COVID-19 vaccination for aged care residents

Vaccination is the most effective protection against COVID-19. Protecting the people who live in residential aged care is a priority.

Why residents should get vaccinated

COVID-19 vaccination is strongly encouraged for residents in aged care homes. It remains the most effective protection against severe illness, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19.

You don't have to wait 6 months since your last COVID-19 infection to get your vaccine.

All adults should consider COVID-19 vaccination depending on their age and health status.

  • All adults 75 years and older are recommended a COVID-19 vaccination every 6 months.
  • All adults aged 65 to 74 years are recommended a COVID-19 vaccination every 12 months, and can consider a dose every 6 months, based on their individual health needs. 
  • All adults aged 18 to 64 years with severe immunocompromise are recommended a COVID-19 vaccination every 12 months, and can consider a dose every 6 months, based on their individual health needs. 
  • All other adults aged 18 to 64 years can consider a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine every 12 months.

Our COVID-19 booster eligibility checker allows individuals to answer a short set of questions to find if they are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. This tool is not intended to replace medical advice.

If you have any concerns, please talk to your doctor or other health professional about the benefits and risks of vaccination.

Stay protected, read our fact sheet for aged care residents.

Getting your recommended COVID-19 vaccinations

Your aged care home is responsible for ensuring you are offered the opportunity to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

If you are yet to receive any dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, you can ask your aged care home to organise your vaccination.

Your aged care home can make arrangements at any time for you to get vaccinated with the dose you need. A visiting GP, community pharmacist or other primary care provider can come to your aged care home as soon as you are eligible.

There is no need to wait to receive a COVID-19 vaccine if you have recently had a COVID-19 infection.

Available vaccines

All vaccines available in Australia have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) following a rigorous evaluation process. 

Your vaccine provider can discuss the vaccine options available to you. However, the monovalent Omicron XBB.1.5 vaccines are preferred over other vaccines for eligible people.

Providing consent

It is normal to have questions about COVID-19 vaccines and to possibly feel hesitant about getting the vaccine.

We continue to follow expert medical advice. Your safety is the number one priority.

You or your substitute decision maker may choose to talk to aged care staff or a health professional about the benefits and risks of vaccination. This will help you decide if vaccination is suitable for you.

All aged care residents must provide valid consent before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

There are 2 ways your aged care home can receive your consent:

  • written consent – using the aged care home’s own consent form or a consent form provided by the relevant healthcare professional
  • verbal consent – aged care home staff must record verbal consent in your care notes, following usual practices.

Aged care providers share residents’ consent records with the health professional who gives the vaccine, so it can be recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register.

Learn more about:

Consent by a guardian or substitute decision-maker

Some jurisdictions have specific requirements relevant to guardians (or substitute decision-makers) consenting on behalf of another person.

If you are consenting to COVID-19 vaccination on behalf of an aged care recipient, please refer to the enduring guardianship legislation in your state or territory.

Evidence of COVID-19 vaccination

Your aged care home will discuss with you how they will record your COVID-19 vaccination status. 

You can provide:

Residents can also provide a signed declaration, a statement of vaccination history from the Australian Immunisation Register, or a record from a health practitioner.

We encourage you to provide evidence of your vaccination status.

Why your aged care home needs to know

Your residential aged care home needs to know your COVID-19 vaccination status to support you accessing a vaccine when you are eligible.

This will also help your aged care home to prepare, plan and respond to a COVID-19 outbreak. It will be important to know how many residents and workers have been vaccinated so that protective measures can be put in place for those who have not been vaccinated.

Resources for residents

The following resources can assist in deciding about COVID-19 vaccination:

Residential aged care resident COVID-19 vaccination rates

Date last updated:

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