Healthy living

COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccination against COVID-19 helps to ensure you have the most protection available against the effects of the virus, and it can help keep friends, family, and other members of our community protected too.

The COVID-19 vaccine is free for all eligible individuals. Appointment fees may apply. Contact your immunisation provider for more information.

Additional (booster) doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Protection provided from COVID-19 vaccination begins to wane over time. COVID-19 vaccine boosters help strengthen your immune system and improve your long-term protection from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 booster eligibility checker (external site) can be used to determine whether you are eligible for a COVID-19 booster.

75 years and older

A COVID-19 booster dose is recommended every 6 months.

18-74 years

A COVID-19 booster dose is recommended every 12 months.

A COVID-19 booster dose should be considered every 6 months for:

  • Adults aged 65–74 years
  • Adults aged 18–64 years with severe immunocompromise.

5-17 years

A COVID-19 booster dose is not recommended for children under the age of 18.

If your child has severe immunocompromise a booster dose may be considered

Children under 5 years

A COVID-19 booster dose is not recommended for children under 5 years of age.

Where can i get vaccinated?

The COVID-19 vaccine is available from immunisation providers such as participating GPs and community pharmacies.

For more information, please speak to your healthcare provider or find out where you can get immunised.

Proof of vaccination

WA’s mandatory vaccination policy no longer applies, however individual employers, workplaces, and certain professions may require their employees and visitors to be vaccinated against COVID-19. You may also be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel overseas.

It is advisable to check with the organisation to confirm what proof of vaccination you may be required to provide.

For vaccinations received in Australia, examples of proof could include:

  • immunisation history statement (external site), with an acceptable form of ID, (shows your COVID-19 vaccinations and all other vaccinations you have had that are on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)).
  • Written confirmation of vaccination issued by the Department of Health, with an acceptable form of ID.

In addition to the above, the following apps can also be used to show proof of your COVID-19 vaccinations:

Vaccinations received overseas

If you received an approved COVID-19 vaccine overseas (external site), you can have it recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) when you return to Australia.

You can ask a registered vaccination provider (like a GP or pharmacy) to record your overseas COVID-19 vaccinations on the AIR, even if you’ve received mixed doses of approved vaccines.

You will need to provide documentation in English of your vaccination. A free translating service (external site) is available if you need help to translate your document. If you need an interpreter, please call the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS) on 131 450.

Once they’ve been added, you’ll be able to use your COVID-19 digital certificate or immunisation history statement as proof of your COVID-19 vaccinations.

Visit the Services Australia How to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccine website (external site) or adding overseas vaccinations (external site) for information. 

Vaccine safety

All vaccines available in Australia undergo rigorous testing and are only made available once they have been proven safe and effective for use by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) (external site). The TGA also continuously monitors COVID-19 vaccine safety and side effects (externl site).

Learn more about vaccination safety.

Potential side effects

Some people experience common reactions such as pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, mild fever, muscle aches and/or drowsiness. Specific treatment is not usually required.

Any medicine, including COVID-19 vaccines, can have potentially serious side effects, such as severe allergic reaction. However, the risk of this is extremely small.

Learn more about the possible side effects of vaccination and how to manage them.

When to seek help

Serious reactions, like allergic reactions, are extremely rare. If you have a reaction that is unexpected, or if you are unsure, consult with your immunisation provider.

If you believe your reaction is severe or life-threatening you should call triple zero (000) for an ambulance or go to your closest emergency department.

Concerns about side effects

Any reactions causing you concern, whether minor or serious, should be reported to the Western Australian Vaccine Safety Surveillance (WAVSS) system (external site).

The WAVSS system is the central reporting service in WA for any significant adverse events following immunisation.

If you have experienced an adverse event (reaction) to a vaccine:

Your immunisation provider such as the doctor (GP) or other health professional should report all suspected significant reactions, but you can also do it yourself.

Last reviewed: 04-07-2024