When will I get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines will become available in phases. Learn about priority groups and who will receive the first doses of the vaccine.

Check your current eligibility

Use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker to see in which phase you will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. You may need to provide evidence of eligibility to your vaccination provider before you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

There are some things you can do now, while you wait to be vaccinated. Find out what you can do to be ready for your COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines – priority rollout

This video describes how vaccines will be rolled out, and who they will go to first.

covid-19-vaccine
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Protecting Australians, including our most vulnerable communities from the exposure of COVID-19, is critical.

COVID-19 vaccines will be safe and effective, helping to prevent death and serious illness. Now that our first vaccine has been approved, it will be made available to those most in need of protection first.

These groups have been identified based on expert medical advice.

People at increased risk of exposure, infection and transmission of COVID-19, include:

  • health, aged care and the disability care workforce
  • aged and disability care residents, and
  • people in other higher risk settings, such as quarantine and border workers.

And…

People who have an increased risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19 include:

  • older people
  • people with pre-existing, medical conditions, and
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Priority access will also be given to people working in critical services, such as:

  • emergency services providers, defence force personnel, other health care workers, and
  • people supplying and distributing essential goods and services, such as meat processing.

The delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to those most in need will continually be reviewed based on medical data and evidence.

Once the COVID-19 vaccines have been rolled out to priority groups, doses will be made available to all other adults.

Research from the pandemic has shown that young people are less likely to have severe illness from the virus.

If evidence supports the decision and the vaccines are approved for young people,  they will then receive the vaccine.

To learn more, visit health.gov.au 

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines will become available in phases. Priority groups have been identified using public health, medical and epidemiological evidence.

This includes people that would be at higher risk of serious illness if they contracted COVID-19, and those most likely to be exposed to it.

COVID-19 vaccine national rollout phases

The Australian Government aims to have as many people vaccinated as possible in 2021. Identified priority groups will get the first available safe and effective doses of vaccines. More people will have access to a vaccine as more doses become available throughout 2021.
 

The COVID-19 Vaccines National Rollout Strategy details the phases in which vaccines will be available.

Phase 1

Quarantine, border and front line health care workers will need to provide proof of occupation to demonstrate their eligibility

Quarantine and border workers, including:

  • staff at entry points to the country (such as sea ports and land borders)
  • staff working in quarantine facilities, including those employed under Commonwealth, state or private agreements, and  
  • Commonwealth employees (including Defence personnel) who are identified as having the potential to encounter returning travellers as part of their work.
 

Frontline health care worker sub-groups for prioritisation

  • frontline staff in facilities or services such as hospital emergency departments,COVID-19 and respiratory wards, Intensive Care Units and High-dependency Units
  • laboratory staff handling potentially infectious material
  • ambulance and paramedics service
  • GP respiratory clinics
  • COVID-19 testing facilities

*All other healthcare workers are included in Phase 1b, including medical and tertiary students with placements in these healthcare settings.

 

Aged care and disability care staff

  • nursing and personal care staff
  • allied health professionals who routinely provide care
  • kitchen, cleaning, laundry, garden and office staff
 

Aged care and disability care residents

 
Number of doses up to 1.4m
Phase 1b 

Elderly adults aged 80 years and over

 

Elderly adults aged 70-79 years

 

Other health care workers

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people > 55

 

Adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability
 

*People will need to provide proof of these conditions to demonstrate their eligibility for vaccination via My health record, a health professional referral if required or a declaration form.

 

Critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing
 

* Workers will need to provide proof of occupation to demonstrate their eligibility.

 
Number of doses up to 14.8m
Phase 2a 

Adults aged 60-69 years

 

Adults aged 50-59 years

 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 18-54

 

Other critical and high risk workers

 
Number of doses up to 15.8m
Phase 2b 

Balance of adult population

 

Catch up any unvaccinated Australians from previous phases

 
Number of doses up to 16m
Phase 3
< 16 if recommended*  
Number of doses up to 13.6m
  • *Pfizer vaccine only

Advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination in Australia

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has advised the Australian Government on which groups should be prioritised for the first doses of the  COVID-19 vaccination in Australia. This advice is consistent with guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO).

More information is available on ATAGI’s advice to Government on priority population groups for COVID-19 vaccination.

These groups may change as more information becomes available

ATAGI is regularly reviewing data and evidence for vaccines.  It may update its advice to government as new information becomes available.

We will update our information if there is any change to the priority groups.

Information that could change the priority groups includes:

  • further evidence about the COVID-19 disease and groups that might be affected
  • how the vaccines work and who they are safe for according to clinical trial results
  • current outbreaks, transmission and medical advice on COVID-19
  • when vaccines will be available in Australia.

Why these groups are prioritised

There is significant demand for safe and effective vaccines to end the COVID-19 pandemic. As vaccines become available, they will go to people in higher risk groups.

Priority groups are identified by considering current public health, medical and epidemiological evidence on who would be most affected if they contracted COVID-19.

For example, health and aged care workers are a priority group because they are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their frequent contact with people.

They are also more likely to transmit the virus to vulnerable people through their work in hospitals and aged care facilities. It is for everyone’s benefit that this group is prioritised for vaccination so they can continue providing essential care.

What this means for you

Whether you are in a priority group or not, the best thing you can do is stay up to date and continue to be COVIDSafe. The Australian Government will provide further information about how vaccines will roll out over the coming months.

In the meantime, everyone still needs to:

Find out more about COVID-19 vaccines and getting vaccinated in Australia.

National coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline

If you need information about COVID-19, COVID-19 vaccines or help with the COVIDSafe app, call the telephone number listed below. This number operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

View contact

Last updated: 
1 March 2021

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