Information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines
Learn more about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Vaccines protect you
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine protects you from getting very sick or even dying from COVID-19.
Getting vaccinated also helps protect people around you by slowing the spread of the virus.
Vaccinating children can help reduce community transmission and help prevent children passing the virus onto younger siblings, grandparents and the wider community.
Making a decision about getting vaccinated
If you go to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the staff there will ask you whether it is okay to give you the vaccine. It is your choice to have the vaccine or not.
If you say yes, this is called consent.
If you can't give consent, someone who is allowed to make decisions for you can give consent for you.
You can learn more in our Easy Read fact sheet on giving your consent.
We have also created an Easy Read Consent form that you can use to give your consent.
Booking a vaccine
Many places offer COVID-19 vaccination. You can get your COVID-19 booster vaccinations:
- from a GP
- at a pharmacy
- at a state or territory vaccination clinic.
Your disability service provider can also help you find the best way to get your vaccination.
If you want more help or support, you can call the Disability Gateway Helpline on 1800 643 787. They can make a booking for you.
You can also visit the Disability Gateway website.
If you have a question about a vaccine or how to make a booking, you can call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Select option ‘5’ for people with disability.
They can also help you find a vaccine provider near you, and give you the phone number, as well as finding providers where you don't need an appointment.
Or you can visit the Health Direct website.
The National Relay Service is available for people who have trouble hearing or speaking with people who use a phone.
Vaccine Clinic Finder
You can find a clinic and book a vaccine through the Vaccine Clinic Finder. It helps you find where you can get a vaccine, based on your circumstances.
The Vaccine Clinic Finder now also includes new information about which clinics are accessible for people with disability, including quiet spaces and wheelchair access.
You can also call the vaccination helpline for more advice on 1800 020 080.
‘Hey Eva’ – Easy Vaccine Access
EVA, is a simple callback service to help people book a COVID-19 vaccine.
If you need help making a COVID-19 vaccine booking, SMS "Hey EVA" to 0481 611 382. A trained call agent from the National Coronavirus Helpline will call you to help book your COVID-19 vaccination.
Accessible state and territory clinics
Some states and territories offer services that make getting a vaccine easier for people with disability:
- Australian Capital Territory – Vaccine information for people with disability
- Queensland – People with disability, including care facility residents
- Tasmania – Disability information
- Victoria – Vaccine information for people with disability
- Western Australia – Vaccine information for people with disability or who require additional support.
In residential disability accommodation
If you live in disability residential accommodation, you can have an in-reach vaccination service come to your home if you cannot go to another vaccination service, such as a GP, pharmacy, or vaccination hub. Your residential disability service provider can arrange this for you.
If you do not have a provider, you can ask your local primary health network (PHN) to assist finding someone to come to your home. Your PHN can request Commonwealth in-home support if they cannot help you to find a local provider.
Enquiries can be sent to: DisabilityCovidVaccineDelivery [at] health.gov.au
Getting ready for your vaccination
See our Easy Read fact sheet on getting ready for vaccination.
Talk to your doctor or disability provider if you have questions or if you are concerned about getting the vaccine.
We have many Easy Read fact sheets available if you would like to read more about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
You can ask someone to be with you when you are vaccinated. This could be a:
- support worker
- family member
Additional doses for people who are immunocompromised
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine for people who are severely immunocompromised, as part of their primary course.
If you have received three primary doses, it is also recommended to have a booster dose 3 months after your third dose, as well as a winter dose, depending on the timing of your vaccinations.
For further information, please see the ATAGI advice.
Your doctor can help you decide if you need this.
Third (booster) doses
You should have a COVID-19 booster dose if you completed your primary dose course of COVID-19 vaccination at least 3 months ago and
- are 12 to 15, and:
- are severely immunocompromised, or
- have a disability with significant or complex health needs, or
- have severe, complex, or multiple health conditions that increase the risk of severe COVID-19; or
- are 16 years and older.
If you have had COVID-19 you should wait for 3 months after your confirmed infection.
The date you had your last COVID-19 vaccine is on your COVID-19 digital certificate.
We have information about booster doses in an Easy Read format.
Fourth (booster) dose
A fourth dose is recommended for people at increased risk of severe illness, 3 months after their last dose. This dose has previously been referred to as a Winter dose.
This additional dose might be a fifth dose for some people.
You should get a fourth dose if you are:
- 50 years or older
- a resident of an aged care or disability care facility
- severely immunocompromised (this might be your fifth dose)
- 16 years or older and with a medical condition or disability that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness
ATAGI has also said that anyone aged 30 to 49 years old can receive a fourth dose if they want one.
Children aged 6 months to 5 years
Vaccination is recommended for children aged 6 months to under 5 years who:
- are severely immunocompromised
- have a disability, and
- have complex and/or multiple health conditions which increase the risk of severe COVID-19.
The recommendation is for 2 primary doses, except for those children with severe immunocompromise who will require 3 primary doses. The recommended interval between each dose is 8 weeks. For further information please see the ATAGI advice.
Appointments can be made with selected providers through the Covid Vaccine Clinic Finder.
We have worked with ARIA award-winning Australian musical group Teeny Tiny Stevies to compose the song ‘I Got You’. A music video and children’s activity kit has been released with the song, which reminds children to wash their hands and stay home if they are not feeling well. Listen to ‘I Got You’.
Staying up to date
To be considered up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, you must have completed all the doses recommended for your age and health status.
Find out about how to stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
After the vaccine
Some people have side effects after they are vaccinated. Most of these don't last long and will not make you very sick. But it’s good to be aware of what you might expect.
Learn more about side effects in our Easy Read fact sheet.
If you are worried about any side effect, contact your doctor or the place where you had your vaccination.
Very rarely, a side effect could be serious. If you have a serious side effect, call 000 or go to the hospital straight away.
After your vaccination, you still need to stay COVIDSafe. This means:
- following all restrictions in your area, such as wearing a mask or staying at home
- washing your hands
- keeping space between you and other people you don't live with (called physical distancing).
For carers, family members and guardians
We have developed fact sheets explaining the different COVID-19 vaccines and preparing for the vaccine.
We also have information about giving informed consent.
The Carer Gateway has information on COVID-19 and vaccinations.
The Carer Gateway has information on COVID-19 and vaccinations.