COVID-19 testing and vaccinations

COVID-19 vaccinations

Information last updated: 14 April 2022

Testing for COVID-19 

Testing locations can be found on the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website.

When to get tested

Everyone’s first option should be to use a rapid antigen test.

They are quick and highly accurate, particularly if you have symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.

  • If you have symptoms or you are a contact, and you can’t access a rapid antigen test, you should get a PCR test.
  • If you can’t access either test at the moment, isolate at home until you can.

If you test positive on a rapid antigen test, you are a case and you must follow your checklist and report your result

Free rapid antigen tests (RATs)

You can now pick up rapid antigen tests (RATs) for free from the following Merri-bek City Council locations:

These rapid antigen tests are provided by the Victorian Government to help with early detection and treatment of COVID-19.

  • You can collect up to 2 packets for yourself, plus up to 2 packets for each household member per visit.
  • People with a disability or their carer can collect up to 4 packets of tests.

You do not need a Medicare or Concession card.

1 packet contains 5 rapid antigen tests. There is no limit on how often you can collect rapid antigen tests.

COVID-19 vaccines in Australia

COVID-19 vaccines are currently available for everyone aged 5 years and over. These vaccines are safe, and they are free for everyone in Australia (even if you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident).

These vaccines are designed to help keep you and your community safe from COVID-19. 

You can find out which vaccine you are eligible for and where you can get the vaccine using the Vaccine Clinic Finder tool on the Australian Government’s Department of Health website.

All vaccines protect people from becoming very ill from COVID-19

All of the vaccines available in Australia are designed to protect people from becoming very ill from COVID-19. They are particularly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalisation, and death.

Getting your vaccination helps to protect individuals and communities by reducing the spread and severity of COVID-19.

The best person to talk to if you have concerns about your health and being vaccinated against COVID-19 is your doctor or regular health professional.

Information about boosters

While primary doses of COVID-19 vaccines provide protection, against severe disease, staying up to date on your vaccines will make sure the protection is even stronger and longer-lasting.

Staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines increases your protection against:

  • infection with the virus that causes COVID-19
  • severe disease
  • dying from COVID-19

A booster will continue to protect you, your loved ones, and your community against COVID-19. These vaccines are free for everyone. The booster dose is not mandatory. They are recommended to maintain immunity against COVID-19.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends waiting 6 months after your most recent COVID-19 vaccination or infection to receive your next COVID-19 vaccination.

Learn more about booster doses for COVID-19 vaccines on the Australian Department of Health website.

The Influenza (flu) vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine can be co-administered (that is, given on the same day and one after the other) with the flu vaccine. There is no requirement for a time interval between these vaccines.

The most common way to access the flu vaccine is through your doctor (GP) or a pharmacist immuniser. Some workplaces also provide flu vaccine programs free for staff. 

Support services and help with COVID-19 vaccination bookings

We are here to help if you need support with the following:

  • Access to support services
  • Help booking a vaccine

Phone our COVID-19 support service on 8311 4140 between 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and we can assist you with getting the support services you need. This includes support to assist you in making a COVID-19 vaccination booking.

You can find out more about support services on our COVID-19 support page.

Make a booking

Book a vaccine appointment at a participating general practice, pharmacy or community health service on the Vaccine Clinic Finder website.

Hotline and translation

The Department of Health’s Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398 can help you book an appointment. They can answer questions you have about vaccination. You can find out more about this hotline on the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website.

For school information in languages other than English, call TIS National on 131 450. Please ask them to call the DET COVID-19 hotline on 1800 338 663 and they will help interpret.

COVID-19 vaccinations at home

The Victorian Government has an at-home appointment system for COVID-19 vaccinations. An at-home appointment means a healthcare professional (such as a doctor or nurse) visits your home to give you a COVID-19 vaccine.

Depending on wait times, it may take a little longer for you to get vaccinated using this service compared to attending a vaccination clinic, general practice, or pharmacy. To book an at-home appointment, call the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 675 398. If you need an interpreter, call the hotline and then press 0.

On the day of your at-home COVID-19 vaccine appointment, it will take about 45 minutes to get your vaccine. You can find out more about what to expect from an at-home COVID-19 vaccine appointment on the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website.

People with special requirements or a disability (and their carers) are encouraged to contact a Disability Liaison Officer (DLO) who can help with their booking. You can contact a DLO by:

You can learn more about vaccine information for people with a disability or special requirements, including information about DLOs, on the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website.

Where to learn more about vaccination

The following information about COVID-19 vaccines is available on the Australian Government’s Department of Health website.

You can find out which vaccine you are eligible for and where you can get this vaccine using the Vaccine Clinic Finder tool on the Australian Government’s Department of Health website.

Vaccination resources in other languages

The documents below contain information about COVID-19 vaccinations in a range of languages.

Translated information about vaccines

Translated information about the COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia is available on the Victorian Government’s Coronavirus website.

You can also find translated information about COVID-19 on the Victorian Government’s Cornavirus website and on the SBS website.

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