Some helpful information to read prior to your appointment for the COVID vaccination
Why do you need COVID-19 Vaccine?
Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine protects you and the community. It also reduces the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Click the link below to find out more.
‘Why should I get vaccinated for covid-19’
Is COVID-19 Vaccine Safe?
Medical experts have studied COVID-19 vaccines to make sure they are safe. Most side effects are mild and don’t last for long. Side effects may include a sore arm, transient headache, transient joint pain, transient fever or transient tiredness.
As with any vaccine or medicine, there may be rare and/or unknown side effects.
One of the rare side effect of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine, noted in the European countries, Canada and Australia, is vaccine-induced pro-thrombotic thrombocytopenia. This is the development of clots in the body, mostly under 55 years old of the vaccinated patients. Symptoms reported were persistent headaches, nausea, visual disturbances and abdominal pain for 4 to 20 days after the vaccination. At present, Australian regulatory authorities have not made changes to the roll – out of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine as the benefit of the vaccine is considered far more than the rare adverse reaction.
Another rare side effect is Capillary Leak Syndrome (CLS) characterised by swelling of the limbs and drop in blood pressure.
If you have a side effect that worries you, please let us know. Click the link below to find out more.
‘Is COVID-19 Vaccine Safe?’
How does COVID-19 Vaccine work?
Vaccines train a person’s immune system to recognise and clear out germs (bacteria and viruses) that can cause serious illness. They strengthen your immune system by training it to recognise and fight against specific germs.
Vaccines contain either killed or weakened versions of the virus that causes the disease or a small part of it, such as a protein or nucleic acid. When you get a vaccine, your immune system recognises these as foreign. It responds by creating memory cells and antibodies that protect you against future infection. Click the link below to find out more.
‘How Does COVID-19 Vaccine work?’
Am I Eligible? Is this my time to have COVID-19 vaccine?
All Australian citizens, residents and all visa holders (including refugees, asylum seekers, temporary protection visa holders, and those on bridging visas) can access FREE COVID-19 vaccines from the Australian government.
However, those on Transit, Tourist, eVisitor and Electronic Travel Authority visas are not eligible for free vaccination but may be offered doses under a user-pays arrangement.
If you want to proceed with your vaccination, please check that it is your time to receive the vaccination. The vaccine roll out is in phases (phase 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b and 3), depending your age, your medical condition, your occupation and the risk of your coming in contact with COVID-19 virus.
Click the link below to find out more.
What should I do before I have my COVID-19 Vaccine?
Below are the things you should do to prepare yourself for the COVID-19 vaccine. Click link below:
Please bring along your Medicare card, any document that verify your age and any document that verify your occupation (if applicable).
If you are not one of our patients, please bring along documentation that verify your medical condition(s) (if applicable).
Preparation before your COVID-19 Vaccine.
If you wish to proceed, please click onto the link below to print and complete our COVID-19 vaccination consent Form.
COVID-19 Vaccination Consent Form
We address some of your common questions and concerns regarding COVID-19 vaccination below here. These Q & A are from the government training site, https://covid19vaccinationtraining.org.au. Module 3 – Communication and purpose of the COVID-19 vaccination Program. Topic 3- Common consumer concerns.
The various vaccines have been developed too quickly – How can we be sure it is safe?
- The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved this vaccine after an in-depth and independent full assessment was undertaken.
- An unprecedented number of resources and number of international researchers have been working towards the same clinical goal and have achieved this due to the devastating impact COVID-19 has had.
- The same number of trials and tests has been undertaken with COVID-19 vaccines as expected with any other new medicines. The vast number of trial participants in target groups has allowed this to happen more quickly than usual.
- Pharmaceutical companies invested in manufacturing early on, so there was no delay between completion of trials and safety testing and the roll-out.
- Technology has evolved to be able to manufacture vaccines faster including sequencing the genetic code of the virus.
What are the possible side-effects of the vaccines?
- All vaccines can cause side-effects. Usually, only mild effects may be experienced which disappear quickly.
- Common side effects are reported to be very similar to those that you may experience with other vaccines. These are normal as your immune system is being activated. Examples include:
- Muscle soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site.
- General tiredness for a few days.
- One of the rare side effect of Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine, noted in the European countries, Canada and Australia, is vaccine-induced pro-thrombotic thrombocytopenia. This is the development of clots in the body, mostly under 55 years old of the vaccinated patients. Symptoms reported were persistent headaches, nausea, visual disturbances and abdominal pain for 4 to 20 days after the vaccination. At present, Australian regulatory authorities have not made changes to the roll – out of the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine as the benefit of the vaccine is considered far more than the rare adverse reaction. Another rare side effect is Capillary Leak Syndrome (CLS) characterised by swelling of the limbs and drop in blood pressure.
- Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer (Comirnaty) is preferred over COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in adults aged under 60 years. This recommendation is based on the increasing risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 in older adults (and hence a higher benefit from vaccination) and a potentially increased risk of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia following AstraZeneca vaccine in those under 60 years.
- However, if you are in a “COVID-19 hotspot” declared by the state or federal government, patients who are under 60 years old are strongly urged to consider Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, after having discussed the relevant risks (especially a rare immune induced blood clotting syndrome) vs the benefit conferred by the vaccine, with your doctor.
Can you get COVID-19 from the different vaccines and can the vaccines change your genetic code?
- No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines contains live coronaviruses. Therefore, the virus is unable to replicate and grow to cause an infection.
- The mRNA genetic material in the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is cleared and the mRNA does not enter the human cell nucleus which is where our DNA is located and cannot alter your DNA or genetic make-up.
- The AstraZeneca recombinant, genetically modified vaccine cannot spread or multiply throughout the body. None of the active vaccine components enter the human cell nucleus and cannot alter your DNA or genetic make-up.
- Receiving a vaccine will not result in a positive COVID-19 swab test. However, it is possible for a person to catch COVID-19 just before or after a vaccination and therefore return a positive test due to an active infection acquired before the vaccine was effective.
- Following the AstraZeneca vaccine an antibody test for the spike protein of COVID-19 may be affected.
- It is important to still get a COVID-19 test performed at your local testing centre if you have any of the COVID-19 symptoms, even after you have been vaccinated.
Now that I have received the vaccine, do I still need to follow physical distancing and wear a mask when recommended?
- Yes, all COVID-19 safe preventative measures such as wearing masks, physical distancing and frequent hand washing should still be followed after receiving the vaccine.
- This is because the vaccine program will take a while to be rolled out and for the effect to be seen. If the vaccine program is effective and a large proportion of people are immunised then restrictions may be able to ease if herd immunity develops.
- Herd immunity is when enough people in a population are vaccinated and immune to prevent person to person transfer of a particular disease. Achieving this requires a large proportion of the population to be vaccinated and the vaccine to provide effective, long term protection. As we learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, we will learn if herd immunity can be achieved.
Should I take paracetamol or ibuprofen before and after the COVID-19 vaccination?
- Paracetamol or ibuprofen are not recommended routinely before or after vaccination. There is currently no evidence on the benefit of painkillers for the prophylactic prevention of immunisation injection pain or systemic reactions following COVID-19 vaccination. Paracetamol and ibuprofen can, however, be considered for the management of adverse events (e.g. pain or fever, respectively) if they occur after vaccination.
Can I get my influenza vaccine at the same time as my COVID-19 vaccine?
- It is not recommended that any other vaccines be given within 7 days before or after a COVID-19 vaccine.
Will the vaccines prevent COVID-19 infection or just severe symptoms?
- Vaccine developers are releasing announcements on the efficacy or effectiveness of vaccines in preventing COVID-19 symptoms and disease as soon as they are available. The results are very promising and indicate that the existing vaccines are statistically significantly effective (more than a coincidence) in preventing COVID-19.
- Data on the real-word effectiveness in preventing COVID-19 disease and symptoms and the duration of this protection will be gathered over the coming months and years. It is difficult to give exact rates of efficacy as this depends on the population group receiving the vaccine such as their age and health status.
- At this stage the vaccines have been shown to prevent severe COVID-19 disease, but it may still be possible to be infected with, and to transmit (spread) COVID-19 to other people. For this reason, it is important to be tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, even after you have been vaccinated.
Click link below to explore more of comprehensive Question and Answers of COVID-19 vaccination
Question and Answers of COVID-19 vaccination
How does COVID-19 Vaccine work? Click link below to find out more.
How COVID-19 Vaccine works.
Click link below for the Guideline for Women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or Planning Pregnancy
COVID-19 vaccine and women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or Planning Pregnancy
If you wish to proceed, please click onto the link below to print and complete our COVID-19 vaccination Consent Form.
COVID-19 Vaccination Consent Form