COVID-19 vaccination information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Getting vaccinated protects you, your family, elders and community from getting really sick with COVID-19, or even dying. Everyone 12 years and over can book a vaccine now.

You can get vaccinated now

All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 12 years and over can book a vaccine.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are a priority group for the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. 

Talk to your local healthcare worker or call your local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service to make an appointment.

You can also click the button to find a clinic near you. The vaccine is safe and free.

Find a clinic and book now

Where to get vaccinated

Vaccines are available at:

  • your local Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service – call them to book
  • Commonwealth vaccination clinics 
  • participating general practices
  • participating community pharmacies
  • state and territory clinics.

Your state or territory health department website has more information on booking a vaccine locally. 

Reasons to get vaccinated

There are many benefits of vaccination

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a higher risk of developing serious illness from this disease. Encourage your family, elders and community to get vaccinated so that:

  • they are less likely to get really sick and die from COVID-19
  • the virus will have a harder time spreading in your community
  • we can have less restrictions
  • we can plan important events and travel across borders again.

When lots of people in the community are vaccinated, we rarely see the deadly diseases that vaccines prevent. Examples include very serious diseases such as diphtheria, measles and meningococcal.

Answers to common questions

We have created a printable fact sheet with answers to common questions about COVID-19 vaccination. 

COVID-19 vaccination – Common questions (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples)

This document contains common questions and answers about the COVID-19 vaccines.

What to do if you live remotely, or move between places

You need 2 doses of vaccine to be fully protected. You don't have to get your second dose at the same place you got your first one.

If you live remotely and move between places, get in touch with your current local clinic to talk about your options. Your healthcare worker can help you plan. They will let you know when you should receive your second dose.

You can find a local clinic wherever you are in Australia by using the COVID-19 vaccine clinic finder

Will I need to get a third dose or booster dose of the vaccine?

Everyone needs to get two doses of the same vaccine to be fully vaccinated. The first dose of your vaccine will begin to build up a protective response against COVID-19 in your system. The second dose will boost your immune response to give you long-term protection against COVID-19. Without the second dose, your body will not be able to fight the virus as effectively.

For a few people, those who are severely immunocompromised, a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is recommended. This is because for people who are severely immunocompromised, their immune systems need extra help to protect them from the virus. If you are severely immunocompromised, you should get your third dose from 2 to 6 months after getting your second dose.

For everyone else in Australia aged 18 years and over, a booster dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is recommended if you had your second dose at least 6 months ago. A booster dose will continue to protect you, your loved ones and your community against COVID-19.

If you get a third dose, it is not recommended that you get a booster dose as well.

If you’re not sure if you should get a third dose, or when you should get a booster dose, have a yarn with your healthcare worker. 

It's your choice

The COVID-19 vaccine is strongly recommended. 

Some states and territories have issued public health orders that require people working in certain workplaces and some community activities to get vaccinated. There may also be limitations on attending public places such as restaurants and non-essential shopping. Please check your local guidelines.

Talk to your doctor or health worker if you have questions about the benefits of being vaccinated.

If you choose not to get a COVID-19 vaccine, you will still be eligible for government assistance (Family Tax Benefit A) or childcare fee assistance.

Possible side effects

Around half the people who get the vaccine experience minor side effects like tiredness, pain where the needle went in, or headache. These go away within a couple of days. 

Very rare side effects have been reported with each vaccine. For details, see:

COVID-19 vaccine resources for communities

COVID-19 vaccination – Communication materials – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

A collection of COVID-19 vaccines communication materials, including social media content, posters and videos, for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations.

For information on COVID-19 itself (not the vaccines), see Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and remote communities.

Some radio ads and videos are available in Indigenous languages.  

Resources for vaccine providers

We have created materials for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vaccine providers to download and print to use in their health clinics and practices.

COVID-19 vaccination – Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vaccine provider resources

A collection of materials created for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander vaccine providers to download and print to use in their health clinics and practices. These materials include posters, social media resources, handouts and web banners.

Stakeholder kit for businesses and organisations

We have created a stakeholder kit for businesses and organisations who employ and work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

COVID-19 vaccination – Stakeholder kit for businesses and organisations

A kit for businesses and organisations that employ and work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Implementation progress

We created an implementation plan for the COVID-19 vaccination program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples. 

You can track the progress of the rollout in the our weekly report. It lists the percentage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 15 and over who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, by geographic regions.

COVID-19 vaccination – Geographic vaccination rates – SA4 – Indigenous population

These reports, delivered weekly on Wednesdays, list the percentage of people aged 15 and over, who have self-identified as Indigenous who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, by statistical area 4 (SA4).

Artwork acknowledgement – Jordana Angus

We acknowledge artist Jordana Angus for the use of her artwork ‘Stand Together For A Healthy Future’, which has been adapted for use in our materials.

Here is a description of the artwork.

This painting represents standing together to support each other in healthy living practices both physically and mentally. By being connected to community and staying informed on the latest reputable health advice we become stronger as a whole community. 

The impacts of coronavirus show how important it is to unite and take the steps required to keep ourselves, loved ones and our community safe; something we can apply to all areas of health and wellbeing. 

Last updated: 
16 November 2021

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