- The COVID-19 vaccine rollout roadmap has determined the phases of vaccination for priority groups.
- Learn more at the Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccines website and subscribe to the COVID-19 Vaccines Update.
- Subscribe to our COVID-19 newsletter
- Read COVID-19 vaccine information in your language (Australian Government Department of Health)
COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program
- For training modules from the Department of Health (National COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program) click here.
- For modules to consolidate and evaluate your technical skills, access education via Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (Victorian COVID-19 eLearning Competency), here.
ATAGI released a statement on 8 April 2021:
- ATAGI notes further evidence of a rare but serious side effect involving thrombosis (clotting) with thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count) following receipt of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca
- ATAGI recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer (Comirnaty) is preferred over COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in adults aged under 50 years. This recommendation is based on the increasing risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 in older adults (and hence a higher benefit from vaccination) and a potentially increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following AstraZeneca vaccine in those under 50 years.
- COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can be used in adults aged under 50 years where the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits.
- People who have had the first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca without any serious adverse effects can be given the second dose, including adults under 50 years.
ATAGI has updated their resources to include information for health professionals and consumers about this clotting condition:
- Provider guide for obtaining informed consent
- Consent form for COVID-19 vaccination
- Consumer information on the AstraZeneca vaccine
- Information for after your AstraZeneca vaccine
ATAGI released a statement on 25 March 2021 recommending deferral of vaccination with any COVID-19 vaccine for people who have a history of the below conditions:
- People with a confirmed medical history of CVST; and/or
- People with a confirmed medical history of heparin induced thrombocytopaenia
Screening questions should be asked prior to vaccination and the above groups of people should defer vaccination and see their treating haematologist or neurologist. If they do not have a treating clinician then they should be referred to their nearest VicSIS clinic for further assessment.
All other risk factors including age, gender, and past history of thromboembolic events (e.g. deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, stroke, myocardial infarction) are not a precaution and ATAGI continues to recommend vaccination with either AstraZeneca or Pfizer (Comirnaty).
Vaccine Rollout Schedule
- Read the updated vaccine rollout schedule as of 14 March 2021.
- The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has begun across Australia. We are currently in Phase 1b of the rollout.
Vaccine Rollout: Phase 1a
The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has begun across Australia.
The priority groups in this phase are:
- Quarantine and border workers
- Frontline health care worker sub-groups
- Aged care and disability care staff
- Aged care and disability residents
Use the eligibility checker to see find our when you or your patients can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
On Monday 22 February, Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) egan to receive vaccine supplies, starting the vaccination process for those in aged care.
The Department of Health has published a readiness toolkit for residential aged care facilities to help prepare for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and obtaining and recording consent for residents. Information about reporting adverse events will be available soon along with more resources for providers, workers and residents.
Providers have an important role in the COVID-19 vaccine program.
Facilities will need to:
- provide information to residents and workers
- facilitate resident consent
- prepare their facility for vaccination day
- monitor and report adverse events.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Policy Guidance
- Read the readiness toolkit for RACFs.
- Read information for aged care providers/workers.
- Read the decision guide: Help older Australians make informed decisions about the COVID-19 vaccination.
Webinar Recordings: RACF
Webinar recording: COVID Vaccine RACF Rollout
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Webinar recording: COVID Vaccine RACF Rollout (2)
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Vaccine Rollout: Phase 1b
General Practice Expression of Interest (EOI) for Phase 1b
Accredited General Practices were invited to express their interest in participating in Phase 1b of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-out from March 2021. The expression of interest is now closed.
Timeline of events:
- End February 2021: Letters were sent by email (from SEMPHN) to both eligible and non-eligible general practices at the end of February 2021, on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Health.
- Friday 5 March: Letters were sent by email (from SEMPHN) to eligible General Practices, containing further detail on how and when these general practices will be involved in Phase 1b of the COVID Vaccine Rollout, as well as an Onboarding Pack.
Recommended information regarding the EOI
- Frequently Asked Questions - version 1
- Frequently Asked Questions - version 2
- Read the supporting documentation here.
Medical conditions covered under Phase 1b
- Read preliminary advice on identifying priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccine (ATAGI)
- Read how to identify if a person is at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (Australian Government Department of Health)
Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- Click here.
Webinar Recordings: General Practice
Webinar recording: COVID Vaccine GP Rollout - Group 1
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Webinar recording: COVID Vaccine GP Rollout - Group 2
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Webinar recording: COVID Vaccine GP Rollout - Group 3
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Webinar recording: COVID Vaccine GP Rollout - Group 4
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SEMPHN has conducted four COVID vaccine rollout webinars for the first two general practice cohorts who responded to the initial EOI to administer the vaccine under phase 1B.
Below are some key actions for you to consider as part of the rollout:
- Ensure you have read your Onboarding Pack, provided by SEMPHN over thew past few weeks.
- Update your practice details on the National Health Service Directory to assist you with the electronic booking system.
- Check out the Commonwealth Government’s Vaccine Eligibility Tracker.
Influenza and COVID-19 Vaccination Advice
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have provided advice on the relative timing of administering influenza and COVID-19 vaccines in 2021.
- Routine scheduling and giving of an influenza vaccine with a COVID-19 vaccine on the same day is not recommended.
- The preferred minimum interval between a dose of seasonal influenza vaccine and a dose of Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca/University of Oxford is 14 days.
- There may be circumstances where co-administration or near administration (within days) of an influenza vaccine with a COVID-19 vaccine may be considered.
- There is no particular requirement regarding the order of receiving a dose of influenza vaccine and either the first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- If an influenza vaccine has been inadvertently co-administered or given within a shorter interval than 14 days with a COVID-19 vaccine, revaccination with either vaccine is not considered necessary.
For further information, please download the publication here.
Community engagement resources
Looking for COVID vaccine resources to share with colleagues, consumers, family and friends?
The Department of Health has a comprehensive suite of resources on their website, including videos, posters, social media content and radio ads.
Resources in multiple languages are also available. All resources are available to download and share and are regularly updated as the rollout continues. More videos targeting CALD communities will be available in April, which will tackle vaccine misinformation.
See the COVID-19 Vaccines Multicultural Outreach stakeholder pack (March 2021).
The Department of Health is coordinating the vaccine rollout for ACCHOS. Details can be found on their website:
- Information for COVID-19 vaccination providers (including ACCHOs)
- Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about COVID-19 vaccines
The Department has developed a suite of resources specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
These include an engagement kit, posters, suggested newsletter articles, social media posts and videos. These are updated as new information around dates, etc are confirmed.
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South Eastern Melbourne PHN acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land our catchment covers, the Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people. We pay respect to them, their culture and their Elders past, present and future, and uphold their relationship to this land.
While the Australian Government Department of Health has contributed to the funding of this website, the information on this website does not necessarily reflect the views of the Australian Government and is not advice that is provided, or information that is endorsed, by the Australian Government. The Australian Government is not responsible in negligence or otherwise for any injury, loss or damage however arising from the use of or reliance on the information provided on this website.