Vaccinations protect you and your family against serious illnesses

NHC members can access a range of vaccinations at each of our clinics. Whether it’s a flu shot, protection for your young family or a booster for adults, our doctors and nursing team are here to help you get the protection you need.

COVID-19 vaccinations are now available for eligible patients

COVID-19 vaccinations can now be booked at our Evatt, Macquarie, Higgins, Kippax and Chisholm clinics.

Bookings are currently exclusively for Phase 1B of the Australian Government’s rollout and all patients must comply with the eligibility requirements for this phase to receive a vaccination.  Please check your eligibility using the Department of Health’s eligibility checker before booking.  All COVID-19 vaccinations will be bulk billed and you do not need to be an NHC member to get vaccinated at our clinics.

Following updated advice for the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), patients aged under 50 will need to speak with their GP before recieving the AstraZeneca vaccine to ensure vaccination is appropriate.  You can book with a GP at the NHC – even if you’re not an NHC Member – or bring a note from your regular GP to your vaccination appointment.

COVID-19 vaccinations can be booked for the following times and locations – please select the practitioner set up specifically for the COVID-19 vaccination, not your regular GP.

 

Macquarie

Mon – Thurs: 10:30am – 12:30pm and 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Friday: 10:30am – 12:30pm

Book Appointment

Kippax

Mon – Tues: 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Wed – 9am – 11am and 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Thurs – Fri: 9am – 11am

Book Appointment

Evatt

Mon – Thurs: 9am – 11am and 2:30pm – 4:30pm

 

Book Appointment

Higgins

Tues: 10:30am – 12:30pm and 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Fri:  2:30pm – 4:30pm

Book Appointment

Chisholm

Monday: 10:30am – 12:30pm and 2:30pm – 4:30pm

Thurs-Fri: 9am – 11am and 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Book Appointment

Coombs

Starting from 20th April on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Book Appointment

BEFORE YOU BOOK IN –

  • Ensure you are eligible for Phase 1B using the Department of Health’s eligibility checker.
  • Check that your Medicare card is up to date. No vaccinations will be administered to patients who don’t bring a valid Medicare card to their appointment.
    • If you don’t have a Medicare card you will still be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine, however you will need to attend a General Practitioner led Respiratory Clinic or an ACT Government vaccination clinic.
  • Review our FAQ below and the Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccines website for important information about the vaccine and speak with your GP if you have any questions or concerns.

 

BOOKING AND PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT –

  • You can now book in for vaccinations at Evatt, Macquarie, Chisholm, Kippax and Higgins. Please select the practitioner “COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic”, not your regular GP.
  • If you are aged under 50, you will need to first speak with your GP prior to receiving the COVID-19 vaccination at the NHC.  You can book in with one of our GPs (at no cost for non-members) or bring a note from a GP to your vaccination appointment.  We will not be administering vaccinations to patients aged under 50 who haven’t had a GP confirm that vaccination is appropriate in their circumstance.

 

ON THE DAY –

  • All patients must bring the following to the clinic to receive their vaccination.
    • A valid Medicare card.
    • Identification which proves eligibility for Phase 1B – see the FAQ below for more information.
  • There will be large numbers of patients coming through the clinic and we appreciate your co-operation to maintain a COVID-safe environment.
    • Do not attend your appointment if you report any COVID symptoms.
    • Follow all instructions from staff when in the clinic and maintain social distancing at all stages. Hand sanitizer and masks are available and we encourage you to use them.
    • Please only bring others to your appointment if absolutely necessary.

 

COVID-19 Vaccination – Detailed FAQ

SAFETY AND EFFECTIVENESS:

What has been done to ensure COVID-19 vaccinations are safe for the public?

All vaccines in Australia vaccine must pass the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) rigorous assessments for quality, safety and efficacy.

Whilst the global pandemic has accelerated the development of COVID-19 vaccines, the TGA has maintained high standards in reviewing and processing COVID-19 vaccines for approval in Australia.

More informationDepartment of Health.

Which vaccines are approved for use in Australia?

Currently there are two vaccines which have been approved by the TGA for distribution in Australia, produced by Pfizer and AstraZeneca respectively. 

Both vaccines are delivered in two doses, requiring two separate appointments.  The time between doses differs for the two vaccines (see below).

More informationTGA website

How effective are COVID-19 vaccines?

Both approved vaccines have gone through rigorous trials to prove their effectiveness, as a requirement for approval from the TGA.

At this stage the vaccines have been shown to prevent the development of severe COVID-19 disease, but it may still be possible to be infected with, and to transmit (spread) COVID-19 to other people.  For this reason, it is important to be tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms, even after you have been vaccinated.

More informationDepartment of Health.

How long does the vaccine provide protection for?

It isn’t known at this point for how long the vaccination will remain effective and it is possible that further vaccination may be required in the future.

Initial clinical trials indicate that the vaccines approved for use in Australia may stimulate the production of antibodies against new mutations and variants of COVID-19, however research is not yet conclusive.

More informationDepartment of Health.

Are there any known potential side effects for the COVID-19 vaccines?

UPDATE 14th April – The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has provided updated advice regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine – which is the vaccine currently being distributed at all GP clinics including ours.  This is due to rare but serious instances of blood clotting, please read the latest information on the vaccine and speak with your GP if you have any questions.

You may experience minor side effects after being vaccinated for COVID-19.  These generally pass in a few days and don’t cause ongoing health complications.

Common reactions to vaccination include:

  • Pain, redness and/or swelling where you received the needle.
  • Mild fever.
  • Headache.

 

Serious reactions such as allergic reactions are extremely rare. They typically occur within 15 minutes of receiving a vaccine. After you receive your vaccine, you should wait this amount of time before you leave to ensure your safety in case a reaction occurs.

Use the COVID-19 vaccine side effects symptom checker if you have concerns about any symptoms after your vaccine. The checker is also available through the National Coronavirus Helpline, 1800 020 080, 24 hours a day.

The COVID-19 vaccine side effects symptom checker is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult a medical professional for serious symptoms or emergencies.

More information:  Department of Health.

Can I catch COVID-19 from the vaccination?

No. Neither of the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in Australia contain live coronaviruses. Therefore, the virus is unable to multiply and grow to cause an infection.

It is possible to catch the virus in the days before you get vaccinated and have symptoms appear afterwards.  This adds to the importance of getting tested for COVID-19 even after you’ve been vaccinated.

ELIGIBILITY:

Who is COVID-19 vaccination available for?

The Australian Government is extending the COVID vaccine to everyone in Australia at no cost and with no requirement for a referral or prescription from your GP.  This is not just Australian citizens and permanent residents, but also those in Australia on temporary work, study or visitor visas.

More information: Department of Health.

At the National Health Co-op all members of the community are welcome to book in for a COVID-19 vaccination.  NHC membership is not required to receive this vaccination.  Ensure your Medicare card is up to date as this will be a requirement to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the NHC.  For those who don’t have a Medicare card – for example if you’re in Australia on a temporary visa – you will still be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine, however you will need to attend a General Practitioner led Respiratory Clinic or an ACT Government vaccination clinic.

Is there anyone the COVID-19 vaccination is currently NOT recommended for?

Every patient is different and before getting any vaccination it is always advisable to speak with your GP about whether it is suitable for you.  COVID-19 vaccinations are no exception.

Following updated advice from the Australian Technical Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), patients aged under 50 should consider their need to get vaccinated at this time.  If you are in this age group and wish to receive a vaccination at the NHC, you will need to first see a GP to check whether vaccination is appropriate in your circumstance.  This can be either one of our GPs (non-members will not be charged for the appointment) or you can bring a note from a GP elsewhere to your vaccination appointment.  If you have already had your first dose without severe side effects, that current advice is that you continue with your second dose as planned – at least 12 weeks after the first.

Particular precaution for the COVID-19 vaccine is advised for patients who –

  • Have an existing medical condition or disability.
  • Have a comprised immune system or allergies.
  • Are pregnant, breastfeeding or planning to start a family. The Department of Health provides a detailed guide here.
  • Are elderly or frail.

More information: Department of Health.

Can I get vaccinated if I’ve already had COVID-19?

Even if you have had COVID-19 and recovered you are eligible to get vaccinated and the general advice from the Department of Health is to do so.  However, you should speak with your doctor regarding the appropriate time period between recovery from the virus and vaccination.

More informationDepartment of Health.

When can I get vaccinated?

The Australian Government has developed a phased rollout for COVID-19 vaccines here in Australia which prioritises groups at most risk.  The exact timing for each phase is not established at this time.

All vaccinations delivered by the National Health Co-op will be in line with the phases and guidelines dictated by the Government.  No exceptions will be made, even where there is an existing clinical relationship with the patient.

Please use the Department of Health’s eligibility checker to see which phase you will be a part of and speak with your GP if you’re unclear.

THE VACCINATION PROCESS AND APPOINTMENTS:

How should I prepare to receive the vaccine?

Following updated advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immigration (ATAGI), patients aged under 50 will now need to see a GP prior to vaccination to check if it’s appropirate in their circumstance.  You can either see one of our GPs (at no cost for non-members) or bring a note from a GP to your vaccination appointment.  We will not be administering vaccinations to any patients under 50 who have not had a GP confirm that it is appropriate.

Preparation for the vaccine doesn’t require any departure from your normal lifestyle in the days leading up to the appointment.  It is helpful to ensure your Medicare details are up to date to allow your appointment to be facilitated as smoothly as possible.

More information: Department of Health website.

What identification is required for those who qualify for phase 1b and 2a?

When attending your vaccination appointment, you may be asked for identification to verify that you’re eligible for the current phase.

  • Where eligibility is based on age, any form of Government-provided identification showing your age will be accepted – including a driver’s license, proof-of-age card, passport and other commonly accepted forms of identification.
  • Where eligibility is based on your employment, a professional company ID will be accepted. If your organisation doesn’t have one, please provide a brief letter from your employer confirming you work in a role that qualifies for the current vaccine phase.
  • Where eligibility is based on a pre-existing medical condition or disability, patients can complete a Declaration Form from the Department of Health. For NHC patients, we are able to verify this on your medical records which we will be able to access at your vaccination appointment
  • No identification will be requested from patients who identify as Indigenous Australians.

 

These requirements are stipulated by the Australian Government Department of Health and will be strictly adhered to by the National Health Co-op.

What is the recommended time between the two doses of the vaccine?

The recommended time between doses is currently at least 3 weeks for the Pfizer vaccine and 12 weeks for AstraZeneca.

The National Health Co-op will be following all Government recommendations on vaccine phasing and will not allow the second vaccine in less than the recommended timeframe in any circumstance.

More Information: Pfizer and AstraZeneca.

Can I get the first dose from one vaccine manufacturer and the second from another?

This is not recommended in any circumstance.  The vaccines are different and combining them is not advised.

The Australian Government recommends that where possible patients should get both vaccines at the same clinical location.  This reduces the risk of receiving different vaccines as well as providing continuity of care throughout the process.

Is it still necessary to comply with social distancing and other COVID-safe directives after getting vaccinated?

Yes, absolutely.  Receiving a vaccine doesn’t diminish the importance of other public health policies designed to reduce transmission of the disease within the community nor an individual’s responsibility to comply with them.

More information: Department of Health.

What data is being collected about the COVID-19 vaccine and how is it being used?

At the National Health Co-op we take privacy very seriously.  Any COVID-19 vaccinations delivered at our clinics will be comply strictly with our Privacy Policy.

We are required to submit records of all vaccines administered to the Australian Immunisation Register.  This provides a reference on your vaccination history which can be accessed by yourself and medical providers.  Information from the register may be aggregated and reported for the public benefit, for example to provide updates on the number of Australians who have received the vaccine.

More information: Department of Health.

2021 Flu Vaccination Clinics are now open for bookings

All NHC members aged 14 and over can access flu shots for just $15 at our 2021 Flu Vaccination Clinics ($20 for non-members).  Times and locations are as follows, please select the practitioners set up specifically for the Flu Clinic and not your usual GP:

 

Macquarie

Monday, 12th April: 8:30am – 10:30am

Monday, 19th April: 8:30am – 10:30am

 

Book Appointment

Belconnen

Wednesday, 7th April: 8:30am – 10:30am

Friday, 16th April: 8:30am – 10:30am

 

Book Appointment

Chisholm

Saturday, 10th April: 9am-11am

Saturday, 17th April: 9am – 12pm

Saturday, 24th April: 9amm – 11am

Book Appointment

Kippax

Saturday, 10th April: 12pm – 2:30pm

Saturday, 17th April: 12pm – 2:30pm

Saturday, 17th April: 12pm – 2:30pm

Book Appointment

If you can’t make the flu clinics or wish to make an appointment for your children, please call on (02) 6178 0400 during business hours to book in at a time and location which works for you.

We also have a Flu Vaccination Clinic at our ANU clinic exclusively for students and staff throughout April.

The Government provides subsidised vaccines to sections of the community which are considered particularly vulnerable.  These are available at all NHC locations.  If you are eligible for the vaccine provided by the Government please call (02) 6178 0400 to book your appointment.

 NHC FLU CLINICS: IMPORTANT DETAILS –

  • This is currently exclusive to patients aged 14 and above. This helps us vaccinate those who are most at risk first, but don’t worry you’ll have the chance to get vaccines for your kids at a later stage.
  • It costs $15 for NHC members and $20 for non-members, which must be paid on the day.
  • There will be no interruption to the other services we offer from these clinics during the flu clinic, please continue to book in with your preferred GP as normal.

BOOKING AND PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT – 

  • Book your appointment at from Macquarie, Belconnen, Kippax, or Chisholm. You will see that there are practitioners set up specifically for the Flu Clinic, please book with one of them and not with your usual GP.
  • Read the FAQ below to ensure you’re up to date with the latest information about the flu vaccine.

ON THE DAY – 

  • Please bring a valid Medicare card or Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) or Overseas Visitor Health Cover (OVHC) with Allianz, BUPA, NIB, AHM or Medibank. Charges for the appointment may apply if you don’t bring one of these documents.
  • There will be large numbers of patients coming through the clinic and we appreciate your co-operation to maintain a COVID-safe environment.
    • Do not attend your appointment if you report any COVID symptoms.
    • Follow all instructions from staff when in the clinic and maintain social distancing at all stages. Hand sanitizer and masks are available and we encourage you to use them.
  • Please only bring others to your appointment if absolutely necessary.

Flu Shots – Detailed FAQ

What is the flu and why is vaccination important?

The flu (influenza) is a viral infection which targets the respiratory tract.  It commonly causes headaches, a dry cough, fever, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach pain.  You’ll find more info on the difference between the flu and a cold in our Your Health guide.

Vaccination is a proven means of significantly reducing the risk of suffering from the flu.  Equally, it restricts transmission of the virus within the community and protects vulnerable groups – such as the elderly and those with chronic diseases – for whom the flu can be very serious, and even fatal.

How regularly should I get vaccinated?

As the influenza virus changes constantly, it is recommended to get the vaccine annually to make sure it’s up to date.  The flu clinic is timed for April to provide protection during the winter period, when influenza is the most common.

What is the difference between the COVID and flu vaccines?

These are separate viruses and thus the vaccines are different.  The flu vaccine does not provide protection at all against COVID-19, or vice versa.

I want to get vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu – are there any important considerations?

The flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine aren’t recommended to be administered within 14 days of each other.  If you are planning to get both – and are eligible for the COVID vaccine based on the Government’s phased rollout – please ensure a minimum of two weeks between COVID-19 and flu vaccines.  This doesn’t change for the first and second shot of the COVID vaccination.  Either of the 2 vaccines can be administered before or after the other.

Please also remember that all vaccinations are different. It’s important to speak with your doctor if you have any questions.

Can I still get the flu even if I’ve been vaccinated?

Although the flu shot itself cannot cause the flu, it’s not 100% effective. Generally, the flu shot is about 60% effective. That’s because the flu bug changes its appearance every year.  In addition, the vaccine not only reduces the chance of infection it also lowers the risk of severe problems should you catch the flu bug.

Can the flu shot make you sick?

The flu shots used in Australia don’t cause the flu.  It is common (1 in 10 people) to experience minor cold-like symptoms for 1-2 days after being given the flu shot. These symptoms are a sign the vaccine is being taken up by your body. If you develop minor cold symptoms, paracetamol (i.e. Panadol) taken regularly as per the manufacturer’s instructions should resolve your symptoms within a few days.

 If your cold-like symptoms are more than minor, or last for more than 1-2 days, the following may be possible:

  1. You were exposed to a cold or flu virus within a week of receiving the flu shot.
  2. You are having a reaction to the flu shot.

 

If you become unwell after your flu shot, please make a doctor’s appointment to seek further advice.  If you become extremely unwell, please call 000 immediately for emergency assistance.

Who isn’t the flu vaccine appropriate for?

Please don’t get a vaccination if you currently have a fever or if you’ve ever had:

  • Guillian-Barre Syndrome; and/or
  • Severe allergic reactions to a previous flu shot, or a component of the flu shot.

 

In addition, you should advise your vaccinator if:

 

  • You have a severe chronic disease
  • You have lowered immunity caused by medications or illness
  • You have a bleeding disorder.
  • You have a severe egg allergy. The vaccine is made using hens eggs and contains an extremely small amount of egg. However, unless you have a severe allergy to eggs (i.e. anaphylaxis) most people who have mild egg allergies can still take the flu shot.

How long does it take to develop immunity?

It takes an average of 7-10 days before you have developed your immunity to the flu bug.

Where can I find more information?

The Health Direct Flu Vaccine FAQ is a reliable resource for accurate information on the vaccine.

Which vaccinations are essential for children?

The Federal Government’s National Immunisation Program ensures that children have access to all available vaccinations to prevent the risk of serious diseases.  This Program Schedule provides a great overview of all the key milestones for your kids, and your doctor will work with you to make sure each is ticked off as they grow up.

We provide all the vaccinations for children on the schedule, including;

  • Diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B, polio, Hib
  • Rotavirus
  • Pneumococcal
  • Meningococcal ACWY
  • Measles, mumps, rubella
  • Chicken pox
  • HPV

We know that getting a vaccination can be stressful for the little ones – and for yourself as a result!  Fear not, our team offer emotional support to go with their medical expertise and keep your family safe.

Vaccinations for Adults

Does the National Immunisation Program cover adults as well?

Whilst Children are often the focus when we talk about vaccines, keeping up to date into adulthood is just as important.

The National Immunisation Program’s Catch Up service allows you to get the following vaccinations if they weren’t covered when you were a child.

  • Polio
  • Measles, mumps, rubella
  • Chickenpox (varicella)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Pertussis (whooping cough) is also covered for pregnant women.

Please discuss with your doctor whether catch up vaccines are  relevant in your circumstance.

Travel Vaccinations

When do I need to get travel vaccinations?

 

Vaccination is also important to consider if you’re planning to travel.  Depending on your age, medical history and destination you may need to get immunised before your trip.

At the NHC we provide key travel vaccinations, including;

  • Typhoid
  • Hepatitis A
  • Rabies
  • Cholera
  • Meningococcal
  • Japanese encephalitis

Check in with your doctor well before you plan to leave and they’ll advise you what’s required. All of the appointments are bulk billed, though for some vaccinations the doctor will write a prescription and you will be required to purchase the vaccine from the chemist.

Vaccinations for Seniors

There are a couple of important vaccines that you should consider if you’re aged 70 or above.

Pneumococcal disease is commonly associated with children but requires a further vaccination to ensure protection for those over 70.

If you had chickenpox when you were younger, this virus can return later in life as Shingles.  The good news is that this also has a vaccination, which is recommended if you’re aged over 60 and Government-funded for those aged 70 to 79.  If you’re over 50 years of age and live with someone who has a weakened immune system, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor about the Shingles vaccine as this places you at a higher risk.

Both of these immunisations are available to members at all NHC locations and can be booked online.

Vaccinations for First Nations Peoples

We’re dedicated to improving the health outcomes of the First Nations peoples in our community and immunisation is a vital part of achieving this.  Additional vaccinations are available for Indigenous patients, read more on our Indigenous Services page.

Bulk Billing healthcare in the ACT and Yass

We provide bulk billed GP services to members at our 9 clinics across the ACT and Yass. This covers standard GP appointments, health checks and many vaccinations, with just a few detailed procedures incurring an out of pocket cost. Non-members can access standard GP appointments for $70.

Affordable family healthcare

Unlimited bulk-billed healthcare for you and your family all year round as a member.

Bulk billed by appointment

Forget long wait times, get access to a bulk billed GP at a time that suits you.

More than a doctor

We are a not-for-profit, cooperative organisation. Members have ownership and ensure that the local community benefits.

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