COVID-19 advice for people with disability

Information and Easy Read resources for people with disability and their carers, including advice about vaccination, antivirals, testing and staying safe.

Woman being helped by carer outside a house
On this page

Additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose (booster)

1 September 2023  The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended some people at higher risk of severe illness get an additional 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose (booster) if eligible. Read what the latest advice from ATAGI means for you.

Simple steps to protect yourself



Icon with doctor

Speak to your doctor before you get sick



Icon Testing Health

Understand what test to do when you feel unwell



Antiviral medicine icon

Check if you're eligible for antivirals



Icon Vaccination Health

Stay up to date with your recommended vaccinations

Staying safe 

Some people with disability are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. 

Speak to your doctor about which COVID-19 test is right for you before you get sick.

Ask your doctor before you get sick and ask them to complete a pre-assessment action plan for respiratory infections. This form helps you know what test to do and if you may be eligible for antiviral medicines or other treatments for COVID-19 if you test positive. 

Antiviral medicines work best when taken as soon as possible, usually within 5 days from when your symptoms start.

Vaccinations for people with disability

Stay up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations to help protect yourself.

You may be eligible to get an additional COVID-19 vaccination. For more information, visit Booster vaccination or talk to your doctor, Aboriginal Medical Service, or vaccination provider, about your needs and your vaccination options.

Book your vaccination

Find a vaccine clinic that meets your needs by using the Healthdirect Service Finder.

For help booking a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, call the Disability Gateway on 1800 643 787 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm AEST).

Vaccinations for disability support workers

NSW Health strongly encourages people providing care to people with disability to stay up to date with all recommended vaccinations – including COVID-19 and influenza – to protect against severe disease for themselves and the people they care for.

Find out if you are recommended to get an additional COVID-19 vaccination.

Getting tested for COVID-19

If you have COVID-19 symptoms (runny nose, sore throat, cough or fever), contact your doctor for testing advice. 

If you can't contact your doctor, call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 or use the online Service Finder to find a doctor near you.

If your doctor recommends a COVID-19 PCR test, they will give you a pathology referral form for a free COVID-19 PCR test.

The referral form will have a private pathology provider location on it which you will need to visit so you can get tested.

For more information, visit What COVID-19 test should I do?

For more information if you test positive to COVID-19, visit Testing positive to COVID-19 and managing COVID-19 safely at home.

COVID-19 antiviral medicines

Antiviral medicines target the virus that causes COVID-19, to help stop it from infecting healthy cells in your body and multiplying. This means you are less likely to get very sick and go to hospital.

If you get COVID-19 you might be able to get antiviral medicines. Talk to your doctor now about antiviral medicines to find out if you are eligible and if they are right for you.

Antivirals work best when taken as soon as possible – usually within 5 days from when your symptoms start.

If you can't speak to your doctor, contact healthdirect on 1800 022 222.

If you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19

If you live with or have spent a long time with someone who has COVID-19, you are at increased risk of getting COVID-19.

Monitor for symptoms (such as a runny nose, sore throat, fever, cough). If you get sick, NSW Health recommends that you get tested and stay home until your symptoms have gone away.

See Advice for people exposed to COVID-19 for more information.

General advice to avoid COVID-19

Ways to help reduce your risk of COVID-19:

  • Stay up to date with your recommended COVID-19 vaccinations[PR1] .
  • Get together outdoors or in large, well-ventilated spaces with open doors and windows. If possible, ask friends and family to take a rapid antigen test before gathering.
  • Avoid crowded spaces.
  • Practice good hand hygiene, including regular handwashing

Visiting people in aged or disability care

We all need to take steps to keep people who are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 safe.

If you have friends or family members who live in aged or disability care, you can help them by:

Read more about visiting people in aged care or disability care.

For people with vision impairment

Resources for people with vision impairment or blindness.

Resources for carers

If you are supporting and caring for someone with disability, there are resources to keep informed about COVID-19, the rules and tips for staying healthy.  

Last updated:
Top of page