Last updated 2 June 2022
Northside Clinic is currently administering only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to existing patients (we are no longer administering the AstraZeneca vaccine due to low demand).
The Pfizer vaccine at Northside Clinic is available to anyone over the age of 12 years for their primary course, and to those aged 16 years and over for their primary course and booster dose.
Northside Clinic is not vaccinating children aged 5 – 11 years with a COVID-19 vaccine until a later date, due to logistical issues.
For the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, if you are aged 12 years and over, you may book in using HotDoc below.
Northside Clinic is not offering the Moderna or Novavax COVID-19 vaccines, and is no longer offering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines due to low demand.
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 5 years is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Please see the Commonwealth Government’s Eligibility Checker: COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker.
As of 7 July 2022, ATAGI recommends COVID-19 winter / 4th dose for 50+ age group, people 30+ also eligible.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has updated its recommendations for a winter / 4th dose of COVID-19 vaccine. These are:
Vaccines now available. To book an appointment visit, HotDoc.
Please note, due to the increase in demand with the widened eligibility by age groups, there may be a wait in getting a booking. Please be patient.
More information on booster doses can also be found here.
To book your winter booster / 4th COVID-19 dose, or you 3rd dose if you have not yet had it, please visit HotDoc.
If you test positive to COVID-19, there are now two PBS-listed medications that you may be able to take to prevent severe disease and keep you out of hospital – PAXLOVID (Nirmatrelivir/Ritonavir) and LAGEVRIO (Molnupiravir). However, you have to be eligible to gain access to the medication.
Treatment MUST be commenced within 5 days of the onset of symptoms (as soon as possible is best) and COVID-19 infection MUST be confirmed by a positive PCR or medically verified (by GP or nurse) RAT.
The new eligibility includes updated age limits and risk factors summarised below.
Older Australians and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, who test positive for COVID-19.
Risk factors include:
People aged 18 years and older who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and test positive for COVID-19. Conditions include:
If you are eligible for these medications and you have COVID-19, please call our friendly reception team as soon as possible after your positive test result on 03 9485 7700 and inform them of this.
Interactions with other medicines
Paxlovid interacts with many different medicines, including herbal supplements. Please advise your GP at the time of prescribing, of all medicines including herbal supplements that you take.
Who should not have antiviral COVID-19 treatments?
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should not have oral Paxlovid or Lagevrio COVID-19 treatments. Instead, ensure you are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccinations or talk to your GP about other potential medications available through hospitals.
If you have severe kidney or liver disease you should not have Paxlovid COVID-19 treatment. Talk to your GP about alternative oral treatments.
COVID-19 treatments and fertility
If you are prescribed the oral treatment Paxlovid for COVID-19 and you are also taking prescribed birth control ‘the pill’, you should use extra contraception (eg condoms) as the treatment may affect how the pill works.
Also, it is recommended you use effective forms of contraception:
Men who are sexually active with a partner of childbearing potential should use contraception during and for 3 months after taking Lagevrio.
Talk to your GP about contraceptives and what is best for your situation.
Importance of Vaccination
If you are aged 12 and over, you can receive the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
If you are aged 18 and over, you can also receive the AstraZeneca or Novavax vaccines.
Children aged 5 to 11 can receive a smaller dose of the Pfizer vaccines, and children aged 6 – 11 can also receive the Moderna vaccine. These vaccine doses have been created specifically for young children.
Northside Clinic is currently administering only the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine (we are no longer administering the AstraZeneca vaccine due to low demand). We are not offering the Moderna or Novavax COVID-19 vaccines, also due to low demand.
No. Northside Clinic is not offering these vaccines due to low demand.
For more information on booking in elsewhere for a Moderna vaccine, please see; https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/about-moderna-vaccine.
For more information on booking in elsewhere for a Novavax vaccine, please see; https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/about-novavax-vaccine.
Check for both primary and booster Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine appointment availabilities via our online booking service, HotDoc.
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 5 months after you received your 2nd dose / completed your primary 2 dose course of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are 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.
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 visit our online booking service, HotDoc.
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 5 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.
For AstraZeneca vaccine, the second dose is due 4 – 12 weeks after your first dose. Most people have their second dose at 12 weeks after the first, however in an outbreak situation a shorter interval of 4 – 8 weeks between first and second doses is recommended.
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.
From 10th January 2022, children between the ages of 5 – 11 will also be eligible for a COVID-10 vaccine, however Northside Clinic will not be vaccinating children aged 5 – 11 until a later date due to staffing shortages over January 2022.
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. Vaccination can occur as soon as you have recovered from the acute illness of COVID infection, but can be deferred for up to 6 months as past infection reduces the chance of re-infection for at least this amount of time.
People might choose to be vaccinated as soon as they have recovered if they are at greater risk of re-infection (eg due to immunocompromise), work in a job that puts them at higher risk, or their job mandates them to be vaccinated.
If a patient tests positive for COVID-19 between their first and second doses, the patient should not receive their second dose until they have recovered from 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.
We encourage people to book in for a Flu vaccine at this time, which can be done by calling Northside Clinic on (03) 9485 7700 or via HotDoc.
Yearly influenza vaccination is recommended for people aged 6 months and over.
The influenza vaccine is free under the National Immunisation Program for:
Children under 9 years receiving their influenza vaccination for the first time require two doses of vaccine, spaced by a minimum of one month.
Anyone who is not eligible for a free vaccine but who wants to protect themselves against influenza can be vaccinated with a private Flu vaccine. The fee for private Flu vaccines is $20.
Flu vaccines can be given on the same day as any COVID-19 vaccine.
For more information, please see:
Updated 8 November 2022
Beginning 7 November 2022, Northside Clinic is able to commence 2nd dose vaccination against Mpox Virus (formerly known as Monkeypox Virus) for our eligible patients, as well as expanded eligibility criteria for 1st dose vaccination, using the preferred 3rd generation vaccine (Jyneoss).
In order to be eligible for a second dose, it must be at least 28 days since your first dose.
For expanded eligibility criteria for 1st doses, we ask you to please check the Victorian Department of Health Eligibility Criteria; click here (and scroll down to Vaccination) to see if you are eligible for the vaccine.
If you are eligible as per the current eligibility criteria, and are an existing patient of Northside Clinic, please contact our reception team on 03 9485 7700 or book via HotDoc for a Mpox vaccine clinic appointment.
If you hold a valid Medicare Card your appointment will be Bulk Billed and the vaccine is being made available free of charge by the Federal Government. So you will not need to pay anything for the vaccination. For international visitors with no Medicare Card there will be a fee.
Mpox vaccines are now being rolled out at public health clinics across the state. If you are unable to get an appointment at Northside Clinic, please click here and scroll down to How to access the vaccine, to find out where to get a vaccine in your area.
INFORMATION SHEET/CONSENT FORM:
If you will be attending Northside Clinic for a Mpox vaccination, please read the information sheet, and consent form before attending. You will be asked to sign a consent form at the time of your vaccination.
Current eligibility criteria can be found below or by clicking here and scrolling down to Vaccination:
In Victoria, Mpox vaccine will be available free-of-charge for specific priority groups. Mpox vaccination is, as of 7/11/22, available for 2nd doses for those who received a dose at least 28 days prior, and the following priority groups for 1st doses.
Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for high-risk close contacts of mpox cases, preferably within 4 days.
Pre exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for the following:
The second dose of Mpox vaccine is also available for eligible people.
Two doses are required for optimal protection and can be given 28 days apart. The Mpox vaccine takes approximately 14 days before it is effective.
For more information on vaccination, see Victorian Mpox vaccination program guidelines.