What should I do before I get vaccinated for COVID-19?
Continue to protect yourself and your family against COVID-19.
Whether you are vaccinated or not, there are things you can do to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. You must:
- practise good hygiene
- practise physical distancing
- follow the limits for public gatherings
- understand how to isolate if you need to.
Make sure your Medicare details are correct
Make sure your details are up to date with Medicare. You can do this using either your:
If you don’t have your account set up, you can:
- enrol in Medicare, if you’re not already enrolled.
- set up your Medicare online account if you’re enrolled in Medicare, but don’t have Medicare linked to myGov.
- get an Individual Health Identifier (IHI), if you’re not eligible for Medicare.
Once you’ve had your vaccine, you’ll be able to get an immunisation history statement to prove your vaccination status. You can get proof of vaccinations from your Medicare immunisation history through myGov, or by calling Medicare on 1800 653 809.
Find out how to get your immunisation history statement on the Services Australia website.
Check your current eligibility. Use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker to see if you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
Getting ready for your appointment
There is a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccines in Australia and globally. This means, people who have the highest risk of severe COVID-19 and/or exposure to the virus will receive the vaccine first. Other people will receive vaccine over time.
You should not attend a COVID-19 vaccination appointment if you:
- Are unwell with fever, cough, runny nose or other symptoms that could be from COVID-19.
- Are awaiting COVID-19 test results.
- Have tested positive with COVID-19 and you are in isolation.
- Are in quarantine.
- Are a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
If you fall into any of the above categories, check with your immunisation provider. You may need to reschedule your appointment for vaccination.COVID-19 vaccines are not effective at treating COVID-19.
If you have had another vaccine in the 14 days before your COVID-19 vaccine appointment, tell your immunisation provider. Your immunisation provider may ask you to reschedule your appointment.
You are not required to test for COVID-19 before vaccination if you do not have a fever or any respiratory symptoms.
Plan ahead for two doses
It is important that you receive two doses of your COVID-19 vaccine at least three weeks apart. Full protection against COVID-19 will not occur until about a week after your second dose.
What to expect at your vaccination appointment
You should bring the following to your COVID-19 vaccination appointment:
- Photo ID, if you have one.
- Medicare card, if you have one.
- Employee ID, if you are getting a COVID-19 vaccine because of your occupation.
- Information about any of your medical conditions, allergies, bleeding disorders or immunocompromise (i.e. weakened immune system).
- Information about any medications you are taking.
- Information about any previous COVID-19 vaccine received (vaccine brand and date of vaccination).
- Information about any reactions you have had to any vaccine in the past.
- Name of your current GP/s and any specialist doctors you see.
- A face mask (if required by your state/territory).
At your appointment, you will be able to discuss any questions you have about COVID-19 vaccination with your immunisation provider. Tell your immunisation provider if you have any medical conditions or if you are taking any medications. Especially make sure to tell them if you:
- Have had anaphylaxis (a type of severe allergic reaction) to any substance, or if you have an adrenaline autoinjector (e.g. EpiPen).
- Have had a reaction to any vaccine in the past.
- Have a bleeding disorder or are receiving anticoagulant therapy (a blood thinner).
- Are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy.
- Are immunocompromised (i.e. have a weakened immune system or take immune suppressing medication).
- Have received another COVID-19 vaccine (and which brand).
- Have received any vaccine in the last 14 days.
In some circumstances, it may be better to have a discussion with your healthcare provider about vaccination before making an appointment for vaccination. You can also read the Information on COVID-19 Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine.
How you will receive the vaccine
You will receive the vaccine as an injection, most commonly into your upper arm muscle. You must remain in the vaccination clinic for observation for at least 15 minutes after vaccination.
Depending on your medical history, you may be asked to wait in the clinic for 30 minutes.
How is the information you provide at your appointment used
For information on how your personal details are collected, stored and used visit https://www.health.gov.au/covid19-vaccines