Information and answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about COVID-19 vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer.
This page is current as of May 2023 and is no longer being actively maintained. For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 vaccination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, please refer to the Department of Health and Aged Care's website.
People with cancer are more vulnerable to COVID-19 and are at an increased risk of more severe infection. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is a safe and effective way of protecting yourself from getting really sick from COVID-19. The vaccine will help to protect you, your family and community against COVID-19.
All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 5 years and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine now.
With the assistance of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and health experts, Cancer Australia developed:
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the COVID-19 vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer.
This information will help you with questions you may have about the COVID-19 vaccines. You can also talk to your healthcare team if you have any questions.
- FAQs about COVID-19 vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer: Information for the healthcare team.
This information is for members of the healthcare team of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers, Health Practitioners, Hospital Liaison Officers.
These FAQs are based on information and evidence currently available in Australia and internationally, and are regularly updated as new information emerges.
- The COVID-19 vaccines are available to all people in Australia aged 5 years or older.
- Children aged 6 months to less than 5 years with health conditions which increase the risk of severe COVID-19, including many children with cancer, are also eligible for COVID-19 vaccination.
- For more information: ATAGI recommendations on COVID-19 vaccine use in children aged 6 months to <5 years
- For most people in Australia aged 5 years or older, the COVID-19 vaccination schedule involves:
- 2 “primary” vaccine doses
- a “booster” dose for people aged 16 years or older given three months after they have completed their primary course (3 doses in total), and
- a 2nd booster dose known as the “winter booster dose” given three months after the 1st booster (4 doses in total) for:
- people aged 16 years of older with certain medical conditions including cancer within the past 5 years.
- people aged 30 to 49 years old if they choose
- all people aged 50 years or older
- For severely immunocompromised people who are at greatest risk of severe illness from COVID-19, ATAGI recommends additional vaccine doses and boosters as follows:
- Children aged between 6 months and 5 years receive 2 ‘primary’ vaccine doses
- Children aged 5 to 11 receive 3 ‘primary’ COVID-19 vaccine doses
- Adolescents aged 12-15 years receive 3 ‘primary’ vaccine doses plus 1 booster dose (4 doses in total)
- for people aged 16 years or older, receive 3 ‘primary’ vaccine doses plus 2 booster doses (5 doses in total).
- For an overview of which vaccines and doses are recommended for each age and population group, visit this infographic: ATAGI recommended COVID-19 doses and vaccines.
- Antiviral treatments for COVID-19
- If you test positive to COVID-19, it is important to let your treating team know as soon as possible, because there are COVID-19 treatments available. These antiviral treatments work best when they are given within 5 days after symptoms begin.
- For more information about COVID-19 antiviral treatments, visit: Updated eligibility for oral COVID-19 treatments.
- Pre-exposure prevention of COVID-19
- Medicine is available for the prevention of COVID-19 in people who are at risk of COVID-19 infection and are severely immunocompromised. This is known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or prevention of COVID-19.
- For more information about pre-exposure prevention of COVID-19, visit: COVID-19 treatments.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by cancer can find vaccination locations and book an appointment using the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder.
For more information about the COVID-19 vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with cancer, visit:
- Cancer Australia’s Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 vaccines for people affected by cancer
- Australian Government Department of Health Information for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples about COVID-19 vaccines
- The Agency for Clinical Innovation’s shared decision making resources about COVID-19 vaccines: Yarning to make health decisions together
- Message from National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) Chair Donnella Mills on COVID-19 and the vaccines
- Professor James Ward answers important questions about the COVID-19 vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- NACCHO information and FAQs about COVID-19 vaccines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people