About your vaccination appointment
What to bring to your COVID-19 vaccination appointment and information about common side effects.
Do not make or attend an appointment if you have any COVID-19 symptoms. Get tested and self-isolate until you receive a negative result.
Once you have booked your vaccination appointment there are a few things you can do to get ready.
- If you have a Medicare card, or you are eligible for Medicare, make sure you are enrolled and your details are up to date. You can still get the vaccination for free if you don't have a Medicare card.
- If you have an existing medical condition, or are currently taking medication, gather details or documentation you can take to your appointment. If you have My Health Record, it can make this process easier.
- If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or planning pregnancy, you may wish to read the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination decision guide.
- If you are a carer, guardian or family member booking for someone else, you can download a consent form for COVID-19 vaccination.
Read the Australian Government fact sheet on how to prepare for your COVID-19 vaccination.
Going to your appointment
If you are running late, or need to cancel your appointment, let your vaccine provider know as soon as possible.
- You may be asked to wear a mask at the vaccination venue, take one with you if you can.
- Take your Medicare card (if you have one) and photo ID to your appointment.
- Take information about any medical conditions or medications you are currently taking. Tell the vaccine provider.
- The vaccine is usually given as an injection into your upper arm. Wear clothing that will allow easy access to your upper arm.
- After getting the vaccination you will need to wait in the clinic for 15 to 30 minutes for observation.
After getting your vaccination
Vaccinations for COVID-19 need 2 doses. The second dose is usually given between 3 to 12 weeks after the first. You may be asked to make both appointments when you book your first appointment, or to book your second dose after your first.
You may have some side effects after your vaccination. Most side effects will only last a couple of days. Common reactions include:
- pain, redness and/or swelling where you got the needle
- mild fever
- flu-like symptoms.
Serious reactions are very rare. Get medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- swelling in your leg
- persistent abdominal (belly) pain
- neurological symptoms, including severe and persistent headaches or blurred vision
- tiny blood spots under the skin beyond the site of injection.
Use the COVID-19 vaccine side effects symptom checker if you have concerns about any symptoms after your vaccine. The checker is also available through the National Coronavirus Helpline, 1800 020 080, 24 hours a day.