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:

These FAQs are based on information and evidence currently available in Australia and internationally, and are regularly updated as new information emerges.


What’s new?

  • 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 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: