Having safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available for everyone in Australia will help protect you and your loved ones from coronavirus.
Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?
Researchers and companies around the world are developing and testing vaccines for COVID-19. The Australian Government has agreements in place for the supply of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. The Government is monitoring the progress of those vaccines so Australia can secure early access if they are successful.
Will vaccines be available in Australia?
The Australian Government is working with organizations and countries around the world to ensure everyone in Australia has access to approved COVID-19 vaccines when they are available. However, before a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in Australia, it must pass the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) assessment and approval processes. This means vaccines need to pass clinical trials for safety and effectiveness that meet Australian standards. The TGA will review information from clinical trials happening around the world to help with their decisions.
Does everyone have to get the vaccine?
No. There are no mandatory vaccines in Australia. When a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, you can choose if you want to be vaccinated.
Who will receive the vaccine?
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is made up of medical experts. They have provided advice to the Australian Government on who should receive an approved vaccine first. As at 13 November 2020, it appears that a COVID-19 vaccine could be approved for priority groups for use in Australia from early 2021. The priority groups include:
1. People who have an increased risk, relative to others, of developing severe disease or dying from COVID-19:
people with certain pre-existing medical conditions
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
People at an increased risk of exposure, infection and transmission of COVID-19, or in a setting where the risk of catching the virus is high:
health and aged care workers.
other care workers such as group residential care workers and disability care workers.
people in other settings where the risk of virus transmission is increased such as correctional and detention facilities, and meat processing plants.
People working in critical services:
select essential services staff such as emergency services providers, defence forces, public health staff, and staff managing quarantine facilities.
People working in supply and distribution of essential goods and services such as food, water, electricity, telecommunications and other critical infrastructure.
Other members of the community who wish to be vaccinated can expect to have access to a vaccine during 2021 as more doses become available.
Priority groups may change as more clinical trial results are published.
What can people do while we wait for a vaccine?
To keep you and your community safe while we wait for a vaccine, you should continue to:
Stay 1.5 metres away from other people and avoid handshakes and contact with people outside your household.
Stay home if you feel unwell and get tested for COVID-19. You must stay at home until your results come back.
Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or hand sanitiser.
Always cough or sneeze into your arm or a tissue and put the tissue in the bin straight away.
Download the COVIDSafe app to help health officials notify you if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.
For more information about coronavirus you can visit : https://www.health.gov.au/