Vaccines protect you
COVID-19 can be dangerous, especially for people with disability and with existing medical conditions. Vaccines help reduce the spread and severity of the virus.
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.
COVID-19 vaccine information and consent form for vaccinating children aged 5 to 11.
Booking a vaccine
Many places offer COVID-19 vaccination. You can get your COVID-19 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.
You can ask your preferred COVID-19 vaccine provider if they can provide COVID-19 vaccination where you live. Incentive payments are available for doctors, nurses within general practice and pharmacists to provide COVID-19 vaccinations off-site from their usual premises, including in disability residential services, residential aged care or at someone’s private home.
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 healthdirect website.
The National Relay Service is available for people who have trouble hearing or speaking with people who use a phone.
Find a vaccination online
You can find a clinic and book a vaccine through the health Service Finder. It helps you find where you can get a vaccine, based on your needs.
The health Service Finder includes information about which clinics are accessible for people with disability, including quiet spaces and wheelchair access.
You can also call the National Coronavirus Helpline on1800 020 080 for more advice.
‘Hey Eva’ – Easy Vaccine Access
EVA, is a simple call back 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
- Victoria – Vaccine information for people with disability
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@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.
For further information, please see the ATAGI advice.
Your doctor can help you decide if you need this.
You can get a booster if it’s been 6 months or longer since your last COVID-19 vaccine or confirmed infection for added protection against getting very sick from COVID-19.
You should get an early 2023 booster dose if you are at higher risk of getting very sick because you are:
- 65 years and over
- 18-64 years and have
- medical comorbidities that increase your risk of severe COVID-19, or
- disability with significant or complex health needs
Children and adolescents aged 5 to 17 at risk of severe illness can get a booster dose if it’s been 6 months since their last dose or COVID-19 infection, based on an individual risk assessment with your health professional.
Booster doses are not recommended at this time for children and adolescents aged 18 years or under who do not have any risk factors for severe COVID-19.
The date you had your last COVID-19 vaccine is on your COVID-19 digital certificate or immunisation history statement.
We have information about booster doses in an Easy Read format.
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 or
have complex and/or multiple health conditions which increase the risk of severe COVID-19.
Most at-risk children aged 6 months to under 5 years have been offered a primary course of COVID-19 vaccine within recent months and a booster dose is not considered necessary at present. Overall, severe COVID-19 in children is extremely rare, even among children with underlying conditions. For further information please see the ATAGI advice.
Appointments can be made with selected providers through the Health Service 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’.
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.
Access COVID-19 vaccine information and consent form for vaccinating children aged 5 to 11.
The Carer Gateway has information on COVID-19 and vaccinations.