you get the vaccine, a family member, friend or carer can be with you. 

You will still need to stay COVIDSafe and practice good hygiene and physical distancing, after getting your vaccination. This includes wearing masks if applicable depending on the location.

If you say yes to having the vaccine, your support provider will check that you are well enough on the day to have the vaccine. If you are unwell, you can have the vaccine on another day with your doctor or at another place that can give the vaccine. 

The support workers who are with you on the day you have your vaccine will be there to help. If you feel unwell after having the vaccine, your support provider or support workers will help you make a decision about what to do. Make sure you tell someone if you are feeling unwell.

More information on COVID vaccinations

Australian Government, State and Territory Government helplines will have information on how people with disability can access the vaccine:

  • Disability Gateway Helpline: 1800 643 787

  • Disability Gateway website: www.disabilitygateway.gov.au

  • If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can also call the National Relay Service on 133 677.

  • The National Coronavirus Helpline: 1800 020 080

  • Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National): For translating and interpreting services call 131 450 and ask for the helpline you would like to be connected to.

To watch information videos about the Coronavirus vaccine in Auslan, visit the Department of Health’s website.