Who will get the vaccines

Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines become available in phases, with priority groups receiving the first doses. Priority groups are identified using public health, medical and epidemiological evidence on who would be most affected if they contracted COVID-19, and those most likely to be exposed.

COVID-19 Vaccination logo

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 doses that are proven to be safe and effective. More people will have access to a vaccine as more doses become available throughout 2021.

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

Phase 1

Quarantine and border workers


Frontline health care worker sub-groups for prioritisation


Aged care and disability care 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


Younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability


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

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
< 18 if recommended  
Number of doses up to 13.6m

Priority groups can expect to receive a vaccination from early 2021

A potential vaccine is expected to be available from mid-to-late February 2021. The Australian Government and state and territory governments are working together to plan the safe and efficient roll-out of an approved vaccine.

Advice on priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination in Australia

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has provided advice to the Australian Government on which groups should be prioritised for the first doses for possible COVID-19 vaccination in Australia.

The advice provided to the Australian Government is consistent with guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO). The advice is part of the Government’s preparations to provide a COVID-19 vaccines that are  proven to be safe and effective, and approved for use.

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

These groups may change as more information becomes available

ATAGI is continually reviewing data and evidence for vaccines and 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 disproportionally 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 global demand for safe and effective vaccines to end the COVID-19 pandemic. As vaccines become available, they will be given to people who are in higher risk groups.

Priority groups are identified by taking into account 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 be rolled out over the coming months.

In the meantime, everyone still needs to:

Last updated: 
20 January 2021

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