COVID-19 Vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccinations are now rolling out across Australia.

Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout has been gaining momentum since starting in February 2021.

COVID-19 vaccines are voluntary, universal, and free for all Australians. The Australian Government’s national rollout strategy aims to ensure that all Australians have access to a vaccine, for as many people to be vaccinated as possible.

COVID-19 vaccines administered have been approved for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which assesses the safety, quality, and effectiveness of vaccines.

The vaccination rollout commenced with individuals belonging to the highest priority groups and has since evolved to include millions more Australians.

COVID-19 vaccines – how vaccines work

This video, produced by the Commonwealth Department of Health describes how vaccines work in the body after you receive a vaccination.

Vaccines train a person’s immune system to recognise and clear out germs (bacteria and viruses) that can cause serious illness. They strengthen your immune system by training it to recognise and fight against specific germsi.

Types of COVID-19 vaccines

At the beginning of September 2021, there are four vaccines approved for use in Australia. They are a mix of different types of vaccines.

The four approved vaccines are;

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty [mRNA] )
  • Astra Zeneca (VaxZevria [viral vector])
  • Moderna (Spikevax [mRNA])
  • Janssen-Cilag (COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen [viral vector])

There are many more vaccines under development and others in use around the world. The aim of all the vaccines, is to create an immune system response which protects the vaccinated person from the most severe forms of COVID-19.

More information on the types of vaccines can be found on the Commonwealth Department of Health website.

More Information about COVID-19

COVID-19

  • COVID-19 is the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that emerged in December 2019.
  • COVID-19 can cause severe illness, and has caused millions of deaths around the world, as well as lasting health problems in some who have been infected.
  • The coronavirus can be spread from person to person and that is why it is best to avoid close contact with others. It is diagnosed with a laboratory test.
  • Some of the ways to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19 include vaccination, physical distancing, mask-wearing, hand hygiene and staying away from others if you feel sickii.

How does the coronavirus spread?

Researchers know that the coronavirus is spread through droplets and virus particles released into the air when an infected person breathes, talks, laughs, sings, coughs or sneezes. Larger droplets may fall to the ground in a few seconds, but tiny infectious particles can linger in the air and accumulate in indoor places, especially where many people are gathered and there is poor ventilation. This is why mask-wearing, hand hygiene and physical distancing are essential to preventing COVID-19.

How did the coronavirus start?

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 1, 2019, and the cause was a then-new coronavirus later named SARS-CoV-2. SARS-CoV-2 may have originated in an animal and changed (mutated) so it could cause illness in humans. In the past, several infectious disease outbreaks have been traced to viruses originating in birds, pigs, bats and other animals that mutated to become dangerous to humans. Research continues, and more study may reveal how and why the coronavirus evolved to cause pandemic disease.

What is the incubation period for COVID-19?

People begin to show symptoms of COVID-19 within two to 14 days of exposure to the virus. A person infected with the coronavirus is contagious to others for up to two days before symptoms appear, and they remain contagious to others for 10 to 20 days, depending upon their immune system and the severity of their illnessiii.

The World Health Organisation has complied the below explainer video on the origins and characteristics of COVID-19.

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