After months of living through a pandemic, Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has officially begun. Two vaccines are approved for use in Australia and jabs are already being administered around the country.
Australia’s vaccine rollout plan has been in place for some time. Now that it’s being put to use it’s important to know where you sit in line.
What is Australia’s vaccine rollout plan?
Currently, the Australian government has secured 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine and over 50 million doses of AstraZeneca. Both of these vaccines have been approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. The Pfizer vaccine will be the first to roll out and requires two doses, giving Australia approximately 5 million full Pfizer vaccines.
It’s going to take a significant amount of time to vaccinate the population of Australia. For that reason, the Australian government is administering the COVID-19 vaccine in phases.
Which phase do you sit in?
There are 5 phases planned in Australia’s national vaccine rollout. This is who sits in each phase as outlined by the Department of Health:
Phase 1a: (up to 1.4 million doses)
- Quarantine and border workers including those working in quarantine facilities and at border entry points
- Frontline workers including hospital staff working in COVID-19 wards and ICU
- Ambulance and paramedic services
- GP respiratory clinics
- COVID-19 testing facility staff
- Aged care and disability staff and residents
Phase 1b: (up to 14.8 million doses)
- Elderly adults aged 80 years and over
- Elderly adults aged 70-79
- Other health care workers
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 55
- Adults with an underlying medical condition
- Critical high-risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing.
Phase 2a: (up to 15.8 million doses)
- Adults aged 60-69 years
- Adults aged 50-59 years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 18-54
- Other critical and high-risk workers
Phase 2b: (up to 16 million doses)
- Balance of the adult population
- Any unvaccinated Australians from previous phases
Phase 3: (up to 13.6 million doses)
- Under 16 year-olds if recommended
If you’re unclear on which phase you sit in, the Department of Health has a Vaccine Eligibility Checker that can answer your questions.
When will you be vaccinated?
It’s still early days so it’s unclear how quickly the COVID-19 vaccine phases will be completed. The Australian government has set a target of offering a vaccine to everyone in the country by October 2021 but this all depends on how quickly production and distribution happens.
The ABC has a tool that can help to estimate, in broad strokes, when in the year you will be eligible for a vaccine based on your vaccine group.
Where can you get a COVID-19 vaccine in Australia?
For the initial rollout, the Australian government has implemented COVID-19 vaccination hubs in a number of rural and urban areas. More locations will be added as more doses begin to arrive.
These are the locations that are currently administering the Pfizer vaccine:
- Royal Prince Alfred Hospital (NSW)
- Westmead Hospital (NSW)
- Liverpool Hospital (NSW)
- Monash Medical Centre Clayton (VIC)
- Sunshine Hospital (VIC)
- Austin Health (VIC)
- University Hospital Geelong (VIC)
- Gold Coast University Hospital (QLD)
- Cairns Hospital (QLD)
- Princess Alexandra Hospital (QLD)
- Royal Adelaide Hospital (SA)
- Flinders Medical Centre (SA)
- Perth Children’s Hospital (WA)
- Royal Hobart Hospital (TAS)
- The Canberra Hospital (ACT)
- Royal Darwin Hospital (NT)
Those in aged care facilities will be given their vaccines in-house.
According to the Department of Health, the AstraZeneca vaccine will be available at GP respiratory clinics, select GPs, Aboriginal controlled community health services and state-run vaccination clinics.
Australians won’t need to register in order to be vaccinated, so all you have to do for now is wait for your turn in line.