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COVID-19 virus Aug 2021

COVID-19 vaccine;
Answer some questions to check when you can get a COVID-19 vaccination, find out where, and book an appointment. You can do this for yourself or another person.

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The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends the COVID-19 Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine as the preferred vaccine for people aged 16 to 59 years, but the AstraZeneca vaccine can also be provided to this age group.

All residential aged care workers are eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine regardless of age. If you work in residential aged care, you can contact the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 and select option 4 for priority assistance and advice relating to booking your COVID-19 vaccine.

If you are aged 40 years or more, you are eligible for vaccination.
If you are aged 16 to 39 years you may be eligible for vaccination. Complete the checker to find out.
If you are not yet eligible and aged 18 years or over, you can register to be notified when you are.
If you are eligible and can’t find a clinic or make a booking that suits you, please check back later. New clinics and appointments are being added all the time.
People under 16 years of age are not able to get vaccinated at this time unless they are 12-15 years of age and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people or have an identified underlying medical condition.

NSW Health is working closely with the Australian Government to plan and implement a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccination program in NSW.

Can you still spread Covid if vaccinated?
While new research shows vaccinated people can become infected and carry high levels of the coronavirus, it’s important to remember that those cases are rare, and it’s primarily the unvaccinated who get infected and spread the virus.

What are the chances of getting Covid after being fully vaccinated?
There is a small chance of getting COVID-19 after vaccination, but the shot does reduce a person’s chances of being hospitalized, which health experts say is the most important thing. “They should not assume that being vaccinated gives them 100% protection — it does not,” Weiss said.

When can 30 year olds get Pfizer?
Anyone aged 30 to 50 can get the Pfizer vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is also available for residential aged care or hotel quarantine workers, or by exception.

How much will the COVID-19 vaccine cost?
Vaccines for everyone in Australia COVID-19 vaccines will be free for everyone living in Australia. You will not need a prescription from a GP to get vaccinated.

Do I have natural immunity to COVID-19 after recovering?
If you have already had COVID-19 and recovered, you may have some natural immunity to contracting the disease again. However because this virus is new, it’s not clear how long natural immunity might last.

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The importance of credible information
Australians are encouraged to rely on reputable sources of information to help them make informed choices and stay up-to-date on the latest information about COVID-19 vaccines.

With new vaccine developments every day, it’s normal to have questions or concerns, and possibly feel hesitant about getting a vaccine. This is a new vaccination program and these are new vaccines.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell misunderstandings or false information apart from facts.

Usually people are simply seeking more information to answer questions or allay any concerns they may have.

The information below can help people make informed decisions – and get information from a trusted source.

Is it true? Does the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine cause blood clots?
There has been a link established between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a very rare but serious side effect called thrombosis in combination with thrombocytopenia. There is a very low chance of this side effect, which may occur in around 4-6 people in every million after being vaccinated.

With new COVID-19 vaccine developments every day, it’s normal to have questions or concerns, and possibly feel hesitant about getting a vaccine. That’s why we’re providing accurate, evidence-based answers to questions about COVID-19 vaccines.
If you work in a residential aged care facility, in any type of job, you and your colleagues are a priority for vaccination. Questions? Call 1800 020 080 and press option 4.

Use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker to find out when and where you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including your second dose.

What are the factors that can determine transmission risk of COVID-19?
Factors that determine transmission risk include whether a virus is still replication-competent, whether the patient has symptoms, such as a cough, which can spread infectious droplets, and the behavior and environmental factors associated with the infected individual.

Will my Centrelink payments stop if I refuse COVID-19 vaccination?
If people choose not to have a COVID-19 vaccine, this will not affect their family’s eligibility for Family Tax Benefit Part A or childcare fee assistance which only includes National Immunisation Program vaccines for those aged younger than 20.

Can asymptomatic people transmit COVID-19?
Yes, infected people can transmit the virus both when they have symptoms and when they don’t have symptoms. This is why it is important that all people who are infected are identified by testing, isolated, and, depending on the severity of their disease, receive medical care.

Last month, the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) were able to deliver over 500 vaccines to the Ngaanyatjarra Lands (NG Lands), working in partnership with NG Health.

Kate from RFDS (pictured in the middle) said the community gave her and the rest of the crew a warm welcome.

“We had people who were scared at first, come back after their vaccine and bring their friends and families to see the nurses from the Kimberley who were here to help. Little Chloe (pictured, left) also wanted her vaccine, but had to settle for supporting her mum because she is too young. Instead she gave me a cuddle and shared my orange,” said Kate.

Follow the RFDS Facebook page to keep up to date with good news stories like this one.

Thanks to the Royal Flying Doctor Service for providing this image, with consent.