Key points about the COVID-19 vaccine
For the latest COVID-19 vaccine updates please visit www.health.gov.au/covid19-vaccines.
The Australian Government Department of Health also has a dedicated site about the COVID-19 vaccine for people with disability.
- In Australia COVID-19 vaccines are free.
- The vaccines currently available in Australia are Pfizer (Comirnaty) and Astra Zeneca (Vaxzevria). The Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine will also be available in Australia from late 2021.
- The two vaccines currently available in Australia require two doses, given at least 21 days apart.
- If you have been partially or fully vaccinated, you will still need to practice good hygiene and social distancing. This includes wearing masks if needed, depending on the location.
- If you are concerned about the vaccine, talk to your GP or health care provider for more information.
- If you have any severe symptoms or reactions after you receive your vaccination you should immediately seek help from a medical professional.
COVID-19 vaccines and people with Down syndrome
People with Down syndrome have an increased risk of developing severe symptoms if they contract COVID-19, including hospitalisation.
It is advisable to talk to your GP or a health professional if you are uncertain about having the COVID-19 vaccine, and they will help you decide if it is the right decision for you or your family member with Down syndrome.
People with Down syndrome 12 years and older are eligible to have the COVID-19 vaccination in Australia.
People with Down syndrome are in Priority Group 1B to receive the COVID-19 vaccination based on recommendations by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. This includes children aged 12-15 years old with Down syndrome.
Vaccines for children with Down syndrome under 12 years of age have not been approved for use in Australia yet. There are trials underway overseas.
Resources and links
Information about COVID-19 vaccines is available on the Department of Health website.
The Department of Health has published Information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines.
Read more about priority groups for the COVID-19 vaccines from the Department of Health here.
Australian Government, state and territory government helplines will have information on how people with disability can access the vaccine.
The National Coronavirus Helpline: 1800 020 080
Disability Gateway Helpline: 1800 643 787
The Disability Gateway website: www.disabilitygateway.gov.au
Useful fact sheets
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has developed resources, including consent forms, to help with providing informed consent to get a COVID-19 vaccination.
The Vaccine Eligibility Checker can be used to see if you can book a COVID-19 vaccination. The Checker may provide general information, so please confirm your situation with your vaccine provider.)
Reputable information about vaccines is available from:
- Therapeutic Goods Administration
- Australian Academy of Science
- World Health Organisation
- National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance
DSA released a 2021 statement on the COVID-19 vaccines.
Information about the safety of the vaccine for people with Down syndrome is available from the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group USA.