COVID-19 vaccination available to everyone aged 5 and over

Vaccinations are vital when it comes to protecting our children along with their parents and grandparents. COVID-19 vaccination clinics and hubs are available across Queensland providing easy access to the vaccine for families. Find a location and book.

COVID-19 vaccination information

Resources to support community organisations

Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Toolkit

This toolkit provides a range of sharables that will help you to promote and communicate the vaccine to minimise service delivery disruptions and encourage people to protect their family, colleagues and the community from serious illness caused by COVID-19.

To support the toolkit you can download from the following Queensland Health asset libraries:

Indigenous stakeholder business kit

The Australian Government’s Department of Health is committed to making information about COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone in Australia, including First Nations and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To that end, it has developed a new stakeholder resource pack including the latest COVID-19 vaccine information.

Services Australia – Proof of vaccination resources for community groups

There are new resources available on the Services Australia website to help people obtain proof of their vaccination certificate. Access them here.

Booking a COVID-19 vaccination

You can also look for a pop-up vaccination clinic at a location near you.


Close contacts

According to Queensland Health advice, whether someone should get tested and isolate depends on their contact level.

You are a close contact if you have been with a person that has COVID-19 for more than four hours in a house or other accommodation, a care facility or similar.

Usually, this means you are a close contact if you live with a person that has COVID-19. But, if you have stayed away from them, you are not a close contact. For example, if they are in a separate part of the house that has a separate entrance and no shared common areas, and if your contact with them wasn’t more than four hours.

If you have or develop COVID-19 symptoms you must stay at home until your symptoms resolve.

You are not a close contact if you have had COVID-19 in the past 12 weeks.

You are not a close contact if you live with a close contact.

What do I do if I am a close contact and do not have symptoms of COVID-19?

You should monitor for symptoms for 7 days from the last time someone in your household tested positive for COVID-19.

If you remain symptom free, you do not need to quarantine and can leave your home for any reason. While you are a close contact you must:

  • wear a mask at all times when outside the home
  • not visit vulnerable settings, such as hospitals, aged care and disability facilities, unless in exceptional or compassionate circumstances (for example, end of life visits)
  • test for COVID-19 if you develop symptoms.

It is also recommended that you:

  • avoid large gatherings or crowded indoor events
  • work or study from home if you can.

If a close contact is leaving home, it is recommended that they undertake regular testing (such as on day 0, 2, 4, 6).

Children as close contacts

Children can go to school or childcare if they are a close contact provided they do not have symptoms. You must notify the school that they are a close contact before attending and they must follow any safety requirements schools have in place. Children over the age of 12 who attend school while they are a close contact must wear a mask. Masks are recommended where it is safe to do so for children under the age of 12.

Quarantine and testing requirements

From 6:00pm AEST Thursday 28 April 2022, there are no quarantine requirements for close contacts provided they:

Symptomatic People

Anyone who develops COVID-19 symptoms must stay at home until symptoms resolve and test for COVID-19 as soon as possible after the onset of symptoms. If the test is negative but symptoms persist or worsen, the person should seek medical advice.

International Arrivals

The Requirements for International Arrivals Direction has also been updated. Changes include removing the requirement for unvaccinated international arrivals to quarantine and restricting international arrivals from visiting vulnerable settings for 7 days, regardless of vaccination status.

Critically essential workers

Close contact workers at a vulnerable facilities

A close contact who is an employee at a vulnerable facility (an aged care or disability residential facility or hospital) may continue to work at a vulnerable facility provided they:

  • remain free of COVID-19 symptoms and are not required to quarantine; and
  • comply with the vaccination requirements that apply to them as an employee of the vulnerable facility; and
  • advise the operator of their close contact status as soon as possible so that the operator can take additional protective measures; and
  • wear a surgical mask or comply with any greater PPE requirements of the vulnerable facility while at work; and
  • undertake a COVID-19 test and receive a negative test result on the day of their first shift and every second day thereafter until Day 6.

A worker who becomes symptomatic must stay at home and follow the requirements for a symptomatic close contact.

Workers previously able to leave quarantine to work under the critically essential worker exemption are able to work without the need to use private transport by following the steps for close contacts.

Requirements of employers of critical industries are removed. Employers are no longer required to provide a critical worker list to Queensland Health.

What to do if you test positive

New resources are available to prepare for the larger number of COVID-positive cases and the treatment of COVID-positive people, including in their homes:

COVID care self-checker

If you suspect or have learned you are positive for COVID-19 and you’re unsure what kind of care you may need, you can use the Queensland Government’s COVID care self-checker.

It is a clinical self-assessment tool designed to help you understand what healthcare you may need based on your symptoms and other risk factors. Once you complete the form, you’ll be presented with recommended next steps and self-care information.

Access the self-checker.

Current vaccination recommendations

Four COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in Australia. Visit the links below to access the Australian Government’s Department of Health advice on:

Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna (Spikevax) is preferred over AstraZeneca (Vaxzervia) in adults aged under 60 years, or aged 18 to 59 in outbreak areas if they do not have immediate access to Pfizer or Moderna.

The recommendation is revised due to a higher risk and observed severity of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) related to the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine observed in Australia in people under the age of 60. Read more in this Department of Health fact sheet.

ATAGI Advice on mRNA vaccine dose intervals

The recommended dose interval for the 2 doses of the primary course of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines was previously 3 to 6 weeks for Comirnaty (Pfizer) and 4 to 6 weeks for Spikevax (Moderna).

ATAGI now recommends the dose interval between primary doses should be extended to 8 weeks.

The extended dose interval of 8 weeks has been shown to improve the immune response to vaccination and therefore may improve effectiveness. Find out more.

ATAGI Advice on COVID-19 vaccination post infection

ATAGI have also updated their advice on when people who have had COVID-19 should receive a subsequent vaccine dose. It is now recommended that all people should wait for 3 months after infection before they receive their next COVID-19 vaccine dose. The next scheduled dose should then be given as soon as possible after this period.

Find out more.

Vaccinations for children and young people

The vaccination rate in Queensland for people 16 years and older has recently exceeded 92%. However, the vaccination rates for children and young people continue to lag behind. For children aged 12-15 years the vaccination rate is just over 75%, and for 5-11 years only 29%.

Young people aged 16 or 17 (or have turned 16 since having their primary dose of COVID-19 vaccine) are eligible for a booster dose. In some cases, severely immunocompromised children and young people are eligible for a 3-dose primary course.

The following resources are available to support families and children to be vaccinated against COVID-19:

Vaccine booster information

You are eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose if you:

  • are 16 years and older, and
  • had the second dose of your primary dose course of COVID-19 vaccination at least 3 months ago (from 31 January 2022)

This also includes:

  • women who are pregnant
  • severely immunocompromised people who received a third dose as part of their primary course at least 4 months ago.

Booster doses are not mandatory, however they are recommended to maintain immunity against COVID-19. Individuals can find out how to book their booster dose at www.australia.gov.au.

The Department of Health continues to develop more translated information resources, so please check the Department of Health’s in-language resource pages regularly.

Proof of vaccination

Proof of vaccination verifies that a person is up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations. You must show either a printed or electronic form before entering a business establishment or venue.

There are 3 different types of proof available that you can get for free:

  • a COVID-19 digital certificate
  • your immunisation history statement (IHS)
  • an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate for overseas travel.

The COVID-19 vaccination certificate can be viewed or printed through:

Find out how to add your proof of vaccination status to the Check in Qld app.

Services Australia recently launched an online resource centre with information about how people can get proof of their COVID-19 vaccinations, including tailored guidance for Australians to set up their online accounts, and access and store their vaccination proof. Find out more.

Australian Government COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) closely monitor adverse events for suspected side effects in vaccines used in Australia, often finding they are not caused by the vaccine itself. You can learn about the TGA’s COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring and reporting activities or report a suspected side effect.

This new federal scheme will cover the costs of injuries $5,000 and above due to administration of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine or due to an adverse event that is considered to be caused by a COVID-19 vaccination. Find out more at the Department of Health website.

Mandating vaccinations for employees or volunteers

Pro Bono Australia has examined the pressing ethical matters surrounding mandating COVID-19 vaccines in the workplace. The federal government says in the absense of specific health orders it’s up to business to decide. The article examines previous vaccine mandates in Australia, promoting choice, making it fair for employees, and summarises potential approaches. Read it in full.

Queensland Human Rights Commission – Vaccination and your rights fact sheet

This information is a general overview of your individual rights in relation to vaccination requirements which may be imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not legal advice and does not provide information about current restrictions. Access the fact sheet.

Institute of Company Directors – Free vaccination policy samples

The Institute of Company Directors has released free resources for organisations looking to outline specific policies around vaccination as we move into a new stage of the pandemic. The purpose of these resources is to outline the strategies and actions that your organisation intends to take to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases through the use of vaccination.

You can modify the resources below for use in your organisation:

Fair Work Coronavirus Advice

The Fair Work Ombudsman publishes guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace. They have up to date information on:

  • COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace
  • Shutting workplaces quickly because of lockdown
  • Pay, leave and stand downs
  • Returning to work
  • Health and safety
  • Alternative work arrangements
  • Ending employment and redundancy
  • Changes to workplace laws during coronavirus
  • Tools and help during the pandemic

 

What if an employee is not able to be vaccinated and works in a high risk setting?

Any employer that employs, contracts or engages a worker who must be up-to-date with vaccinations should inform the worker of the COVID-19 vaccination requirements and must:

  • take all reasonable steps to ensure that the worker does not work if they have not met the vaccination requirements (or the PPE and daily COVID-19 testing requirements if they are unable to be vaccinated)
  • keep a record of COVID-19 vaccination information reported to them by their workers, and store it securely.

This page at the Queensland Health website describes who is included in each worker group and their vaccination requirements.

Organisational COVID-19 Vaccination Advice from Clayton Utz (30 November 2021)

This paper from Clayton Utz provides general legal guidance about what actions QCOSS member organisations can do in relation to the COVID-19 vaccination in order to protect service users, comply with the law, respect their employees and ensure their decisions respect the human rights of service users and employees.

Access the paper.


Vaccinations for children and young people

All children aged 5 years and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine for children aged 5 years and older. Spikevax (Moderna) is also available to anyone aged 6 or older.

Check the latest information for children, young people and parents or access the Queensland Health Vaccination FAQs.

Find a vaccination location and book here.

Young people in a care setting

The Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs (Child Safety) considers childhood immunisation an essential part of a child’s health care needs and is committed to all children in care being immunised against vaccine preventable disease, unless a doctor advises there is a medical reason for not proceeding. The emergence of COVID-19 has prompted a review of the current policy and procedure to ensure they cover vaccines that are recommended for children in care from time to time, such as those for COVID-19, that are not part of the Queensland Immunisation Schedule.

The policy and the relevant procedure have recently been updated to:

  • reflect the need for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • move from a specific focus on scheduled vaccinations to a broader application.
  • clarify the consent process, including when Child Safety staff may ask a health practitioner to vaccinate a child in the custody of the chief executive, using the authority of the Child Protection Act 1999, section 97. Please note, the consent requirements have not changed and vaccination remains a guardianship decision.
  • reflect that young people are able to consent to their own vaccinations, where a health practitioner determines they have sufficient capacity to provide informed consent. Child Safety will respect a young persons’ decision to give or withhold consent in these circumstances.

The updated policy can be accessed here. The updated procedure can be accessed here.

Consent

Where a young person is capable of making an informed decision about their immunisation, this will be respected.

Queensland Health’s Guide to Young Person Informed Consent (PDF) gives some general guidance around informed consent guidelines for different age groups.

  • Young people aged 12 – 17 years may be Mature Minors/Gillick competent. This means that a young person may be able to give consent for vaccination. This is dependent on the individual young person.
  • Children aged 5 – 11 years cannot be Mature Minors/Gillick competent. This means that a child cannot give consent for vaccination.
    • If the child cannot consent, the child’s carer or residential care worker can sign a consent form on their behalf if they are subject to the Chief Executive’s guardianship.
    • If a parent retains guardianship, Child Safety will ask that you sign this for your child (if the child cannot consent themselves) and if you are worried about the vaccine, can arrange for you to discuss this with a GP.
    • For those parents who retain guardianship and will not sign the consent form for children who cannot consent themselves, Child Safety will ask a health practitioner to assess the suitability of the child receiving the vaccine and administer the vaccine using the authority of the Child Protection Act 1999, section 97(3) (Request to medically examine or treat a child) if this is assessed to be in their best interest.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Services – Child Safety acknowledges that Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children and young people may feel much more comfortable receiving their vaccine from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Service and this will be facilitated as requested.

Child Safety encourages you to discuss any concerns with your child safety officer and a doctor. Current expert medical advice is clear that the vaccine is safe and appropriate for children and young people five years and older, and therefore the department accepts this advice.

For further information about the age of consent for vaccinations, please refer to Age of Consent for Vaccinations at the Queensland Health website. Child safety officers have been encouraged to have conversations with parents, carers and eligible young people about immunisation against COVID-19.

Vaccination information for people with disability

Some people with disability could have more serious complications if they were to become infected with COVID-19, depending on the nature of their disability and other medical history. Queensland Health has provided some video resources covering common topics in plain English.

COVID-19 vaccination hubs for people with disability

The Department of Health is regularly updating its website with new locations of COVID-19 vaccination hubs that are more accessible for people with disability.

The hubs are wheelchair accessible and many include low sensory appointment times, drop in availability (so you can attend at time that suits you), longer appointment times and some have availability for in-car vaccinations.

Find a location near you.

COVID-19 kit for support coordinators

These free downloadable resource contains a range of useful checklists, contacts and templates for support coordinators to help NDIS participants, their families and carers manage risks associated with COVID-19. You can download this kit on the Growing Space website.

Explaining the vaccination process to people with communication difficulties

Scope Australia has developed a new resource to help explain the vaccination process to someone who has a communication difficulty. A series of images that can be used to talk about what to expect before you go for a coronavirus vaccine is available on it’s Resources page.

Supported Independent Living (SIL) Vaccination Payments

SIL providers can submit a claim once an NDIS participant has received all required doses to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The invoice for the $150 payment to the NDIA has to be made within 28 days of the final vaccination appointment. The NDIA website has more information about how SIL providers can claim for this support.

Down Syndrome Australia resources

Down Syndrome Australia recently asked Australians with Down Syndrome why they got the COVID-19 vaccine, and why they think everyone else should too. Watch it here.

Disability provider vaccination toolkit

The Australian Government Department of Health has created a set of resources designed to help disability providers promote COVID-19 vaccination to their employees. Access the communication resources.

Auslan videos on COVID-19 vaccines

New Auslan videos are available on the Department of Health website. The videos include information on where to get vaccinated, information on thrombosis and (TTS), providing consent, the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the Pfizer vaccine.

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