COVID-19 vaccinations

Vaccination can reduce the risk of serious illness from COVID-19. According to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI). Anyone aged 5 and over is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination. Some children aged between 6 months and under 5 years are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination.

These resources and links provide information on COVID-19 vaccination doses, accessing appointments and information on how you can prepare.

Resources and information

A guide to attending your COVID-19 vaccination appointment — For Autistic young adults and their supporters (PDF)
This resource will support you to feel more confident attending your vaccination appointment and make the process easier to navigate.
This guide will prompt you on what to say and do before, during and after your appointment. It can be used for vaccination appointments at any location, such as a walk-in vaccination clinic, a general practitioner (GP) clinic, a pharmacy or a drive-through clinic.

Video: Going to a vaccination centre to get my COVID-19 vaccine for 5-11 year olds
Amaze and the Victorian Government have produced a three-minute video that follows a 10-year-old child getting a vaccination at a state vaccination centre. The video shows the all steps involved in getting a COVID-19 vaccine, from start to finish. By watching the video, Autistic children can become familiar with what to expect from their vaccination appointment, which can reduce anxiety and lead to a positive vaccination experience. Parents and carers can also use the video to plan any adjustments or additional supports they may need before the appointment.

Patient profile – For my COVID-19 vaccination appointment (DOCX)
Amaze has developed a patient profile template to assist vaccination clinics pre-plan with appointments with autistic patients. It contains examples of information that may be useful for health professionals to support autistic patients have a positive experience. There is also information for autistic patients to prepare before their appointment, such as medical history, where patients may need more time to process the information and respond.

COVID-19 vaccination appointment day checklist (PDF)
These checklists are to help you plan and attend your  vaccination appointment. You can bring these with you on the day of your appointment. They cover different places where you can get vaccinated. You can add your own steps to the checklist.

COVID-19 vaccination appointment planning checklist (PDF)
These checklists are to help you book, plan, and attend your vaccination appointment.

Supporting autistic people to get a COVID-19 vaccination — A guide for health professionals (PDF)
Information sheet that provides a range of strategies and supports that health care professionals can use to support autistic patients to receive quality health care and have a positive experience with health care providers.

COVID-19 vaccination accommodations for autistic people (PDF)
Victorian Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) can provide assistance to people with disability to access COVID-19 vaccinations at Victorian vaccination centers. To enable DLOs to support you, you can discuss specific accommodations that can help make the vaccination process easier.

COVID-19 vaccination social scripts — Amaze (Webpage)
Our social scripts help people to prepare themselves for their vaccination and reduce anxiety by explaining the process with plain English and images.

Creating a social script to explain the COVID-19 vaccination process (PDF)
A social script can help autistic people to prepare for a new situation by providing predictable information in a format that’s easy for them to process. This information sheet provides guidance on how health professionals can create their own social script.

Engaging with vaccine hesitancy — For parents and carers of Autistic children and young adults (PDF)
This information sheet is for parents and carers supporting Autistic children and young people who experience vaccine hesitancy prior to visiting a vaccination clinic. It is designed to give parents and carers a better understanding of the concerns Autistic children may have about vaccination. It also makes suggestions about how to engage with children in ways that are more likely to open pathways to vaccination.


First booster (third dose)

Booster doses are eligible for people aged 16 and over, and can be given from three months after the last primary dose of the COVID-19 vaccination. 

More information on Booster doses

Second booster (fourth dose)

People with disability, including Autistic people, with elevated risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19 are eligible for a fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccination. Amaze understands that poor outcomes include both medical outcomes, and social outcomes. Examples of elevated risk of poor outcomes for Autistic people might be:

  • You have multiple co-occurring conditions and are worried it might result in severe illness requiring hospitalisation
  • You aren’t able to wear a mask consistently, making you feel worried that you are more likely to catch COVID-19
  • You are very worried about having to go to hospital if you get COVID-19, because you find hospitals distressing
  • You would experience challenges if you had to isolate while COVID positive due to your home environment
  • You have caring responsibilities that require you to be healthy and protected from severe illness.

If you are unsure about if you should be getting your fourth dose, we recommend you talk to a trusted health professional, like your GP.

You only need to verbally confirm your eligibility to receive your fourth dose.

Please note, the above advice is applicable in Victoria. We encourage anyone with questions to discuss their circumstances and eligibility for a fourth dose with a trusted health professional.

For most people this second booster dose is the fourth dose, for severely immunocompromised people this second booster dose is the fifth dose.

More information, including other groups that are eligible, is available on the Australian Government Department of Health website

Where to get vaccinated

The following websites provide state-specific information on the COVID-19 vaccine and how to book:

Information and support for people with disability

Information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines — Australian Government Department of Health website
Information about COVID-19 vaccines for people with disability, including eligibility, types of vaccines and how to book an appointment.

Disability Liaison Officers (Victoria only)

Disability Liaison Officers (DLOs) help people with a disability access health services. 

DLOs can:  

  • help book a COVID-19 vaccination, including vaccination at home
  • help organise support for a person with a severe fear of needles regardless of whether or not that person has a disability
  • help to access rapid antigen tests (RATs) or PCR tests
  • help to access a health services

Visit the Victorian Government Coronavirus website for more information and to request support.

On 3 August 2022, ATAGI recommended a paediatric formulation of the Moderna vaccine for children aged between 6 months and under 5 years who are at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Information is available on the Victorian Government website and the Australian Government Department of Health website.

Needle phobia is categorised as a persistent anxiety and fear around medical procedures that involve needles or injections. For those that experience needle phobia, medical treatments such as a vaccination or a blood test can be a very stressful experience. It’s important to remember that needle phobia is real and there is nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. There are many strategies and resources available to help you.

Victorian Government Factsheet — Dealing with needle distress (PDF)
A guide for managing needle distress during immunisation for parents and carers of children.

Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre – Needle phobia
This is a helpful resource on needle phobia, including some short-term strategies. There are some tips for supporting autistic people who have a needle phobia.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust information sheet — Overcoming your needle phobia (fear of needles)
This information sheet explains needle phobia and provides practical advice and strategies that may help. (Please note: This is a UK resource and the contacts listed are not available in Australia) 

Amaze — COVID-19 vaccination social scripts
Social scripts can reduce anxiety about getting a COVID-19 vaccination by describing what to expect through each stage and transition of the appointment.

Need more advice about needle phobia? Contact Autism Connect.
Autism Connect is a free, national autism helpline, providing independent and expert information over phone, email and webchat. Advisors can provide advice around strategies to help you with needle phobia, as well as tips on how you can prepare for your vaccination appointment. Call 1300 308 699 to speak to an advisor, or use the webchat on this website.

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