We work with the health and aged care sectors to ensure there are enough tests and treatments, including oral antiviral treatments.
Providing access to oral COVID-19 antiviral treatments
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved:
Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir + ritonavir).
We worked with peak bodies to ensure these medications were:
- listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
- available to the public from pharmacies, with a prescription
- available in Prescriber Bags for emergency use
- preplaced in residential aged care homes.
Read more about oral treatments.
Providing COVID-19 tests to those at risk
Rapid Antigen Tests are an important, easy to access test for detecting COVID-19. We are ensuring these tests are delivered to those that need them the most, including:
- residential aged care homes, for screening residents, staff and visitors
- Aboriginal and Community Controlled Health services
- people in supported independent living services (support that enables people to live in their own home).
We work to ensure that everyone in Australia has access to free vaccines. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.
Providing mental health, financial and healthcare support
The COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on the health and wellbeing of Australians in many ways.
Mental health support
The Australian Government’s Head to health initiative provides:
easy to access mental health advice
free or low-cost phone and online counselling
treatment and crisis support.
You can find mental health service providers on the health Service Finder.
If you need help right now, it is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in Australia:
- Beyond Blue Support Service
- Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National)
- Kids helpline
- Suicide Call Back Service
In an emergency, call 000.
The High Risk Settings Pandemic payment supports people who work in high-risk settings and can’t earn income because of a positive COVID-19 test.
Your state or territory government may have other support available:
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia.
We work closely with the healthcare providers, including the aged care and disability care sector, as well as state and territory governments to ensure supply of:
For more information see:
- COVID-19 support for providers and workers
- COVID-19 resources for aged care workers
- Weekly outbreak reporting for residential aged care facilitie
- COVID-19 resources for disability care workers and services
- COVID-19 vaccine information for disability workers and service providers.
We work with state and territory governments and health providers to capture data and streamline COVID-19 reporting into a single resource.
See the COVID-19 case numbers, vaccination rates and statistics for Australia.
Working together with states and territories
We work with state and territory governments to:
share information so they can provide the best possible care
ensure the whole of government response is consistent and united across the country.
Our whole of government response aims to:
- minimise the number of people becoming infected or sick with COVID-19
- minimise how sick people become and the mortality rate
- manage the demand on our health systems
- help you to manage your own risk and the risk to your family and community
- make COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone in Australia.
Working with our experts
The Australian Government put together a team of widely respected clinicians to assist with the COVID-19 response. Led by Professor Paul Kelly, Australia's Chief Medical Officer, our medical experts are:
Adjunct Professor (Practice) Alison McMillan PSM, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer
Professor Michael Kidd AM, Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Dr Ruth Vine, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Mental Health.
Our expert committees are the:
- Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)
- Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)
- Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA)
- Infection Control Expert Group (ICEG)
- Public Health Laboratory Network (PHLN)
- The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC)
- The COVID-19 Vaccines and Treatments for Australia – Science and Industry Technical Advisory Group (SITAG)
Our policies and procedures
We implemented a range of funding measures and plans to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic. We created plans specific to sectors, such as aged care, to ensure they catered to all Australians.
Learn about the frameworks and policies the Australian Government put in place to help combat COVID-19.
Learn about the: