All 16 to 39-year-old Victorians are now eligible for Pfizer, here’s what you need to know to get your jab

All 16 to 39-year-old Victorians are now eligible for Pfizer, here’s what you need to know to get your jab

Get vaccinated as soon as you can, if it's appropriate for your own health.

Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Australians between the ages of 16 and 39 would be eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine from Friday, August 30.

In an effort to propel the vaccine rollout even further, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews brought that date even closer on Tuesday, announcing the eligibility changes would come into effect for Victorians from today, Wednesday, August 25.

Victorians with a first-dose vaccination appointment scheduled after Wednesday, August 25 can choose to receive Pfizer or AstraZeneca, depending on the doses available at the vaccination clinic, even if the appointment was booked for AZ.

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While the eligibility has changed, Pfizer doses are still limited in Australia and the government has advised that the best vaccine is the one you can get today.

Over the next four weeks, 830,000 vaccination appointments will be made available across Victoria, including 450,000 first-dose appointments for the Pfizer vaccine.

“We’ve already delivered more than 230,000 doses towards our 1 million jabs target which is a mammoth effort. But please, if you haven’t had your vaccination yet, just book it in today to protect yourself and your loved ones,” said Premier Dan Andrews.

Here’s a rundown of everything you need to know about getting that jab.

So who is eligible?

For the first time, people aged between 16 and 39 will be eligible for Pfizer.

Previously, anyone aged 18-39 was only able to get AstraZeneca with informed consent by speaking with your doctor and finding out if you’re eligible. If you’re still opting for AZ, they will help you weigh up the potential benefits against the risk of harm from AstraZeneca. Some conditions may mean it is not suitable for you and it is important that you discuss this with your healthcare provider.

People aged 16 and 17 are only eligible for Pfizer, while those aged between 18 and 59 can choose between Pfizer or AstraZeneca. When you arrive at your appointment you will be able to choose which dose you want.

If you are aged 40 years or more, you are still eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

Those aged over 60 will continue to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

From September, the federal government has announced that Australians aged 18 or over will also have access to the Moderna vaccine as well. The rollout has yet to begin, but the prime minister has hinted at where it will arrive first. “The first 1 million doses is on track to arrive next month and will go to pharmacies. Then we will have three million in October.”

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.

If you’re still not sure if you’re eligible, check your eligibility using the government’s official Eligibility Checker, here.


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How do I get my vaccination?

There are now multiple places you can get vaccinated, from mass vaccination hubs to GPs, but booking your jab is all on you, no one will contact you to get your vaccination.

Anyone seeking to get vaccinated at a state-run clinic is required to book by either visiting the state government website or calling the coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.

Priority groups, such as healthcare workers, who have already been eligible, can walk in at clinics but the rest of the population has been asked to book ahead.

Where can I book? 

The extra bookings for Pfizer are available on the state government website now. Use the online booking system or call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 to make your appointment. In Geelong, the state-run hub is at the Former Ford Factory in Norlane and is ran by the amazing staff at Barwon Health. 

You will also be able to book your Pfizer vaccine at a participating GP or community health service from August 30. Contact your GP to see if appointments are available. Pharmacies are currently only providing AstraZeneca jabs. Both GPs and pharmacies are already taking bookings and administering AstraZeneca and will continue to do so.

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.

If you’re wanting to go to a state-run clinic, there are 55 state-run centres across Victoria. The full list is available on the vaccination centre website.

What if I’ve already got an appointment coming up?

If you are aged 18-39 and had booked an AstraZeneca appointment, you will be given a choice of vaccine at your booking. The government is urging everyone with appointments to keep their existing booking because they will still be able to make this decision.

What if I’ve already had AZ for my first dose, do I need to switch?

The current national position is that everyone in Australia must get two doses of the same vaccine.

Don’t have Medicare?

Covid-19 vaccines are free for everyone in Australia regardless of their Medicare or visa status. If you don’t have Medicare, you will need to book in at a Commonwealth, state or territory vaccination clinic. You can find a list of those clinics here, and you’ll be able to book in online. No other documentation is necessary other than a copy of your photo ID.

What do I bring to my appointment?

You will need to wear a face mask and be COVIDSafe when you’re in a vaccination centre.

Also, provide any emails about your vaccination appointment (on your phone or printed); photo identification, if you have one, such as a passport or driver’s licence; a Medicare card or Individual Healthcare Identifier number; proof of your eligibility such as an employee ID card, NDIS number, or carers documentation if required; information about your medical history, such as allergies, diabetes, history of blood clotting, etc. if required.

If you need help, the National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline is on 1800 020 080.