COVID-19 Vaccine

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COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program

  • AstraZeneca Training Package 
  • For training modules from the Department of Health (National COVID-19 Vaccination Training Programclick here
  • For modules to consolidate and evaluate your technical skills, access education via Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (Victorian COVID-19 eLearning Competency)here

Safety update

This section aims to include relevant safety updates as they relate to the COVID-19 vaccines.

To see all of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI)'s updates, click here. 

From 17 June 2021: 

ATAGI statement on revised recommendations on the use of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca:

  • ATAGI now recommends Pfizer (Comirnaty) as the preferred vaccine for people aged 16 to 59
  • This updates the previous preferential recommendation for Comirnaty over COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in those aged 16 to under 50 years.  The recommendation is revised due to a higher risk and observed severity of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) related to the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine observed in Australia in the 50-59 year old age group than reported internationally and initially estimated in Australia.
  •  A factsheet has been published on the Department of Health website in 63 languages. You can find the translated factsheet on the Department of Health website.

From 9 June 2021:

  • ATAGI met on Wednesday 9 June 2021 to review the latest developments relating to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and Thrombosis and Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS) cases in Australia and overseas.
    Read the update here.
  • Joint statement between RANZCOG and ATAGI about COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women.

From 26 May 2021: 

COVID-19 subcommittee of the WHO Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety (GACVS) reviews cases of mild myocarditis reported with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Access the statement here. 

From 23 May 2021:

ATAGI has released a joint statement with the Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand (THANZ), providing updated information about TTS and the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The statement also provides an expanded list of people who can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

The risk of TTS is not likely to be increased in people with the following conditions, and people in these groups can receive COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca:

  • History of blood clots in typical sites
  • Increased clotting tendency that is not immune mediated
  • Family history of blood clots
  • History of ischaemic heart disease or stroke
  • Current or past thrombocytopenia (low platelet count)
  • Those receiving anticoagulation therapy

The list of conditions for which Comirnaty (Pfizer) is the preferred vaccine has been expanded to also include:

  • Past history of idiopathic splanchnic (mesenteric, portal, splenic) vein thrombosis
  • Antiphospholipid syndrome with thrombosis 

TTS can be treated effectively. Guidance on the identification and management of TTS is available from the Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Older statements:

21 April 2021:AstraZeneca Training Package 

 8 April 2021: ATAGI released a statement 

ATAGI updated their resources to include information for health professionals and consumers about this clotting condition:

From 25 March 2021: ATAGI released a statement recommending deferral of vaccination with any COVID-19 vaccine for people who have a history of the below conditions:

  1. People with a confirmed medical history of CVST; and/or
  2. People with a confirmed medical history of heparin induced thrombocytopaenia

Vaccine Rollout Schedule

  • Read the updated vaccine rollout schedule as of 14 March 2021. 
  • The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has begun across Australia. We are currently in Phase 1b of the rollout. 

Vaccine Rollout: Phase 1a

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has begun across Australia.

The priority groups in this phase are:

  • Quarantine and border workers
  • Frontline health care worker sub-groups
  • Aged care and disability care staff
  • Aged care and disability residents

Use the eligibility checker to see find our when you or your patients can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs)

On Monday 22 February, Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) began to receive vaccine supplies, starting the vaccination process for those in aged care.  

The Department of Health has published a readiness toolkit for residential aged care facilities to help prepare for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines and obtaining and recording consent for residents. Information about reporting adverse events will be available soon along with more resources for providers, workers and residents.

Providers have an important role in the COVID-19 vaccine program.

Facilities will need to:

  • provide information to residents and workers
  • facilitate resident consent
  • prepare their facility for vaccination day
  • monitor and report adverse events.

Disability rollout


Vaccine Rollout: Phase 1b

Update: 16 April 2021:

Information on indemnity, the rural and remote vaccine rollout, the delay in the delivery of vaccine consumables and seconds doses in residential aged care facilities. 
Access the document here.

General Practice Expression of Interest (EOI) for Phase 1b

Accredited General Practices were invited to express their interest in participating in Phase 1b of the Australian Government’s COVID-19 Vaccine Roll-out from March 2021. The expression of interest is now closed. 

Timeline of events:

  • End February 2021: Letters were sent by email (from SEMPHN) to both eligible and non-eligible general practices at the end of February 2021, on behalf of the Commonwealth Department of Health.
  • Friday 5 March: Letters were sent by email (from SEMPHN) to eligible General Practices, containing further detail on how and when these general practices will be involved in Phase 1b of the COVID Vaccine Rollout, as well as an Onboarding Pack.
  • Monday 15 March: All general practices participating in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 rollout were emailed Version 2 of the Onboarding Pack, which has important updates marked in red. If you haven’t received it, please check your email junk folder, or get in touch with us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Recommended information regarding the EOI

  • Frequently Asked Questions - version 1
  • Frequently Asked Questions - version 2
  • Read the supporting documentation here.

Please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions.

Medical conditions covered under Phase 1b

Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Vaccine rollout: Phase 2a

States and territories began vaccinating people in Phase 2a in May 2021 starting with all adults 50 years and over.

  • From 3 May 2021, people 50 years and over can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at Commonwealth Vaccination and state and territory vaccination clinics.
  • From 17 May 2021, people 50 years and over can receive the AstraZeneca vaccine at a participating general practice.
  • From 28 May 2021 Victorians aged 40-49 years will be able to access the Pfizer vaccine at state-run vaccination sites, in line with advice from ATAGI. Read the Premier's statement. 
  • From 22 June 2021, the Australian Government introduced two new MBS items (10660 and 10661) to support General Practitioners and Other Medical Practitioners to provide in-depth clinical assessments of patients aged 50 years and over regarding patients’ individual health risks and benefits associated with receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Further information: Item descriptors and Fact Sheet.

Influenza and COVID-19 Vaccination Advice

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have provided advice on the relative timing of administering influenza and COVID-19 vaccines in 2021.

Key messages:

  • Routine scheduling and giving of an influenza vaccine with a COVID-19 vaccine on the same day is not recommended. 
  • The preferred minimum interval between a dose of seasonal influenza vaccine and a dose of Pfizer/BioNTech or AstraZeneca/University of Oxford is 14 days. 
  • There may be circumstances where co-administration or near administration (within days) of an influenza vaccine with a COVID-19 vaccine may be considered. 
  • There is no particular requirement regarding the order of receiving a dose of influenza vaccine and either the first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • If an influenza vaccine has been inadvertently co-administered or given within a shorter interval than 14 days with a COVID-19 vaccine, revaccination with either vaccine is not considered necessary.

For further information, please download the publication here.

Community engagement resources

Looking for COVID vaccine resources to share with colleagues, consumers, family and friends?

The Department of Health has a comprehensive suite of resources on their website, including videos, posters, social media content and radio ads.

Resources in multiple languages are also available. All resources are available to download and share and are regularly updated as the rollout continues. More videos targeting CALD communities will be available in April, which will tackle vaccine misinformation. 

See the COVID-19 Vaccines Multicultural Outreach stakeholder pack (March 2021). 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People 

The Department of Health is coordinating the vaccine rollout for ACCHOS. Details can be found on their website:  

The Department has developed a suite of resources specifically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
These include an engagement kit, posters, suggested newsletter articles, social media posts and videos. These are updated as new information around dates, etc are confirmed. 

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