Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to pay for the vaccine?

No. The COVID-19 vaccine is free for all those with or without Medicare.


Which vaccine will I receive?

If you are over 60 you will be offered the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.


This vaccine has been shown to be effective in protecting against COVID-19 and is extremely safe. For more information please visit the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine information sheet. 

If you are between 12 and 59 you will be offered the COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine.

How do I book my appointment?

Please book online by pressing the "Book Online" button above. 

You will have to fill out the necessary details and additional consent questions.

How will I know an appointment has been booked for me?

When your appointment has been scheduled you will receive an email confirming the booking. This email will include all relevant information including appointment details, a detailed COVID-19 vaccine information sheet, and the next steps.


Is the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory?

The COVID-19 vaccine is not mandatory, but you are strongly encouraged to accept the offer of vaccination as it is an important measure to protect you, your family and the community from the effects of COVID-19.


What do if I have COVID-19 symptoms on the date of appointment?

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are mild, it is important that you get tested immediately and self-isolate until you receive a negative result.


For medical assessment please book online at Adelaide Central Respiratory Clinic.


What should I do if I am sick in the days after my vaccination?

If you have any respiratory symptoms (such as a cough, sore throat, runny or blocked nose), it is important that you get tested for COVID-19 immediately and self-isolate until you get a negative result.


If you have any general symptoms (such as pain/swelling at injection site, redness at injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle or joint pain, chills or fever, or nausea), we recommend you stay home if you are feeling unwell.


You do not need to get tested for COVID-19 unless: 

  • you have respiratory symptoms, even mild, or

  • the general symptoms last longer than 48 hours after your first or second dose, or

  • your general symptoms are more severe than expected after vaccination, or

  • you are told that you have been in contact with a case of COVID-19 and are asked to be tested by public health.

If you cannot attend work due to illness, you should follow your employer’s normal protocol for advising of your absence. 

What if I have a reaction after being vaccinated?

You will be observed by health professionals for a period of 15 minutes following your vaccination. 


If you have a history of adverse reactions to vaccinations, you may be asked to wait for observation for a longer period of time. 


You will only be permitted to leave the clinic if you are not showing any signs of an adverse reaction.

How long will my appointment take?

You should expect to be at the vaccination clinic for up to 1.5 hours. This includes registration, vaccination and observation.


For more information about potential side effects and what to expect following vaccination, please visit the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine information sheet.


If you think you are experiencing a medical emergency after leaving the vaccination clinic, you should present to an emergency department or call Triple Zero (000).


Can I reschedule my appointment?

If you are unwell or cannot attend your scheduled vaccination appointment, your appointment can be rescheduled.

Can I get an earlier appointment if other people cancel?

Some people may have to cancel their vaccination appointment at short notice for various reasons. In these circumstances, we may contact you to ask if you are available to bring forward your vaccination appointment. 


Do I need to wear a face mask when I go to get vaccinated?

SA Health strongly encourages you to wear a face mask during your time at the Adelaide Central Vaccination Clinic, including while queueing.


Can my family also receive the vaccine?

As doses will initially be limited, the vaccine will first be made available only to people who belong to the priority groups for the relevant vaccination rollout phase.


If your family member is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of a priority group, they will are able to book online as well.


Can I have my two doses at different clinics?

Logistically, it is recommended to return the same vaccination clinic for your second dose although this is not mandatory.


How will the vaccines be safely stored?

COVID-19 vaccines can be stored and transported at normal vaccine refrigeration temperatures of 2 degrees to 8 degrees Celsius.


Will the vaccine be effective against new variants?

It is anticipated that the COVID-19 vaccines will be effective against newer strains of COVID-19.

Evidence suggests the COVID-19 vaccines remain effective in preventing symptomatic infection and severe disease caused by the Delta variant of COVID-19. The vaccines are more than 90% effective in preventing hospitalisation from the Delta strain. Two doses of either the COVID-19 vaccines are considered better against the Delta variant than one. However, one dose still provides partial protection against infection and severe disease.


What should I do if I've had COVID-19?

The vaccine clinical trials included some previously infected people (who had a blood test showing past infection). These people responded well to the vaccine. They had a good immune response and had similar mild and expected side effects to people who weren’t previously infected.

If you have previously been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should talk to your healthcare provider about the best time to have a COVID-19 vaccination.

How do the COVID-19 vaccines work?

COVID-19 vaccines prepare your body to defend itself against COVID-19 and train your immune system to recognise COVID-19. They have been designed to help you fight off COVID-19 before it makes you sick and to reduce the severity of your symptoms if you do get sick. Most vaccines work in this way and the goal is to prevent serious illness and death.

When a person is given the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, some of their cells will read the vaccine’s mRNA instructions and temporarily produce the spike protein, which mimics the COVID-19 virus. The person’s immune system recognises this protein as foreign and produces antibodies and activates T cells (white blood cells) to attack it.

I am immunocompromised. Should I have the vaccine?

People who are immunocompromised are included in Phase 1B of the vaccination rollout. 

The AstraZeneca vaccine does not contain the live COVID-19 virus, making it safe for people who are immunocompromised. Immunocompromised people should follow the advice from their doctor regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, including considering when to get the vaccine amongst any other treatments or medications.

Can children get the vaccine?

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) will continue to provide advice in relation to children.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) have currently approved the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use in individuals aged 16 years and over, and the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use in individuals aged 18 years and over.


How is COVID-19 AstraZeneca is given?

The vaccination will be given to you by a healthcare provider. It is injected into a muscle (usually in the upper arm).


You will receive 2 injections, 4 to 12 weeks apart. It is important that you receive the same type of COVID-19 vaccination for both doses (i.e. both AstraZeneca).


You will be told when you need to return for your second injection of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine. Your follow up appointment will be arranged before you leave and you will be reminded of your appointment via SMS.

If you forget to go back at the scheduled time, ask your healthcare provider for advice. It is important that you return for your second injection of AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine.

For more information...

For more post-vaccination information, click here.