| 03.05,21. 09:06 AM |
All Australians over 50 are eligible for the AstraZeneca shot today. Here's what you should do if that's you
Fast-tracking vaccines for over 50s means about 6 million more people are now eligible for the shot. (Source: Getty Images)
All Australians over the age of 50 are eligible to receive an AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine as of today.
The shot will now be offered at General Practice Respiratory Clinics, as well as state and territory mass vaccination clinics.
But Australians over 50 may have to wait until Monday, May 17, before they can receive the vaccine at their regular GP clinics, if those clinics are participating in the rollout.
National Cabinet last month agreed to fast-track the vaccination of Australians over the age of 50 after the Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) changed its advice to recommend the Pfizer shot for people under 50.
However, the TGA says the AstraZeneca shot is safe for people over 50.
Bringing the vaccinations forward for people over 50 means almost 6 million Australians not yet vaccinated in the 50- to 69-year-old cohort of phase 2a of the rollout are now eligible for the shot.
Federal government estimates suggest up to 16 million people between the ages of 16 and 49 are in phase 2b, which has yet to be vaccinated.
You can book your vaccination appointment at selected GP clinics, GP Respiratory Clinics and some state and territory government clinics.
There's no other criteria you need to meet besides being 50 or older.
You can book by following the prompts on the federal government's Health Direct website's eligibility criteria checker, which will take you to a list of available clinics.
Some clinics only allow bookings to be made over the phone; others have online portals.
You can also call the national coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline on 1800 020 080 for details about which clinic to call, but call centre staff are unable to book an appointment on your behalf.
When booking, remember that you should wait at least 14 days between having the seasonal flu shot and your COVID-19 vaccine.
Make sure you bring your Medicare card, if you have one.
If you don't have a Medicare card, you can still receive a vaccine but you'll have to go through a GP-led Respiratory Clinic or a state vaccination clinic.