NSW health minister Brad Hazzard related a very telling anecdote at June 28's (completely bonkers) media conference, a detail that was somewhat overshadowed by naked hikers, terrifying deer and the 'prime creator of this earth' trying to serve a truly bizarre cease-and-desist to NSW Police commissioner Mick Fuller. The salient detail was this: 30 people attended a party in Sydney. Twenty-four of them caught Covid-19. The other six were fully vaccinated and did not.
Clearly, if we want a life without lockdowns, our population needs to get the jab. And the good news is that there are now several ways to do it.
If you are over 60
You are eligible for the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is considered very low-risk for people in this age bracket. Book an appointment at one of the vaccination centres around NSW, at pharmacies offering the jab or call your doctor to book an appointment.
If you are aged 40-59 or you meet the eligibility requirements because of health conditions or employment
You are eligible for the Pfizer vaccine. Book an appointment at one of the vaccination centres around NSW to get your jab. Unsure if you're eligible? Check out this handy online assessment where you can enter your personal circumstances, such as your job, who you live with and any underlying medical conditions, and it will let you know if you can get the jab now. If not, you can enter your details to be informed by text or email as soon as it's your turn to get vaccinated.
Pfizer supplies are extremely limited, and therefore accessing this vaccine may be difficult before stockpiles in NSW are replenished in September. If you want to get your vaccination before then, AstraZeneca is now approved for all adults over the age of 18 in NSW. You can access AstraZeneca via your GP, at participating pharmacies or from government-run vaccination hubs from July 30.
If you are under 40
As of June 28, the federal government has opened vaccinations for younger Australians. You can now get the AstraZeneca vaccine if you talk to your GP about it first and your doctor determines that it is safe for you to get this vaccine. While it has been advised that people under 40 receive the Pfizer vaccine due to extremely rare instances of blood clots, the AstraZeneca vaccine is still approved as a safe option that is effective against Covid-19, including the highly contagious delta variant, for all adults over the age of 18 in NSW. Your GP will walk you through the risks so you can make a fully informed decision. Book an appointment with your GP to start the process.
As of July 29, adults over the age of 18 can also access AstraZeneca via participating pharmacies and as of July 30, via government-run vaccination hubs.
From September, Australians aged 18 or over will have access to the Moderna vaccine as well. Announced on Monday, August 9, prime minister Scott Morrison said: "We have an additional 25 million doses of Moderna to add to the 125 million Pfizer doses and 53 million AstraZeneca doses we've already started rolling out. We will have 10 million of the Moderna doses arriving before the end of this year."
The rollout has yet to begin but the prime minister has hinted at where it will arrive first. "The first one million doses is on track to arrive next month and will go to pharmacies. Then we will have three million in October," says Morrison.
If you are pregnant
The federal government has updated the national vaccine eligibility checker to now include pregnant women. This means that pregnant women, now classified in the phase 1b category, can now book their Pfizer vaccine appointments online.