What is COVID-19 vaccine?
Vaccines stimulate the body’s natural defences to strengthen the immune system response to a condition or illness. Vaccines use inactivated or severely weakened pathogens such as viruses or bacteria to trick the immune system into producing antibodies. After receiving a viral vaccine, the body’s immune system recognises and remembers the virus.
If you should be exposed to the virus later, your immune system can fight off an infection more effectively because it has already produced antibodies to the virus.
The development of an effective vaccine for COVID-19 has been a global public health challenge. The race continues to manufacture and distribute effective and safe vaccines to billions of people.
On 25th January 2021, the TGA granted provisional approval to Pfizer Australia for its COVID-19 vaccine, COMIRNATY.
On the 16th February 2021, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) granted provisional approval to AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. The approval meant that the vaccine had met the high standards of safety, effectiveness and quality required for use in Australia.
On the 3rd September 2021, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) granted provisional approval to Moderna for individuals aged 12 years and over.
How is a COVID-19 vaccine approved?
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is responsible for assessing all COVID-19 vaccines before they can be used in Australia. Before a vaccine is approved for use in Australia, it must pass the TGA’s rigorous assessment and approval processes. This includes assessment of its safety, quality and effectiveness. The TGA formally evaluates vaccines in multiple stages, and seeks out further information and clarification
Over the past couple of months, many of you would have heard conflicting reports regarding the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Here are some facts you might want to know:
Vaccination remains the best way to protect against severe illness and death from COVID-19
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is continuing to monitor local and international data on the rare and new condition that occurs after AstraZenca COVID-19 vaccine called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS).
Advantage Pharmacy are happy to provide AstraZeneca & Moderna COVID-19 immunisation for our local area and wider community. COVID-19 vaccines help to protect our community against coronavirus by preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19. The vaccines are free for everyone in Australia.
Both the AstraZeneca and Moderna have been approved by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration). Each vaccine is given as a shot in the upper arm, and both require two doses.
For a quick overview of the key differences check out the table below:
Age (ATAGI advice )
16 - 59 years old
Over 12 years old
Minimum 4 Weeks
Minimum 4 Weeks
Minimum 4 Weeks
Over 18 years old
COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program. Australian Government - Department of Health. Available from https://covid19vaccinationtraining.org.au/. Updated September 2021. Accessed September 2021.
Currently, the Commonwealth vaccination program allows for the Moderna vaccine to be administered to patients that are aged 12 years old and over. Please regularly review the eligibility requirements listed on the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker.
You can book online by visiting our booking link to get your first and second doses of the vaccine at any of our participating pharmacies.
Preparing for Your Vaccination
COVID-19 vaccinations are voluntary and free.
Before your vaccination appointment, you should make sure your details are up to date with Medicare.
If you don’t have your account set up, you can:
enrol in Medicare, if you’re not already enrolled
set up your Medicare online account if you’re enrolled in Medicare, but don’t have Medicare linked to myGov or
get an Individual Health Identifier (IHI), if you’re not eligible for Medicare
You can also read this patient factsheet developed by the Australian Government Department of Health:
If you don’t have a Medicare card, or are not eligible for Medicare, you can get your free vaccination at a Commonwealth Vaccination Clinic or a state or territory vaccination clinic. More information is available on the Department of Health website here.
Please do not come to your vaccination appointment:
if you are feeling unwell with fever, cough, runny nose or other symptoms that could be from COVID-19
if you are waiting for COVID-19 test results, or have tested positive for COVID-19
if you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, or
if you are in quarantine
If you have had another vaccine in the 7 days before your COVID-19 vaccine appointment, please let your local pharmacy know as we may need to reschedule your appointment.
If you cannot make it to your vaccination appointment, please contact your local Chemist as soon as possible to arrange a new appointment.
Last Updated: 30th September 2021
What should I do whilst I wait for my COVID-19 vaccine?
Whether you are vaccinated or not, there are things you can do to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. You must:
stay 1.5 metres away from other people and avoid handshakes and contact with people outside your household
stay home if you feel unwell and get tested for COVID-19.
wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitiser
always cough or sneeze into your arm or a tissue and put the tissue in the bin straight away
download the COVIDSafe app to help health officials let you know if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19
To learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, visit health.gov.au HERE