The Government is now operating in accordance with the Caretaker Conventions pending the outcome of the 2022 federal election.

Is it true? How long does it take for the vaccines to work?

Vaccine protection increases in the days following your primary course. You may not have the best protection until 7–14 days after the final dose in your primary course. Find out more about how many doses you need and when to get them below.

Is it true? COVID-19 vaccination image

Is it true? How long does it take for the vaccines to work?

Most people need 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to get strong protection. These first two doses are called the primary course.  People who are severely immunocompromised will need 3 doses in their primary course.

The ATAGI recommended doses and vaccines outlines which vaccines and doses are recommended for each age and population group.

Whilst partial protection against COVID-19 may be as soon as 12 days after the first dose, this protection is likely to be short lived.

The final dose in the primary course encourages the body to create stronger protection (immunity) against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. Individuals may not be fully protected until 7-14 days after this dose.

People aged 16 years should also get a booster dose 3 months after they’ve finished their primary course. A booster dose boosts protection back up to maximum levels to help increase protection against severe illness from COVID-19.

Some people who are at higher risk of severe disease should also get an additional booster dose, called a ‘winter dose’ to optimise their protection.

Learn more about booster doses and winter doses.

COVID-19 vaccines help protect you from COVID-19 and make it less likely that you will get very sick. But you can still become ill prior and infect others around you, so you should continue COVIDSafe practices.

Last updated: 
10 May 2022

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