COVID-19 Vaccines for Carers
Carers may now be eligible to register for the COVID-19 vaccine as the Federal Government commences Phase 1b of its vaccine roll-out.
Carers may be eligible for the vaccine if they care for:
- A resident of an aged care facility or residential disability accommodation who was eligible under Phase 1a.
- A person 70 years and over who is eligible under Phase 1b.
- A person with a specified underlying medical condition who is eligible under Phase 1b.
- A child with a specified underlying medical condition.
Eligible carers will need to provide carers documentation or complete an Eligibility Declaration Form.
Phase 1b vaccinations commenced on 22 March 2021. Check your eligibility, book your appointment or register your interest through the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker here.
If you choose not to have a COVID-19 vaccine, your eligibility for Government payments won’t be affected.
You can view the Australian COVID-19 Vaccine National Roll-Out Strategy to find out more about other Phases.
The COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone in Australia and you cannot be charged for the vaccine or your appointment to receive the vaccine. If you are charged for any costs associated with the administration of the COVID-19 vaccine (including booking fees), you should:
- contact the Department of Health by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- or call the Provider Benefits Integrity Hotline on 1800 314 808 (9am to 5pm AEST weekdays).
The Australian Government has a number of resources related to the COVID-19 vaccine in many languages.
Official advice on the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine
On 8 April 2021 Professor Brendan Murphy, head of the Federal Government Department of Health and Professor Paul Kelly, Federal Government Chief Medical Officer provided a joint statement about the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The statement communicated advice from Australia’s expert vaccine advisory body, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), after it carefully reviewed the latest findings from Europe and the United Kingdom, which follow extremely rare instances of people, having taken the AstraZeneca vaccine, developing a very specific syndrome involving blood clots with low platelet counts. The syndrome is called “thrombosis with thrombocytopenia”.
In summary, ATAGI recommended:
- The COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine is preferred over the AstraZeneca vaccine for adults aged under 50 years.
- The AstraZeneca vaccine can be used in adults aged under 50 where the benefits clearly outweigh the risk for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits.
- People who have had the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without any serious adverse effects can be given the second dose, including adults under 50 years.
It is important you keep up to date with the latest advice about COVID-19 vaccines and the rollout on the Federal Government Department of Health website.
We are working with the Federal Department of Health to clarify any implications for carers eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine under phase 1b.
If you have questions about the risks and benefits of the AstraZeneca vaccine – for you or the person you care for – or vaccines in general you should speak to your GP or other health professional.
Other Official Government Information
It is important to keep up to date on the guidelines from each state and territory.
It should be noted that observing the 1.5-meter social distancing rule wherever possible is still recommended.
You can keep up with restrictions in your area via the links below:
The Australian Government Department of Health has provided additional advice for people at particular risk of COVID-19, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, older people, people with chronic conditions and people with disability.
As border closures continue to be considered as required around the country, each state and territory has its own procedures as a condition for entry. You can find the latest information via the links below:
For information on international travel, visit Smart Traveller.
COVID-19 Symptom Checker
There are a number of symptoms associated with COVID-19, including:
- Sore throat
- Shortness of breath
If you are sick and think you may have COVID-19, check your symptoms using the Healthdirect Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptom Checker.
Alternatively, if you are worried you may have come into contact with COVID-19, please call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080, which is open 24 hours 7 days a week.
The Australian Government has also launched an official app: Coronavirus Australia which is available through the Apple App Store or Google Apps for Android Phones:
Get the Coronavirus Australia app on iOS
The official Coronavirus Australia app developed by Australian Federal Government is available on the iOS App Store.
Get the Coronavirus Australia app on Android
The official Coronavirus Australia app developed by Australian Federal Government is available on the Google Play Store.
The COVIDSafe app is a tool that helps potentially identify people exposed to coronavirus. COVIDSafe supports the current manual process of finding people who have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. It is available through the Apple App Store and Google Apps for Android Phones.
If you are worried you may have come into contact with COVID-19 please call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 020 080 which is open 24 hours 7 days a week.