Information about getting your vaccine
Preparing for your COVID-19 vaccination
Make sure your Medicare details are correct
Make sure your details are up to date with Medicare. You will need your Medicare details when booking and at your appointment.
If you don’t have an 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.
Once vaccinated, you’ll be able to get an immunisation history statement to prove your vaccination status.
Not eligible for a Medicare card?
You can still get the COVID-19 vaccine for free with an Individual Health Identifier (IHI) through Services Australia.
An Individual Healthcare Identifier is a unique number used to identify an individual for health care purposes.
You can go into your nearest Centrelink office to apply for an Individual Healthcare Identifier. Alternatively you can:
Once you receive your IHI you can book your COVID-19 vaccine appointment when it is your turn.
Not feeling well
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 GP or health clinic. You may need to reschedule your appointment for vaccination.
Getting your vaccine
You will need to bring your Medicare card and ID with you to the appointment.
At your appointment, you will complete a form listing any medical conditions and provide consent. You can also ask any questions at this time.
Once you have provided consent, you will be able to receive your COVID-19 vaccination.
After your vaccination you will need to wait 15 minutes for observation.
You will also receive your appointment time to get your second dose. You need two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the best protection.
After your COVID-19 vaccination
What to expect after getting your vaccine
You may experience some side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Side effects are normal and a good sign that the vaccine is working.
Common side effects include:
- pain, swelling , tenderness, redness or itching at the injection site
- muscle pain
- fever and chills
- feeling unwell
- joint pain.
These side effects are usually mild and go away within one or two days.
If you experience pain at the injection site or fever, headaches or body aches after vaccination, you can take paracetamol or ibuprofen. If there is swelling at the injection site, you can use a cold compress.
You should seek medical attention after vaccination if:
- You think you are having an allergic reaction. Call 000 if you experience severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, a fast heartbeat or collapsing.
- You are worried about a potential side effect or have new or unexpected symptoms.
- You are experiencing severe and on-going headaches
- You have experienced a side effect of the vaccine that has not gone away after a few days.
See your regular healthcare provider for symptoms which are not urgent.
Reporting adverse side effects
You should report suspected adverse side effects to your vaccination provider or other healthcare professional. They will then make a formal report on your behalf to NT Health or directly to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
This year, you will need three vaccines to stay healthy – 1 flu vaccine and 2 COVID-19 vaccines.
It is recommended you wait seven days between the COVID-19 vaccination and the flu vaccination.
If it isn’t your turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine yet, get your flu vaccine first.
Anyone over 6 months of age should get the influenza vaccination, even if they are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.
Kids under 5 years (and over 6 months) are at high risk from the flu and can get a free flu vaccine through the National Immunisation Program. Pregnant women are at high risk from the flu and should get a flu vaccination while pregnant. Pregnant women should seek advice from their GP before getting the COVID-19 vaccine.