Latest news

23 March 2020

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends the AstraZeneca vaccination for adults over 50. Pfizer (Comirnaty) is now the preferred vaccine for adults under 50.

This recommendation is based on:

  • An increased risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 in older adults (and thus a higher benefit from vaccination), and
  • a potentially increased risk of thrombosis (clotting) with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count) after an AstraZeneca vaccination in people under 50.

Adults under 50 can still have the AstraZeneca vaccine where the benefits outweigh the risks. The risk of blood clotting side effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine is four to six in one million people.

According to an Australian Government media release on April 8, 2021: “The vaccination program will continue, particularly for the most vulnerable Australians in Phase 1B, including those over the age of 70 who are not impacted by this revised advice.”

COVID-19 news, updates and advice, go to australia.gov.au

For the latest health alerts, case numbers and official medical advice, go to health.gov.au

COVID-19 vaccination rollout: The next phase

People with disability who have serious health problems are now eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination. Their carers–paid and unpaid–are also eligible under Phase 1b of the rollout. Getting vaccinated is an effective way to protect you, the people around you, and the community.

Two vaccines have been approved by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) in Australia. You will be offered either the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, depending on which vaccination clinic you go to. Pfizer is the preferred vaccine for people aged under 50 who have not already received a first dose of AstraZeneca safely. Both vaccines are particularly effective in preventing people from becoming severely ill, needing hospitalisation, or dying from COVID-19. Both vaccines are administered in two doses. For more information:

You can make a booking for a COVID-19 vaccination via the online Healthdirect service, or you can contact your general practitioner directly to explore your options. COVID-19 vaccines are free.

For more information in accessible formats such as Easy Read, Auslan, and additional languages, please see the resources section at the bottom of this document.

Am I eligible, and if so, how do I make a booking?

The Healthdirect COVID-19 Vaccine Booking Service is designed to help you find out when you can receive your vaccine and to book an appointment if you are eligible. You will be offered details for local clinics based on the postcode you enter and you’ll be able to contact the clinic of your choice directly to make a booking. Visit the Australian Government Vaccine Eligibility Checker and complete the questions on the interactive checklist.

While you are waiting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, please review the information at this Department of Health page, What should I do before I get vaccinated for COVID-19? Australians are being advised to wait two weeks between getting the seasonal flu and COVID-19 vaccines. 

Who can I contact for more information?

The National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline is a reliable resource for people who have questions about COVID-19 or the vaccine rollout. The hotline can also provide you with answers via text.
  National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline: 1800 020 080
If you prefer not to provide any extra details, that’s your choice. The helpline can help you to be completely anonymous.

You can also click here to ask the Australian Government about the COVID-19 vaccine. You will need to leave an email address to receive a response.

If you have any specific questions, PWDA can follow them up on your behalf. Email us at: policy@pwd.org.au.

Resources

COVID-19 vaccine information in Easy Read:

COVID-19 vaccine information in Easy Read format:[VR1] 

COVID-19 vaccine information in Auslan: https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/getting-vaccinated-for-covid-19/information-for-people-with-disability-about-covid-19-vaccines 

COVID-19 vaccine information in your language other than English: https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/covid-19-vaccine-information-in-your-language