Last updated 12th October 2021
Northside Clinic is currently administering both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines to existing patients.
People aged 18 and over can access either COVID-19 vaccine (AstraZeneca or Pfizer).
People aged 12-17 can access Pfizer vaccine.
For the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, if you are aged 12 years and over, you may book in using HotDoc below.
For the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, if you are aged 60 years and over, or receiving your second dose of AstraZeneca at any age, you may book in using HotDoc below. If you are aged 18 – 59 years, we ask that you make an initial booking with your GP to discuss the AstraZeneca vaccine first due to issues of informed consent.
Northside Clinic is not able to offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as this vaccine has not been included in the vaccine roll-out to General Practices (see more below).
PLEASE NOTE: unless otherwise specified, all information below relates JUST TO AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines, as these are the only 2 vaccines that will be administered at Northside Clinic.
Below we have listed some of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that may answer some of your questions about the AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.
Click the button below to book your COVID-19 vaccination appointment.
COVID-19 Vaccination Consent Form
If you have access to a printer, please download the form and complete prior to your appointment. Bring the completed form to your first Vaccination appointment.
For most Australians it is not mandatory to get a COVID-19 vaccine. While the Australian Government strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination, individuals can choose not to be vaccinated.
However, in some States and Territories it is now mandated to be COVID-19 vaccinated if you work in certain industries or perform certain duties.
For more information please see: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/information-workers-required-be-vaccinated.
Currently in Victoria, everyone over the age of 12 years is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
To see if you are eligible, please check the Commonwealth Government’s Eligibility Checker: COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker.
People aged 18 and over can access any COVID-19 vaccine (AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna), although for people aged 59 and under the preferred vaccines are Pfizer or Moderna.
People aged 12-17 can access Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
People aged 60 and over can now access any of the three COVID-19 vaccines licensed in Australia – AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna. Although if you’ve had one dose of AstraZeneca without any serious side effects then you should have the second dose of AstraZeneca to gain full protection.
Northside Clinic is now administering both AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.
No. Northside Clinic is not able to offer the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as this vaccine has not been included in the vaccine roll-out to General Practices. From 20th September 2021, the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine has been available from pharmacies. It is the second mRNA vaccine to be distributed after the Pfizer vaccine and is considered to have a similar safety profile to Pfizer. It is available to people aged 12 years and over, and is delivered in 2 doses, 4 – 6 weeks apart.
To book an appointment for a Moderna vaccine through your local pharmacy, please go to; https://findapharmacy.com.au.
Check for both AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine appointment availabilities via our online booking service, HotDoc.
if you are aged 18 – 59 years, we ask that you make an initial booking with your GP to discuss the AstraZeneca vaccine first due to issues of informed consent.
If you believe you may be eligible for a 3rd or booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, please make an initial booking with your GP to determine if you are eligible (see more below).
Please check our Facebook page or website for any updates.
From November 8th 2021, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advises booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines for all Australians aged 18 years and older to mitigate waning immunity to COVID-19 infection and emergence of COVID-19 variants.
You will be eligible for a single booster dose 6 months after you received your 2nd dose / completed your primary 2 dose course of a COVID-19 vaccine.
This will initially include, but not be limited to, the highest priority groups below who were prioritised in the rollout of the vaccine program from early 2021:
However, anyone is eligible for a booster dose if it is at least 6 months since your 2nd dose / completion of your primary 2 dose course.
Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is recommended as the single booster dose, irrespective of the primary COVID-19 vaccine used. Although not preferred, AstraZeneca can also be used as a booster dose in certain situations. If you prefer to receive AstraZeneca as your booster dose, please make an initial appointment with your GP to discuss.
ATAGI will make a recommendation on the potential use of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as a booster in due course.
Please note that ATAGI recommends that it is safe to to receive a COVID-19 booster vaccine dose at the same time as an influenza vaccine.
Booster doses are not currently recommended for those aged under 18 years. In this age group, severe COVID-19 is uncommon, and the primary course of COVID-19 vaccines generates a strong immune response, so the benefit from additional doses of vaccine is likely to be small.
To book your COVID-19 vaccine booster dose, please call our reception team on 9485 7700.
For more information, please visit, https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/getting-your-vaccination/booster-doses.
On Friday 8th October 2021, ATAGI recommended 3rd doses of COVID-19 vaccines to individuals who are severely immunocompromised as part of their primary course.
Only specific population groups with severe immunocompromise are eligible.
3rd doses are not the same as booster doses and are recommended 2 to 6 months after your 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
An mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is preferred as the 3rd dose, but AstraZeneca can be used in certain situations.
In order to receive a 3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose, please make an appointment with your GP to assess your eligibility and the timing of dosing. Bookings for 3rd doses cannot be made through our online booking service, please call the clinic on 9485 7700 to book an appointment.
For more information, please visit, https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/atagi-covid-19-vaccination-shared-decision-making-guide-for-people-with-immunocompromise.
Yes. Ensuring informed consent is gained is an ethical, legal and professional requirement for all medical procedures including getting a vaccination. This is to make sure that you understand the benefits of being vaccinated, any safety issues and side effects, and the need to continue public health measures after being vaccinated. For more information please see; https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-consent-form-for-covid-19-vaccination.
The minimum time that you need to wait after either the AstraZeneca or the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is 15 minutes. If your GP has any concerns about possible allergies or other precautions you may have to the vaccine, or you are feeling unwell after your vaccine, you may be asked to wait for 30 minutes.
We will send a record of your vaccination to the Australian Immunisation Register. This is then accessible through your Medicare account, MyGov account, or MyHealth Record.
Your immunisation history statement and COVID-19 digital certificate both show proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status. For more information visit, https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/news/do-you-need-show-proof-your-covid-19-vaccinations.
Initial side effects following both AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are similar and generally mild or moderate. They most commonly occur 1 – 2 days after vaccination, and generally resolve within a few days.
Common side effects include tenderness and pain at the injection site, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, chills or fever and nausea. Paracetamol and / or Ibuprofen can be taken as needed to reduce these side effects.
Side effects tend to be milder and less frequent after the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Fever and chills are reported more commonly after the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
For more information see; https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-after-your-astrazeneca-vaccine
There is a more serious link between the AstraZeneca vaccine and very rare cases of clots and reduced platelet levels referred to as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). More on this below.
Theres is also a more serious link between the Pfizer vaccine and very rare cases of inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or heart lining (pericarditis). More on this below. Rare side effects of the Pfizer vaccine also include Bell’s Palsy (facial muscle weakness or paralysis).
On 8 April 2021, an apparent causal link was reported between the AstraZeneca vaccine and a rare, new and unexpected adverse event called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS). It involves thrombosis (blood clots) with thrombocytopenia (low platelet count), with onset of symptoms occurring around 4 to 42 days following vaccination. It is exceedingly rare and is currently estimated to affect about 2 per 100,000 people over the age of 60 who receive their first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. In younger people, the risk may rise to 5 per 100,000. Although very rare, TTS can cause disability and even death. Currently in Australia, the overall fatality rate is 3%. TTS is different from generalised clotting disorders. Unfortunately, no biological or other risk factors have been identified that can help us predict who will develop TTS.
The good news is that now that we know about it, TTS can be treated effectively if properly identified and diagnosed. For more information on this serious side effect please see; https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/patient-information-sheet-on-astrazeneca-covid-19-vaccine-and-thrombosis-with-thrombocytopenia-syndrome-tts.
Myocarditis refers to inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis refers to inflammation of the lining that surrounds the heart. These conditions can occur separately or together (myopericarditis). Myocarditis and/or pericarditis have been reported as rare side effects after mRNA COVID-19 vaccines (BOTH the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines), particularly in young males under 30 years of age and more commonly after the second dose. Symptoms typically appear within 1-5 days of vaccination and include chest pain, palpitations (irregular heartbeat), fainting or shortness of breath. People who experience any of these symptoms after having an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should seek prompt medical attention. Most myocarditis and pericarditis cases linked to mRNA vaccination have been mild and patients have recovered quickly. Longer-term follow-up of these cases is ongoing. The incidence of these conditions in young males is approximately 4 – 6 per 100,000. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) emphasise that the overwhelming benefits of vaccination in protecting against COVID-19 greatly outweigh the rare risk of these conditions, and Pfizer and Moderna vaccines continues to be recommended for all people ≥ 12 years of age who do not have any contraindications to the vaccine
For more information, please see; COVID-19 vaccination – Guidance on Myocarditis and Pericarditis after mRNA COVID-19 vaccines
As the appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine will be very brief (less than 5 minutes), if you have any in-depth questions or concerns about either the AstraZeneca or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, or are unsure which is right for you due to underlying medical conditions, you are advised to make an initial, separate standard (15 minute) consultation with your regular GP, then make a subsequent vaccine booking.
If you are aged 18 – 59 years and want to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, or if you believe you may be eeligible for a 3rd or booster dose, we ask that you make an initial booking with your GP to discuss first.
It is not advisable to receive the vaccine if you are unwell with a high temperature of greater than 38.5°C on the day of vaccination.
The only absolute contraindications to receiving an AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine are:
You should also tell your Doctor in advance if you have had any of the following conditions;
The only absolute contraindications to receiving a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are:
People with a history of any of the following conditions can receive Pfizer but advice should be sought from a GP, immunisation specialist or cardiologist about the best timing of vaccination and whether any additional precautions are recommended:
No. The RNA from the mRNA vaccines does not change or interact with a person’s DNA in any way.
For more information please see; https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/is-it-true/is-it-true-can-covid-19-vaccines-alter-my-dna.
No. The vaccine will be free for everyone in Australia (regardless of whether or not you are a Medicare card holder) who chooses to receive the vaccine. Both the vaccine and the appointment to receive the vaccine must be bulk billed, which means there is no cost to you.
No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia (AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna) are live vaccines, which means that you are not being administered live viral particles and therefore cannot catch COVID-19 or a cold virus from the vaccines.
The AstraZeneca vaccine does contain an unrelated, harmless ‘common cold’ virus vector (an adenovirus), which has been modified so that it cannot replicate after entering cells. It therefore does not behave like a ‘live vaccine’ and cannot spread to other cells or cause infection.
It is currently advised that for Pfizer vaccine, the second dose is due 3 – 6 weeks after your first dose.
Please book your second dose appointment with our reception team member at the time of receiving your first dose. If you are unable to book on the day, please contact our clinic as soon as you can to schedule a second appointment.
You will be notified via our SMS reminder system to attend your second dose appointment. However, in the event of any unforeseen error, we advise you to also make a note of the date of your second dose in your diary.
If you have received your first AstraZeneca or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination at a Victorian State Government mass vaccination hub, you are most welcome to receive your second dose at Northside Clinic if it is more convenient for you. If you have received your first COVID-19 vaccine at another GP clinic, it is generally advised to receive your second dose at the same clinic. However if it is not possible to attend the same GP clinic, you can have your second dose at Northside Clinic.
It has previously been recommended that any other vaccines should not be given within 14 days before or after a COVID-19 vaccine, however this advice has been reduced to 7 days (or even shorter in exceptional circumstances). You can receive your Influenza vaccine or any other vaccine in between your two doses of AstraZeneca or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines as long as at least 7days have passed between administration of different vaccines.
Yes. People with immunocompromise includes those who have a medical condition (such as cancer or HIV infection) or are taking medications that weaken their immune system. People with immunocompromise have a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Therefore, the Australian Government strongly recommends people with immunocompromise receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are safe in people with immunocompromise. For more information please see; https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/atagi-covid-19-vaccination-shared-decision-making-guide-for-people-with-immunocompromise.
Yes. People who are pregnant are eligible to receive an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (i.e. Pfizer or Moderna). It is now recommended that pregnant people are routinely offered Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at any stage of pregnancy because the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant people and their unborn baby. The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has advised that there is a body of evidence supporting the safety of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines in pregnancy. Pregnant people who received their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine without serious side effects can receive a second dose of either AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine – although Pfizer and Moderna are preferred.
If you are breastfeeding, you can receive the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines. You do not need to stop breastfeeding after vaccination and breastfeeding may even be protective as early evidence demonstrates that antibodies from people vaccinated can pass through breastmilk to the breastfeeding infant.
If you are planning pregnancy, you can also have the Pfizer. Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines. You do not need to have a pregnancy test before vaccination.
For more information, please see; https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/covid-19-vaccination-shared-decision-making-guide-for-women-who-are-pregnant-breastfeeding-or-planning-pregnancy.
No. Vaccination with any of the Australian-approved COVID-19 vaccinations does not affect fertility.
For more information please see; https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines/is-it-true/is-it-true-do-covid-19-vaccines-cause-infertility.
Currently, all adolescents aged 12 – 17 are eligible to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. Young adults aged 18 and above are eligible to receive either the Pfizer, Moderna or the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Currently children aged under 12 years are not yet eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Australia. This is because the safety, efficacy and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines for these ages is still being studied.
As research continues into COVID-19 vaccines, studies are being expanded to include younger children. Various studies underway in other countries are examining COVID-19 vaccines in children aged between 6 months and 17 years. Once published, the results of these studies will provide further information about the risks and benefits of vaccinating young children against COVID-19. Research into vaccines in young children may also be conducted in Australia in the future.
Yes. If you have had other types of blood clots in the past, such as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE), or if you have risk factors for blood clots, you can still have the AstraZeneca vaccine. There is no evidence that people who have had a past history of other types of blood clots have an increased risk of developing thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TTS) or becoming more ill from it if it occurs.
People with the following conditions can receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine:
Pfizer or Moderna vaccine is recommended in people who have a past history of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, idiopathic splanchnic (mesenteric, portal, splenic) vein thrombosis or antiphospholipid syndrome with thrombosis given the similarities between these certain rare conditions and TTS.
Yes. Provided that your dose of blood thinner (eg. warfarin) is stable and your INR is less than 3.0. If you have a bleeding disorder or low platelets of less than 20, please notify your GP.
Yes. But vaccination is generally deferred for up to 6 months after the acute illness. Individuals who have prolonged symptoms from COVID-19 beyond six months (‘long COVID’) can be vaccinated on a case-by-case basis.
At this stage the vaccines have been shown to prevent severe COVID-19 disease and symptoms, but it is currently unclear to what extent COVID-19 vaccines prevent asymptomatic infection or transmission (spread) from a vaccinated person to others. Data on this will be gathered over time from additional clinical studies and as populations are vaccinated. This means that it may still be possible for some people to get COVID-19 after vaccination, and to transmit COVID-19 to other people. For this reason, it is important to continue to follow public health precautions and to be tested if you have any COVID-19 symptoms even after you have been vaccinated.
No. The current medical advice is that if you have received your first dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine without any significant adverse events (even if you are in the 18 – 59 age category), you are safe to proceed with your second dose as scheduled. Studies in the UK have shown that the risk of developing the blood clot syndrome, or TTS, with your second dose – if you did not suffer TTS from your first dose – is exceedingly rare: at a rate of about 1.5 per million doses. Also, at this stage the analysis of the data on the efficacy of mixing vaccines ie. having one type (or brand) of vaccine for your first dose, and receiving a different type of vaccine for your second dose, is ongoing and not yet common practice. Unless you receive 2 doses of the same vaccine, you are not considered fully vaccinated. If you have had the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine but elect not to get the second dose, your partial immunity from the first dose will wane and you will not be considered fully vaccinated or immune until you have received the second dose. You will therefore be at risk of COVID-19 infection and ineligible for a Vaccine Passport.
For people who are not mandated to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Victoria, it is not necessary to receive an exemption certificate if you simply choose not to be vaccinated.
Currently in Victoria, workers in certain industries are now mandated to be vaccinated by certain dates.
See the following for more information: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/information-workers-required-be-vaccinated
You will ONLY be able to obtain a medical exemption certificate from a Doctor if you have a medical contraindication to all available COVID-19 vaccines. Medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccine is determined by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) clinical guidance and specifically includes:
Doctors will NOT be able to provide exemption certificates to people who have suffered milder, non life-threatening side effects, those who falsely believe they cannot be vaccinated due to underlying medical conditions (where the vaccines are, in fact, not contraindicated), and those who are anti-vaccination.
In exceptional circumstances, temporary exemptions may be granted for individuals with some acute major medical conditions eg. undergoing major surgery or hospital admission for a serious illness.
If you need to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status for employment or travel etc, the Australian Government immunisation history statement and COVID-19 digital certificate are accessible through your Medicare account, MyGov account, or MyHealth Record.
Step-by-step instructions on how to view and download are found here: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/news/do-you-need-show-proof-your-covid-19-vaccinations.
Any documentation, letter or wallet-sized card provided by Northside Clinic or any vaccination hub at your time of vaccination will not be considered official with respect to a vaccine passport / proof-of-vaccination certificate.
On Friday 8th October 2021, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) announced that 3rd doses of COVID-19 vaccinations will be made available to individuals who are severely immunocompromised.
These include people with blood cancers, those on chemotherapy or radiotherapy, organ-transplant recipients on immunosuppressants, other patients on certain immunosuppressive, biologic or DMARD medications, those on long term kidney dialysis, certain patients with advanced or untreated HIV and those with primary immunodeficiency.
To find out if you may be eligible, see: https://www.health.gov.au/news/atagi-statement-on-the-use-of-a-3rd-primary-dose-of-covid-19-vaccine-in-individuals-who-are-severely-immunocompromised.
The recommended interval for the 3rd dose is 2 – 6 months after the 2nd dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
An mRN vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is preferred as the 3rd dose, but AstraZeneca can be used in certain situations.
It is anticipated that ATAGI will make further announcements in the coming weeks – months regarding booster doses for healthcare workers, older adults, and the general population.
In order to receive a 3rd COVID-19 vaccine dose, please make an appointment with your GP to discuss your eligibility.
Bookings for 3rd doses cannot be made through our online booking service, HotDoc.
We also encourage people to book in for a Flu vaccine at this time, which can be done by calling Northside Clinic on (03) 9485 7700. Note, Flu Vaccines and COVID Vaccines need to be separated by 2 weeks.