We’re all a little over the COVID talk at this point, yeah? But the fact remains that without widespread vaccination, this virus just isn’t going away. The tricky part is that across Australia access to COVID-19 vaccine options varies and there remain a whole bunch of people who are not yet eligible for jabs, despite wanting them.
Who’s eligible for a COVID vaccine and who isn’t?
As you’re likely aware, folks over 40 are presently eligible for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Adults who work in certain high-risk industries, have underlying health conditions, First Nations peoples, act as a carer to high-risk individuals, or are taking essential international travel (among other caveats) are also able to register for their Pfizer jab.
Adults under 40 have now been approved to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, following a discussion with a GP.
In certain areas, like NSW, the push to get people vaccinated as soon as possible has been accelerated due to the sheer severity of the risk of contracting COVID-19 right now. The health advice from many sources in this circumstance is not to wait if you are able to be vaccinated right now.
Yes, there are small risks attached to those under the age of 50 receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine (which is why you should speak to your doctor before making a decision). But as our friends at Pedestrian recently wrote, a doctor in Western Sydney contextualised this risk by saying that if everyone in the MCG was to be vaccinated with AstraZeneca, three would develop treatable blood clots.
“On on the balance of statistics, no-one would die from that dose. You’d actually need to vaccinate ten Melbourne Cricket Grounds to find one patient who would die as a complication from clotting,” he added.
However, in saying that, not everyone will be able to receive AstraZeneca still and the wait for Pfizer remains lengthy in most cases.
In this case, the best move is to register your interest in receiving the vaccine.
How to register your interest in receiving a jab
In a press conference on Queensland’s current COVID-19 situation, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath stressed that even if you’re unable to get a booking right now, registering your interest not only alerts the government of your desire to get jabbed, but it means they’ll be able to contact you if and when an appointment becomes available.
“If you are under 60, jump online and register on our Queensland vaccination website, because you have to be in it to get it,” she said.
“For us to be able to offer you a booking, you have to be registered in our system.”
The best way to do that (anywhere in Australia) is by visiting the Vaccine Eligibility Checker online here. Fill in your details, and if you’re found to be ineligible at this point, click ‘Register Your Interest’.
Here you can pop in your contact details so you can be reached as soon an appointment becomes available and you’re deemed eligible for a COVID vaccine.
While this doesn’t promise a speedy solution and isn’t exactly a huge sigh of relief for nervous Aussies wanting vaccination, it is one step people can take in this mess of a vaccine rollout.