Booking Options for our COVID-19 Vaccination Service

Our list of participating pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccinations is increasing with new stores being regularly added. Stores that are now offering COVID-19 AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer vaccination are listed below. Click on your relevant store to make a direct booking. It is important to ensure you are eligible for the AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer vaccine. If you are unsure, please use the eligibility checker here prior to booking your appointment.

COVID Vaccination Locations

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COVID FAQs

What is the difference between COVID-19 and the flu?

The initial symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are often very similar. They can both cause fever and similar respiratory symptoms, which can range from mild to severe. See below for a comparative guide. While these are similar, it has been found the COVID-19 has resulted in more severe and critical cases than the flu.

Both viruses are transmitted the same way, by sneezing or coughing, or by contact with hands, surfaces or objectives that are contaminated by the virus. Therefore, it is important that you follow good hand hygiene, good respiratory etiquette and good household cleaning behaviours.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of COVID-19 can be similar to those of a cold or flu. They include:

  • Fever
  • Sore Throat
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing

Some patients may have very mild symptoms and, as such, may not associate their symptoms with COVID-19.

How long does the infection last?

The infection period varies between people and can be dependent on their previous health status. Mild symptoms in an otherwise healthy person may only last a few days whereas for an individual with existing health issues such as a respiratory condition, recovery could take weeks. Severe cases can be fatal.

How is it spread?

COVID-19 is most likely spread from person to person contact. This includes:

  • Direct close contact with a person who is infectious, or in the 24 hours before their symptoms appeared
  • Close contact with a person who has a confirmed infection who coughs or sneezes
  • Touching objects or surfaces such as door handles or tables, that are contaminated from a cough or sneeze from a person with COVID-19, and then touching your mouth or face.

Who is most at risk?

In Australia, those most at risk of catching COVID-19 are those who have been in close contact with someone who is a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Those most at risk of a serious infection from COVID-19 are:

  • People with compromised immune systems, such as people with cancer
  • The elderly
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

People with chronic medical conditions like:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Lung disease
  • People in group residential settings.
  • People in detention facilities.

How is COVID-19 treated?

There is currently no treatment for COVID-19. Some medications may provide comfort and alleviate symptoms of COVID-19 however there is no medication proven to prevent or cure the disease.

How can I protect myself and others against contracting COVID-19?

The best protection methods include practicing good hygiene and social distancing.

Good hygiene includes:

  • Covering your cough or sneeze with your elbow or a tissue
  • Disposing of tissues properly and promptly
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Washing your hands regularly with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand sanitiser, especially before and after eating and after going to the toilet
  • Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces
  • If you are sick, avoid contact with others

 

We still need to social distance

Social distancing can help slow the spread of infectious diseases and is particularly important to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19. While practicing social distancing, people can travel to work (including public transport). For non-essential activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare, social distancing includes:

  • staying at home if you are unwell
  • avoiding large public gatherings and crowds if they are non-essential
  • avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example family celebrations
  • attempting to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and other people where possible, for example when you are out and about in public place.
  • avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people
  • avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.

Should I get a flu vaccine?

Having the flu and COVID-19 at the same time can make you very ill. It is therefore important to reduce risk of the flu, which can be done by receiving a flu vaccination. There are available from your local pharmacist with vaccines arriving into pharmacies. Visit your pharmacy to make an appointment or book online now.

What should someone do if they are feeling unwell?

If a person develops any of the above symptoms they should call the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 020 080, seek medical advice and get tested. Testing can be done at a free COVID-19 respiratory clinic, to see locations Click Here, or through your regular doctor.

Who should be tested?

Anyone who is sick and thinks they have the symptoms of COVID-19 should seek medical attention and get tested. If you’re not sure, contact your doctor or call the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 020 080

What is social distancing and how does it help?

Social distancing can help slow the spread of infectious diseases and is particularly important to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19. While practicing social distancing, people can travel to work (including public transport). For non-essential activities outside the workplace or attendance at schools, universities and childcare, social distancing includes:

  • Staying at home if you are unwell
  • Avoiding large public gatherings and crowds if they are non-essential
  • Avoiding small gatherings in enclosed spaces, for example family celebrations
  • Attempting to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between yourself and other people where possible, for example when you are out and about in public place.
  • Avoiding shaking hands, hugging, or kissing other people
  • Avoiding visiting vulnerable people, such as those in aged care facilities or hospitals, infants, or people with compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.

The government has implemented policies on organised gatherings including:

  • Limiting organised gatherings to fewer than 500 people
  • Limiting meetings or conferences for critical workforce members such as healthcare professionals and emergency services.

All Australians are encouraged to exercise personal responsibility for social distancing, however these restrictions do not currently apply to workplaces, schools, universities, shops, supermarkets, public transport or airports. If you are feeling unwell or have travelled overseas in the past 14 days, you should re-consider attending non-essential gatherings.

What does 'isolate in your home' or 'self-isolation' mean?

Some people may be asked to “self-isolate”. At the moment, this includes:

  • Anyone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 (self-isolate until advised by the Public Health Officer)
  • Anyone who has arrived in Australia from overseas from midnight 15th March (self-isolate for 14 days)
  • Anyone who has been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, including if the contact occurred within 24 hours prior to the onset of symptoms (self-isolate for 14 days from the date of close contact)
  • Anyone who has been tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting results (self-isolate until advised by your doctor or testing facility)

Please note that the list above criteria are subject to change. Please visit https://www.health.gov.au/ for the most up-to-date information.

Self-isolating means you:

  • Do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university
  • Do not use public transport, taxis or ride-share services like Uber
  • Ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
  • Do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home

Those in self-isolation can still:

  • Go outside on their property (eg. Backyards or balconies)
  • Go for walks outside, staying 1.5m away from other people
  • Use shared facilities like bathrooms and kitchens in shared homes. Ensure thorough cleaning of surfaces in these areas after each use.

You do not need to wear a mask in your home.

If you need medical attention, call ahead to your doctor and follow their instructions. They may ask you to wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others if you do need to visit the doctor in person.

You should stay in touch by phone and on-line with your family and friends.

What does it mean to 'flatten the curve'?

A number of media articles and stories have referred to control measures being put in place in order to ‘flatten the curve’. What this is referring to is staggering the rate of COVID-19 cases to ensure the hospital and healthcare system can better cope. If too many people become infected with the virus at one time, the health system resources available to triage, test, treat and support those people can quickly come overwhelmed. Protective measures might not necessarily reduce the number of people who become infected with COVID-19 overall, however it ensures the number of people infected at one time is limited to reduce the strain on resources and ultimately to try to reduce mortality rate

What is the difference between COVID-19 and the flu?

The initial symptoms of COVID-19 and the flu are often very similar. They both cause fever and similar respiratory symptoms, which can range from mild to severe. See below for a comparative guide. While these are similar, it has been found the COVID-19 has resulted in more severe and critical cases than the flu.

The speed of transmission also differs between COVID-19 and the flu. The flu has a shorter incubation period (the time from infection to appearance of symptoms) of 2 days. Whereas COVID-19 has a longer incubation period, currently estimated to be between 2-14 days to develop symptoms according to the CDC. This means that the flu can spread faster the COVID-19.

Both viruses are transmitted the same way, by sneezing or coughing, or by contact with hands, surfaces or objectives that are contaminated by the virus. Therefore, it is important that you follow good hand hygiene, good respiratory etiquette and good household cleaning behaviours.

What should you do if you come into contact with a person who has been identified as a contact (as above)?

If you have been in contact with a person identified as a close contact of another person with confirmed COVID-19 infection, you do not need to self-isolate (although the close contact themselves does) and do not need to take any other special precautions.

If a close contact develops symptoms and is confirmed as a COVID-19 case, public health authorities will determine who, if anyone, has been in close contact with them while they were infectious, and these people will be directed to self-isolate.

Can I still get my regular prescription and over-the-counter medicines?

In order to ensure equitable access to essential medicines for all Australians, the Government has announced new limits on the purchase quantities of some medications across all Australian pharmacies.

Effective as of 19th March 2020, the new limits include:

  • Certain essential prescription medications limited to 1 months’ supply at a time
  • Certain over-the-counter medications limited to 1 unit per purchase
  • Children’s paracetamol products will be placed behind the counter
  • Your pharmacist may need to ask you additional questions when supplying behind-the-counter medications

If you have any questions about how this affects your medications, please ask your pharmacist.

Vaccination FAQs

Which COVID-19 vaccine are you providing at your Pharmacies?

The participating WholeLife pharmacies will at this stage be administering the AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccination only. If you have questions relating to your suitability for this vaccine, please consult with your doctor.

How did the vaccine get created and approved so quickly?

Researchers and government departments like Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration have been dedicated to developing and rigorously testing COVID-19 vaccines without compromising safety and effectiveness. This global collaboration has meant the COVID-19 vaccines could move through all the regular stages of vaccine development and implementation simultaneously rather than one after another. [vii]

Is the vaccine safe?

The most commonly reported side effects from COVID-19 vaccines are headache, aches and pains, fever, and tenderness at the site of injection. These side effects are typical of many vaccines, and usually last only a day or two. Investigation is continuing into rare but serious side effects of COVID-19 vaccines.[viii]

The Therapeutic Goods Administration’s safety monitoring team of doctors, pharmacists, nurses and scientists are closely monitoring any reported side effects from the vaccine to investigate any safety issues.

Up-to-date information regarding vaccine safety and vaccine recommendations can be found here and here.

Speak to your pharmacist or doctor if you have concerns about side-effects of COVID-19 vaccines or which vaccine is most appropriate for you.

How and when can I have both flu and COVID vaccines? Can they be administered at the same time?

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) currently recommends that patients receive the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 at least 7 days apart where possible.[ix]

Do I need to have the second vaccine?

The vaccines available in Australia require two doses (both doses of the same type) to provide the best protection against COVID-19.[x]

Can I have the COVID vaccine if I have a health condition?

For most people with existing health conditions, receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is still recommended – see here for further information. Speak with your doctor to find out what’s right for you.

Who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Everyone in Australia will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine. Use the Department of Health’s Eligibility Checker to see when you can book your vaccine

If I have the vaccine, will it stop me from ever getting COVID?

The COVID-19 vaccine may not stop you from ever getting COVID-19, but both the Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines have been shown to be effective at stopping people from becoming very ill or dying if they catch COVID-19.[xi]

Was COVID put into the vaccine?

There is no live virus in the COVID-19 vaccine. Most COVID-19 vaccines contain a spike protein that looks like the spikes on the outside of the COVID-19 virus particle or stimulate the body to produce this spike protein. The immune system recognises this spike protein and produces antibodies.[xii]

Can my pharmacist administer the vaccine?

WholeLife pharmacists administering COVID-19 vaccinations have completed extensive training regarding vaccinations generally, as well as specific training for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Do I have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccine?

No. The COVID-19 vaccine is currently free to everyone in Australia.

Where will I receive my vaccination in the pharmacy?

You will receive your vaccine in a safe, private space within the pharmacy.

Booster Vaccinations FAQs

When will I be able to book an appointment for a booster vaccination at WholeLife?

Availability of booster vaccinations is currently limited, but available appointment are expected to grow. If you don’t see an appointment that suits you, please check back again soon.

Who is eligible?

Anyone over 18 years old who had their second dose of any COVID-19 vaccination at least 6 months ago is eligible for a COVID-19 booster vaccination.[xiii]

How long should I wait before getting my booster shot?

Anyone over 18 years old who had their second dose of any COVID-19 vaccination at least 6 months ago is likely to benefit from a COVID-19 booster vaccination.[xiv]

Can my booster shot be a different TGA approved vaccine than my earlier vaccines?

Yes. You can have a COVID-19 booster vaccination 6 or more months after your second dose of any COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of the brand of COVID-19 vaccination you had for your first and second doses – see here for further information.

Are the COVID-19 booster vaccines the same vaccines as first and second dose vaccines or is this a different strain?

The current COVID-19 vaccination contains the same vaccine as a first or second or booster dose vaccine.[xv]

How doe sthe booster vaccine work together with the other two doses of vaccine to give me optimal protection from COVID-19?

The first dose of your vaccine will stimulate your body to begin to build up an immune response against COVID-19. The second dose will boost your immune response to give you long-term protection. Your booster dose will then give you the most protection possible against COVID-19, for the longest period of time.

iDepartment of Health
https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/03/coronavirus-covid-19-frequently-asked-questions_3.pdf

iiThe Royal Women’s Hospital.
https://www.thewomens.org.au/news/update-on-covid-19-from-the-womens-1603

iiiNSW Government.
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus-faqs.aspx#1-10

ivDepartment of Health
https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/what-you-need-to-know-about-coronavirus-covid-19#getting-tested

vMeredith Health Group.
https://www.health.com/condition/infectious-diseases/coronavirus/flatten-the-curve-meaning

viNSW Government
https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus-faqs.aspx#1-10

viihttps://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/is-it-true/is-it-true-were-covid-19-vaccines-developed-too-quickly-to-be-safe

viiihttps://www.tga.gov.au/covid-19-vaccine-safety-monitoring-and-reporting

ixhttps://www.health.gov.au/news/updated-atagi-advice-on-administering-seasonal-influenza-vaccines-in-2021

xhttps://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/is-it-true/is-it-true-do-people-have-to-receive-two-doses-and-do-they-have-to-be-the-same-type-of-covid-19-vaccine-for-it-to-be-effective and https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-atagi-clinical-guidance-on-covid-19-vaccine-in-australia-in-2021

xihttps://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-atagi-clinical-guidance-on-covid-19-vaccine-in-australia-in-2021

xiihttps://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/is-it-true/is-it-true-can-covid-19-vaccines-give-you-covid-19

xivhttps://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/getting-your-vaccination/booster-doses

xvhttps://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/atagi-recommendations-on-the-use-of-a-booster-dose-of-covid-19-vaccine

xvihttps://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/10/atagi-recommendations-on-the-use-of-a-booster-dose-of-covid-19-vaccine.pdf