Get your COVID-19 Vaccination as part of the free COVID-19 government vaccination program. AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines are available in selected stores.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a form of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, headache, muscle & joint pains and fatigue. Some people may experience only mild disease and recover quickly, while others may get very sick very quickly.

Why should I have the COVID-19 vaccine?

Because COVID-19 is a new disease, there is no existing immunity for it in our communities. This means it can spread quickly and widely. It is important for as many people as possible to be immunised against COVID-19 to achieve herd immunity. Herd immunity will mean that not only will the vaccinated individual be protected from severe covid disease, the rest of the community will be protected also.

Is there a waiting period between COVID-19 vaccination and influenza vaccination?

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has released advice on the relative timing of administering influenza and COVID-19 vaccines. The current advice is that the preferred minimum interval between a dose of any vaccine, including the seasonal influenza vaccine and a COVID-19 vaccine is 7 days. An influenza vaccine may be given between doses of a COVID-19 vaccine as long as the minimum interval between vaccines is 7 days before or after. You will be asked to confirm if and when you received your influenza vaccination prior to receiving your COVID-19 vaccination.

Please let us know if you have had any other vaccine, such as influenza, in the 7 days before your COVID-19 appointment. We may need to reschedule.

Which COVID-19 vaccines are National Pharmacies offering?

National Pharmacies is currently able to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine at select locations and will begin offering the Moderna vaccine from 26/9/21 at select locations.

Who can have the Moderna vaccine?

The current advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is that the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine is supported for the use in all people 12 years of age and older.

Pharmacies administer COVID-19 vaccines under the Commonwealth Covid Vaccination in Community Pharmacy (CVCP) program and from 1st October 2021, under the program rules, can administer the Moderna vaccine to people 12 years and over.

Who can have the AstraZeneca vaccine?

The current advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is that the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is the preferred vaccine to be administered to people 60 years of age and over.

However, on 26th March 2021 the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca to be included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) for the active immunisation of individuals 18 years and older for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2.

You may be able to be vaccinated against Covid-19 with the AstraZeneca vaccine more information can be found via the government eligibility checker If you are under 60 years of age, please also consult your GP or pharmacist who will discuss the risks and benefits of vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Do I need a prescription?

No, a prescription is not required if you are having one of our qualified health professionals administer (inject) the vaccine to you in store.

What is the price?

Free. Patients cannot be charged for COVID-19 vaccination services

What does the Moderna vaccine contain?

The active ingredient is mRNA, which encodes for. the full-length SARS-CoV-2 spike protein modified with 2 proline substitutions wihtin the heptad repeat 1 domain (S-2P) to stabilise the spike protein into a rprefusion confirmation. Other non-active ingredients are:

  • Heptadecan-9-yl 8-[2-hydroxyethyl-(6- oxo-6-undecoxyhexyl)amino]octanoate
  • Cholesterol (enhances membrane fluidity)
  • Distearoylphosphatidylcholine
  • 1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycero-3- methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000
  • Trometamol
  • Trometamol hydrochloride
  • Acetic acid
  • Sodium acetate trihydrate
  • Sucrose
  • Water for injections.

No preservatives are used

What does the AstraZeneca vaccine contain?

The active ingredient is the modified adenovirus (ChAdOx1) containing spike protein genetic code, a genetically modified organism (GMO) (AstraZeneca, 2021a). Other non-active ingredients are included to stabilise the vaccine (listed below). No preservatives are used:

  • L-Histidine (an amino acid). 
  • L-Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate (an amino acid). 
  • Magnesium chloride hexahydrate (supports many activities inside cells). 
  • Polysorbate 80 (a stabiliser). 
  • Ethanol. 
  • Sucrose. 
  • Sodium chloride. 
  • Disodium edetate dihydrate (EDTA, a binding agent) 
  • Water for injection. 

Who is administering the vaccination at National Pharmacices?

Qualified Pharmacist immunisers will be administering the vaccination at National Pharmacies. These pharmacists are authorised to administer vaccinations in their relevant state or territory, have completed all necessary immunisation training/qualifications and have completed the Covid-19 Vaccination Training Program, including the Moderna vaccine module.

I have heard that the COVID-19 vaccines can give you COVID-19, is that true?

No, none of the Covid-19 vaccines approved for use in Australia contain the live virus so they cannot give you Covid-19. Some of the side effects from the vaccine such as fever and fatigue may mimic the symptoms of Covid-19, but these symptoms will only last a short time and are a normal sign that the body is mounting an immune response against the virus.

I am fit and healthy so will I be fine without a COVID-19 vaccination?

Covid-19 can spread quickly and rapidly and to anyone. Even those who are fit and healthy can still get Covid-19 and may experience long-standing symptoms such as fatigue, breathlessness and chest pain, as a result. Research shows that vaccination against Covid-19 prevents severe disease, hospitalization and death from Covid-19. Also, if you are lucky enough to escape Covid-19 infection with only mild symptoms, you may still pass the disease to someone who may get very sick with it. Getting vaccinated helps to protect not only yourself, but others in your community too.

Do I have to make a booking?

When it is your turn to get vaccinated, you can book online here or through the government eligibility checker website here.

Or if you’d prefer, come into any National Pharmacies store or give us a call and we will help you book in for your first, second or both vaccines.

Do I need a valid Medicare card?

No, a Medicare card is not required. However, if you are eligible for Medicare, please bring your Medicare card with you. People who are not eligible for a Medicare card can receive their vaccination in a pharmacy. You will be asked to prove your eligibility before you receive your vaccine.

What will be provided to me after my vaccination?

We will provide an information leaflet detailing post-vaccination side effects.

The Department of Health has also developed resources about what you can expect after your vaccination. You can access those resources for AstraZeneca here or for Moderna here.

Who is not able to have an AstraZeneca vaccination at National Pharmacies?

Anyone who is not currently eligible. Please refer to the government eligibility checker to see if you are eligible for vaccination in your state.

Please do not come to your appointment if:

  • You are feeling unwell with fever, cough, runny nose or other symptoms that could be from COVID-19
  • You are waiting for COVID-19 test results
  • You have tested positive for COVID-19
  • You are a close contact of someone with COVID-19
  • You are in quarantine

Are there any side effects with Moderna COVID-19 vaccinations?

As with any vaccine, you may have some side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Common reactions to COVID-19 vaccinations include:

  • Pain at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Low level fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Joint pain

Less common side effects include:

  • Redness or swelling at the injection site
  • Swelling or tenderness in the armpit
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Enlarged lymph nodes

These side effects are usually mild and usually go away within two or three days. Some people will experience more significant flu-like symptoms from this vaccination compared to other common vaccinations and may require time away from normal activities. These symptoms may occur after either dose but are more common after the second dose.

If you experience pain at the injection site or fever, headaches or body aches after vaccination, you can take paracetamol or ibuprofen. These help to reduce some of the above symptoms. You do not need to take paracetamol or ibuprofen before vaccination. If there is swelling at the injection site, you can use a cold compress.

Rare side effects that have been reported after Moderna are:

  • Sever allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • Myocarditis (inflammation. of the heart muscle)
  • Pericarditis (inflammation of the outer lining of the heart)

Most reported cases have been mild and recovered quickly, although longer-term follow-up of these cases is ongoing. Cases occur predominantly after the second dose and predominantly in younger males (aged <30 years).

You should seek medical attention after vaccination if:

  • You think you are having an allergic reaction. Call 000 if you experience sever symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, a fast heartbeat or collapsing
  • You have chest pain, pressure or discomfort, irregular heartbeat, skipped beats or ‘fluttering’, fainting, shortness of breath or pain when breathing.
  • You are worried about. a potential side effect or have new or unexpected symptoms.
  • You have an expected side effect of the vaccine which has not gone away after. a few days.

For symptoms that. arenot urgent, you can see your regular healthcare provider (usually your GP).

You can use the COVID-19 vaccines side effect symptoms checker if you have any concerns regarding side effects.

Are there any side effects with AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccinations?

As with any vaccine, you may have some side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Common reactions to COVID-19 vaccinations include:

  • Pain at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Low level fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Tiredness
  • Joint pain

Some people will have more significant flu like symptoms from this vaccination compared to other vaccines and may require time away from normal activities. These symptoms are more common after the first dose of AstraZeneca compared to the second dose. You should seek medical attention immediately if you experience these symptoms:

A severe persistent headache with additional features

  • Appears at least 4 days after vaccination
  • Does not improve with simple painkillers
  • May be worse when lying down or accompanied by nausea and vomiting

Neurological symptoms such as:

  • Blurred vision
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Drowsiness
  • Seizures

Shortness of breath or chest pain

A swollen leg

Persistent abdominal (belly) pain

Tiny blood spots under the skin away from the site of injection together with symptoms above

You can use the COVID-19 vaccines side effect symptoms checker if you have any concerns regarding side effects.


For all enquiries related to bookings (i.e. making, rescheduling or cancelling a booking as well as booking times) please contact the pharmacy in which you wish to receive your vaccination from. 


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