03 9370 3322
03 9370 3677
73 Union Road
Ascot Vale, VIC 3032
If you require a Covid19 vaccination, we suggest you attend one of the dedicated vaccination hubs.
Vaccination hub locations can be found here https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-centres
COVID 19 – COMMON QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
The various vaccine have been developed too quickly – How can we be sure it is safe?
What are the possible side-effects of the vaccines?
Can you get COVID-19 from the different vaccines and can the vaccines change your genetic code?
Now that I have received the vaccine, do I still need to follow physical distancing and wear a mask when recommended?
Should I take paracetamol or ibuprofen before and after the COVID-19 vaccination?
Can I get my influenza vaccine at the same time as my COVID-19 vaccine?
Will the vaccines prevent COVID-19 infection or just severe symptoms?
This depends on the brand of vaccine administered - refer to ATAGI clinical guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine in Australia in 2021 for more details on dose timing.
Certain viruses, including the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, naturally mutate over time. Often these mutations don’t impact how viruses affect us. However, some recent variants of SARS-CoV-2 are more easily spread and appear to be associated with increased numbers of cases in some countries.
Current evidence from clinical trials indicates that the antibodies induced from COVID-19 vaccines are likely to provide protection to a variety of mutations and minor changes. However, in some cases there may be an impact on how antibody developed from vaccines based on the original strain can ‘neutralise’ the virus. This may mean that the effectiveness of the current vaccines against this particular strain could be affected. This information is still emerging and is being closely monitored.
In the same way that the influenza vaccine changes each season, the technology used to create the COVID-19 vaccines may be able to be adapted to changes in variants.
As clinical trials are ongoing, and people have only started to be vaccinated in some other countries since around December 2020, we do not yet know how long immunity from the COVID-19 vaccine will last. We will gather more information about the duration of protection over the coming months.
The COVID-19 vaccines we will have in Australia have already been shown to be safe and effective, and it is strongly recommended to get vaccinated as soon as you are offered a vaccine.
Having a COVID-19 vaccine now offers you and others protection against the disease and is the fastest way to reducing our need for strict COVID-19 related measures.
Having one course of COVID-19 vaccination now will not mean you will not be eligible to have another COVID-19 vaccine in future – it is possible that additional or booster doses of vaccine are needed in the future. More data will come on this over time.
It is important that the COVID-19 vaccine is available to the entire population, even people with a past history of COVID-19.
The vaccine clinical trials included some previously infected people (who had a blood test showing past infection). These people responded to the vaccine well. They had a good immune response and had similar mild and expected side effects to people who weren’t previously infected.
If you have previously been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should talk to your healthcare provider about the best time to have a COVID-19 vaccination. You may be advised to wait until around 6 months after you have recovered from COVID-19 to have your vaccine.
Your body will develop an immune response within 2–3 weeks after the first dose and will be partially protected. However, all people need a second dose to achieve maximum and longer lasting protection.
Some people who have just had one dose of the vaccine may develop COVID-19 disease. If you are infected and have only had one dose of vaccine, you will still be able to have the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine, but you may be advised to delay the second dose for around 6 months after you have recovered from COVID-19.
Some people may also develop COVID-19 disease after two doses; however, it is expected symptoms will not be severe. Further evidence is awaited that will provide more insight on this.
For more information it is advised that women talk to their healthcare provider and refer to the COVID-19 vaccination decision guide for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning pregnancy.
Almost all people with allergies can have a COVID-19 vaccine. This includes people with food allergies, asthma or hayfever.
People who have had anaphylaxis (a type of severe allergic reaction) to a particular COVID-19 vaccine, or to an ingredient of a COVID-19 vaccine, should not have another dose of that vaccine. They may be able to have an alternative brand of COVID-19 vaccine.
For some people, precautions may be needed before vaccination, such as consulting an allergy specialist, being vaccinated in a facility which has medical staff and being observed for at least 30 minutes after vaccination.
This applies to people in the following groups:
If you have had anaphylaxis (a type of severe allergic reaction) to a previous dose of a COVID-19, or to one of its ingredients, you should speak with your healthcare provider who can help to determine whether it will be safe for you to have an alternative COVID-19 vaccine.
If you had a suspected allergic reaction which was not anaphylaxis after a COVID-19 vaccine, or to one of its ingredients, you may still be able to have the second dose of the vaccine, but in some cases precautions are needed such as a longer period of observation after vaccination or referral for allergy testing.
You can find out more about the ingredients in COVID-19 vaccines in the Consumer Medicine Information, which is available on the TGA website.
In general, medication should not be stopped before having a vaccine, but there are a few situations in which people might be advised to either delay vaccination or delay a particular medication:
People taking other medications should continue their regular treatment before and after vaccination.
All vaccines can cause side effects. Usually these are mild. Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines have reported side effects such as pain at the injection site, fever or muscle aches starting on the day or day after vaccination.
Comirnaty (Pfizer) is generally well tolerated and most side effects are mild and short-lived. COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can also cause side effects that are usually mild to moderate, appear within the first day after vaccination and generally go away within a few days. The most common side effects for both vaccines include pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever. These side effects are temporary and go away without treatment in 1–2 days.