FAQs

To answer many questions around COVID-19 vaccines, we have compiled the following FAQs. Many of the responses are quoted or adapted from the Australian Government Department of Health.

Credible and reliable information is important  

It is normal to have questions about the available COVID-19 vaccines and the process involved with vaccination. We have compiled a list of FAQ's to ensure that our community feel informed about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Australia.

We encourage you to rely on reputable sources of information to help you make informed decisions and stay up to date on the latest health advice and information relating to COVID-19 and vaccines. 

Reputable information about vaccines is available from: 

The vaccination information provided by the University of Wollongong is for general purpose only. Please seek advice from your own medical practitioner to discuss your individual circumstances.

Vaccination FAQs

COVID-19 can spread quickly and widely. When enough people in the community are vaccinated, it slows down the spread of disease. Higher vaccination rates makes outbreaks much less likely. It also reduces the need for preventive measures, such as border closures and travel restrictions. This will reduce the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will help save lives and livelihoods. 

 

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health. 

The number of vaccine doses administered has been steadily increasing since the Covid-19 vaccine rollout began in February 2021.

The following charts shows the share of the total population that

  • has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19
  • have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine


Now the challenge is to bridge the gap between the number of people vaccinated in Australia and the number vaccinated around the world. It will be key that people in all countries receive the required protection. The international COVID-19 vaccination dataset is updated daily with the latest statistics on vaccinations around the globe. 

The data is compiled from government sources by the Our World in Data project at the University of Oxford.

Some people may experience no side effects, whereas others may experience minor or more significant flu-like symptoms.  

 

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health. 

COVID-19 vaccines have been developed without compromising quality, safety and effectiveness.  

It may appear they have been developed very quickly, but researchers around the world have been working hard to develop COVID-19 vaccines from the earliest stages of the pandemic. 

They have been able to speed up development of vaccines thanks to the collaboration between them, scientists, manufacturers and distributors. 

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health. 

The Australian Government will provide free COVID-19 vaccines to everyone living in Australia.  

 There are two COVID-19 vaccines currently available in Australia: Pfizer and AstraZeneca. You will receive the vaccine recommended for your age and other eligibility and clinical criteria. 

  1. The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is the preferred vaccine for people aged 16 to 59 years.   
  2. The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine can be used in adults aged 60 years and over or for those under 60 years where the Pfizer vaccine is not available and the benefits clearly outweigh the risk for that individual. You should speak to your GP (doctor) to understand the risks and benefits. 

 

 

All vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety before they are approved for use in Australia. This includes careful analysis of clinical trial data, ingredients, chemistry, manufacturing and other factors. 

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health. 

There has been a link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a syndrome called thrombosis in combination with thrombocytopenia. This is an extremely rare blood clotting syndrome. Learn about the potential benefits against risk of harm from COVID-19 Astra Zeneca vaccine.. 

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health. 

(As of 3 September 2021).  

Comirnaty (Pfizer) COVID-19 vaccine

You are able to book an appointment for the Pfizer vaccine if you are:

  • 12 to 15 years old and in a priority group
  • 16 to 59 years old.

People aged 12 to 15 years who are not in a priority group will be able to book an appointment from 13 September 2021.

Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) COVID-19 vaccine

You can book an appointment for the AstraZeneca vaccine if you are  60 years or older.

If you are aged 18-59 years of age, you can choose to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine:

  • following an appropriate assessment of suitability by a qualified health professional; and
  • if you provide verbal or written consent.

 

 

Learn more

 
We will provide more information on where to get a vaccine specific to UOW campuses and regions as this information becomes available on the NSW Government website. 

NSW Health vaccination clinics, participating general practices and pharmacies across the state are now open for COVID-19 vaccination bookings. To check your eligibility and book an appointment at a location near you, use the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker on the Australian Government website.

Campus Pharmacy
Campus Pharmacy (Building 11, next to UniShop) is now offering COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccinations* in-store and bookings are essential. You can book online or phone 4288 1888.

*Free for anyone over 18 years with informed consent. Not suggested if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. You will be sent pre-screening information via email or text 24 hours prior to your appointment.

Illawarra Shoalhaven Mass Vaccination Hub
NSW Health’s Mass Vaccination Hub located in the Wollongong CBD will be administering the Pfizer vaccine.

To check your eligibility and book an appointment, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker.

 

No, the COVID-19 vaccine is free for everyone in Australia. Vaccination providers cannot charge you for the COVID-19 vaccine or for your appointments to receive the vaccine.  

NSW Health strongly recommends and prefers that all students attending or planning to attend a placement in NSW Health obtain their COVID-19 vaccination, in consultation with a General Practitioner if required.
 
Students can make a booking for vaccination by visiting the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker, which gives them access to a number of COVID-19 vaccination clinics across NSW including GP and NSW Health clinics. When booking their appointment, students need to identify as a ‘health care worker’. All students will need to provide proof of occupation, which can be in the form of a university ID card or an enrolment confirmation letter from the University.

COVID-19 can spread quickly and widely, in all settings, not just the health sector. When enough people in the community are vaccinated, it slows down the spread of disease. Higher vaccination rates makes outbreaks much less likely. It also reduces the need for preventive measures, such as border closures and travel restrictions. This will reduce the health, social and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It will help save lives and livelihoods. 

 

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health. 

Vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary – as are all vaccinations in Australia – and people maintain the option to choose.  

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health.  

There is evidence that existing vaccines are effective against new variants of COVID-19. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGAwill also closely look at this as part of their approval and monitoring processes. 

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health. 

People who have had COVID-19 and recovered should still be vaccinated. The protection someone gains from having COVID-19 varies from person to person. 

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health. 

Clinical trials are currently underway to determine how long protection from the vaccine will last.  

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health. 

It is important you get the same type of COVID-19 vaccine for both doses. This is because the evidence from clinical trials shows this is effective and is what is approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).  

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health. 

 

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) will not approve a vaccine for use in Australia unless it is safe and effective. This includes impacts on fertility. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently approved, or under review by TGA cause sterilisation/infertility.  

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health.  

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommend that pregnant women are routinely offered Pfizer mRNA vaccine (Cominarty) at any stage of pregnancy. This is because the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby. Read about the risks associated with COVID-19 whilst pregnant.

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health.

Vaccines strengthen your immune system by training it to recognise and fight against specific viruses. When you get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and helping to protect the whole community.  

Read more from the Australian Government Department of Health. 

A mass COVID vaccination hub is being established in Wollongong's Crown Street Mall and will open in mid-August. The Wollongong facility will be administering the Pfizer vaccine. 

It's one of two new mass vaccination centres to be established by the NSW Government, the other will be located in South West Sydney at an old Coles building in Macquarie Fields. 

We will provide more information about these vaccination hubs as this information becomes available on the NSW Government website. 

Vaccination FAQs - International Students

Under the Australian Government's COVID-19 vaccination policy, vaccination is free for international students currently studying in Australia.

You don't need a Medicare card to book an appointment, or to receive your vaccination at a Commonwealth Vaccination Clinic. If you would like a record of your COVID-19 vaccination, you will need to set up a MyGov account and apply for an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) - please refer to the detailed information below. 

International students can check their eligibility for vaccination and make a decision about receiving either the AstraZeneca vaccine or Pfizer vaccine.

On 28 June the Federal Government announced that anyone under 40 can now request the AstraZeneca vaccine from their local general practitioner, following an appropriate assessment of suitability by a general practitioner. The AstraZeneca vaccine is available at Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics, participating general practices, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services and state-run vaccination clinics.

 

You need to use the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker to find out when and where you can receive a COVID-19 vaccine, including your second dose. You can do this via the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Make sure that you only book your COVID-19 vaccination via this website. This will ensure that it is free and you are booked into a Commonwealth Vaccination Clinic.

To ensure that you have a valid record of your COVID-19 vaccination, you will be required to set up a MyGov online account and apply for an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI).

When you get your COVID-19 vaccine, your health provider will make a record of it on the Australian Immunisation Register. If you're not eligible for Medicare, you can still get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination.

You will need to have your passport with your valid Student Visa ready. The first step is to create your myGov account.

Once you have created your myGov account, you can apply online for your Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI). Follow these steps to get an IHI online:

    1. Sign in to your myGov account that you have created
    2. Click on 'services' or 'link your first service'
    3. Select 'IHI service' from the list.
    4. Follow the steps to create your IHI.

Once you have completed this process, you can attend a Commonwealth Vaccination Clinic and the health provider will make a record of your vaccination on the Australian Immunisation Register. Any time that you need to provide a record or proof of your COVID-19 vaccination, this information will be available on your myGov account.

Please note: You do not require an IHI or myGov account if you do not require a record of your vaccination. 

 

The Department of Health has information on the COVID-19 vaccines available in 63 languages you’d like information in your language.

The National Coronavirus Helpline, 1800 020 080, operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is available to anyone in Australia who would like more information on anything COVID-19-related. For translating and interpreting services call 131 450.

The International Student Coronavirus Helpline, 1300 981 621 operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is available for International students.