Information on the COVID-19 vaccine

From February, subject to Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) vaccine approval, Western Australians identified as being in a  population group will qualify for the initial vaccination.  As more doses become available, as many Australians as possible will be encouraged  to receive a vaccination for COVID-19.

This follows the signing of contracts in December that partnered the Australian Government with several companies to safely distribute COVID-19 vaccines to all Australians.

These contracts cover three vital aspects of the vaccine rollout: distribution, logistics and data.

This page will be updated with the latest information as it becomes available. Last updated: Tuesday 23 February 2021.

Types of vaccines

Australia has entered into four separate agreements for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, if they are proven to be both safe and effective.

These include:

There have been many types of vaccines developed for COVID-19, however the aim behind each development is the same – to cause an immune response that is specific to the COVID-19 coronavirus that doesn’t make people sick.

 

Planned rollout

Subject to Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval a vaccine will be rolled out from February 2021, in line with the Vaccine and Treatment Strategy.

This will be done in three phases.

Phase 1a has commenced with groups identified as being in a priority population group including:

  • aged care and disability care residents and workers
  • frontline healthcare workers
  • quarantine and border workers

Vaccine doses will initially be available through 30 – 50 hospital sites across Australia, with a plan to expand to more than 1000 points of distribution nationwide with the commencement of the second and third phases of the rollout.

In Western Australia there will be one metropolitan site and four regional sites.

Whether someone is in a priority group or not, it’s important that all Australians continue to practice good hygiene, maintain physical distance, stay home if they’re sick and get tested.  Australians are also encouraged to download and use the COVIDSafe app and the SafeWA app when visiting certain locations.

How vaccines work

Vaccines train a person’s immune system to quickly recognise and clear out germs that can cause serious illnesses.

Vaccines contain either killed or weakened versions of the germ that cause disease or only a small part of the germ.

When someone gets the vaccine, their immune system recognises these germs as foreign and responds by creating memory cells and antibodies to protect against future infection.

Ensuring safety

Before a vaccine is registered for use it is tested extensively during development and then in thousands of people.

Clinical trials are conducted in phases and involve testing the vaccine in volunteers and must provide scientific evidence which demonstrates that the benefits of the vaccine far outweigh any risks.

The Australian Government requires robust scientific data and analysis before supporting a vaccine candidate.

Before a COVID-19 vaccine is approved for use in Australia, it must pass the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s rigorous assessment and approval process.

Once COVID-19 vaccines are approved by the TGA, their specific ingredients will be listed in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

Following a thorough and independent review, the TGA has decided that the following vaccines meet the high safety, efficacy and quality standards required for use in Australia.