Key points about the COVID-19 vaccines
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 the Pfizer (Comirnaty) Astra Zeneca (Vaxzevria), Moderna (Spikevax) and the Novavax (Nuvaxovid) vaccines.
- The vaccines require two doses, given 3 or 4 weeks apart.
- For people who are immunocompromised: if you have received three primary doses, it is also recommended to have a booster dose 3 months after your third dose, as well as a winter dose, depending on the timing of your vaccinations.
- 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 severe symptoms or reactions after you receive your vaccination, you should immediately seek help from a medical professional.
Find out about the COVID-19 vaccines and how they work
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.
Adults with Down syndrome, and children with Down syndrome 5 years and older are currently eligible to have a COVID-19 vaccination in Australia.
From 5 September 2022, COVID-19 vaccination will be available for children aged 6 months to 4 years who are:
- severely immunocompromised,
- have a disability,
- or have complex or multiple health conditions.
Read more about vaccines for children 6 months to 5 years here.
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 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 vaccine information
Preparing for your COVID-19 vaccination
After your COVID-19 vaccination
About the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine
About the AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) vaccine
About the Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine
About the Novavax (Nuvaxovid) vaccine
What if a family member or guardian says no to a COVID-19 vaccine?
A guide for is available for disability support providers who support adults with intellectual disability.
What if a substitute decision maker says no to COVID-19 vaccination?
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 find or 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
Information about the safety of the vaccine for people with Down syndrome is available from the Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group USA.
The COVID-19 & Down Syndrome Resource is an international resource for people with Down syndrome and their families.
DSA released a 2021 statement on the COVID-19 vaccines.
Watch our latest videos about getting a COVID-19 vaccine here:
Last updated: 8 August 2022