COVID-19 Vaccination Guide for Sex Workers

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This guide for sex workers about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout aims to support sex workers to make an informed decision about vaccination. It covers:

  • Eligibility
  • Where to get a vaccine
  • How to book
  • What documentation you might need to provide
  • Where to find accessible and reliable resources about vaccination options
  • Frequently asked questions

This resource is part of our COVID-19 Information Hub for sex workers. It contains other information about sex work and COVID-19 that support sex workers as we continue to be impacted by the pandemic. 

Sex workers face similar occupational risks of COVID-19 transmission to other workers in personal services and entertainment industries. Due to the accelerated vaccine roll-out effort across Australia, everyone aged 12 years and older is now eligible to receive a vaccine. The quickest way to book and choose your preferred vaccine is through the federal government’s Vaccines Clinic Finder. You do not have to disclose that you are a sex worker in order to get a vaccine, and there are no additional requirements for proof of eligibility for a vaccine for people who work in the sex industry. 

For people who are multilingual, vaccine information in a variety of  languages can be found on the following websites:

This resource is accurate as at the publication date of 13 October 2021. Changes to the rollout will continue to evolve, and we recommend checking your eligibility with the vaccine finder, speaking with your GP, or contacting your local sex worker peer organisation for more support on local vaccination issues.

Eligibility

Each state and territory across Australia is rolling out vaccinations for COVID-19. Eligibility and booking procedures vary between states and territories. Some are consistent with the federal rollout, and others have additional eligibility. This following table provides a brief overview of state and territory eligibility requirements. Click the link for your state or territory in the table below to read more about eligibility and booking in your state. 

Am I eligible for vaccination? How can I book? 
ACTEveryone aged 18 years and over, can get the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the ACT.
Everyone aged 12 to 17 years old can get the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
The booking method depends on the vaccination location (ACT Government vaccination clinic, GP clinic, pharmacy or Aboriginal Health Service) – see below for details
NSWEveryone in NSW aged 12 years and over is eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccination. You will get 2 doses of the same vaccine.
You can get the Pfizer of Moderna vaccine if you are 12 years old or over.
You can get the AstraZeneca vaccine if you are:
– 60 years old and over
– 18 to 59 years old – after discussing with your health professional.
Book online or call for COVID-19 vaccine at participating GP Clinics, Aboriginal Community Health Organisations, Respiratory Clinics and Community Pharmacists, in addition to dedicated NT COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics. If you are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander you can call an Aboriginal Health Clinic
If you do not have a Medicare card you will need to register for an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) and provide ID.
NTAll people in Queensland aged 12 or over are eligible to access free Pfizer (Comirnaty) or AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) vaccination. This includes people without a Medicare card.Register your interest here to book, or  you can walk-in to these vaccination sites, or you can book to attend General Practice or pharmacy locations via the Commonwealth Gov website Vaccine Clinic Finder.
QLDPeople over 16 are eligible if they live in a regional area. For everyone else, federal eligibility applies (see below).If you live in a regional area, use this clinic finder to book. If not, use the Vaccine Eligibility Checker.
SAPeople over 16 are eligible if they live in a regional area. For everyone else, federal eligibility applies (see below).If you live in a regional area, use this clinic finder to book. If not, use the Vaccine Eligibility Checker.
TASAll Tasmanians aged 12 years and over are eligibly for a vaccine. The type of vaccine depends on your age. See below for further details.Book online or call 1800 671 738.
VIC Federal eligibility applies (see below). Victoria has expanded eligibility to workers in ‘priority industries’ and people who are considered ‘vulnerable and at high risk of contracting or developing serious illness from COVID-19’.Book online, walk in or call 1800 675 398.
WAAll people aged 12 and over in WA are eligible for vaccination.Book online or call 13 268 43 to book in at a state-run COVID clinic. Participating GP clinics can be checked by using the online Vaccine Clinic Finder.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are also eligible to receive their vaccinations at Derlbarl Yerrigan Health Service or at their closest regional Aboriginal medical service.

Federal eligibility

Everyone aged 12 years and older is now eligible to receive a vaccine. This applies whether you have access to Medicare or not. The quickest way to book your vaccine appointment is through the federal government’s Vaccines Clinic Finder.  The Clinic Finder is a free and anonymous online process that allows you to choose your preferred vaccine and view available appointments at the relevant clinics.  Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna are available, but your choice of vaccines may depend on the vaccination clinic location and your age. If you are aged between 18 and 59, the federal government recommends that you speak with your health professional before getting AstraZeneca.

Vaccines are available across Australia at: 

  • state and territory operated clinics
  • general practices 
  • Commonwealth vaccination clinics 
  • community pharmacies 
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services
  • other arrangements, such as doctors visiting an aged care or disability residential service, government-operated pop up clinics, or teams organised by disability service providers
  • some workplaces.

If you are part of a priority group, you can identify yourself to your chosen vaccination provider so they can help you get an appointment as soon as possible. The priority groups are: 

  • aged and disability care workers
  • people with disability
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
  • people who are pregnant
  • people with underlying medical conditions.

Obtaining proof of vaccination is covered in our FAQ section below, and includes information about how to get it, even if you are not eligible for Medicare. 

If you need more information, including access support: 

  • Visit the Department of Health’s COVID-19 website.
  • Call the National COVID-19 vaccine helpline on 1800 020 080. 
  • For translating and interpreting services, call 13 14 50.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or a person with a speech or communication disability, you can visit the National Relay Service website or call 1300 555 727.

Australian Capital Territory

Eligibility

  • Everyone aged 18 years and over, can get the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in the ACT.
  • Everyone aged 12 to 17 years old can get the Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

Booking

Eligible people can make a booking:

  • At an ACT Government COVID-19 vaccination clinic

o online – using the ACT Government booking system MyDHR*

o over the phone – call the ACT COVID-19 vaccination booking line on 02 5124 7700, 7am to 7pm, daily

If you are a person with a disability or mental health conditions, the Weston Creek Access and Sensory Clinic is available. The clinic is also available for support staff, volunteers or carers attending the appointment as well.

If you don’t have a Medicare card, you can book in for your free COVID-19 vaccination at:

If you’re not eligible for Medicare, you can still get proof of your COVID-19 vaccinations.

More info

  • Visit the ACT Vaccine roll-out government website
  • Call the ACT Vaccination phone line on 02 5124 7700.

New South Wales

Eligibility and booking:

NSW has the same eligibility requirements as the federal government (provided above). To assess your eligibility and to book an appointment go to the Vaccine Eligibility Checker. If you don’t have Medicare you will need to call the NSW booking service on 1800 571 155. 

COVID-19 vaccination bookings for 16 +:

Vaccination appointments for people aged 16 years and over are available at more than 3,000 locations across NSW, including pharmacies, GPs and NSW Health clinics. Use the Vaccine Clinic Finder to book. 

If you’re in rural or regional NSW, you can find clinic locations here

AstraZeneca walk-in vaccination clinics for 18+

  • For clinic locations, see this list.
  • No appointment is necessary, and a GP referral is not required. 
  • Bilingual health workers are available at each clinic to answer your questions about the AstraZeneca vaccine. Information flyers are also available. 

Vaccination clinic information for people with disabilities

Find an accessible clinic that meets your needs on this list. Note your preferred clinic and then go to the Australian Government COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder to make an appointment. Enter your details, then search by postcode to find your chosen clinic.

Once you have made your appointment, contact the clinic on the details listed below to let them know about your accessibility requirements.

You must not attend your vaccination appointment if:

  • you have any COVID-19 symptoms (get tested and self-isolate until you receive a negative test result).
  • you are a close contact.
  • you are a casual contact and you haven’t received your negative test result yet.

More info

Northern Territory

Eligibility 

All people 12 years and over are eligible to be vaccinated in NT.  This includes guest workers or travelers residing in the NT for short periods of time. 

Booking

Vaccination requirements in NT

From November 2021, the Territory will introduce directions making COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for workers in a number of settings. You can find out more about the current directions and who they apply to. A wide range of industries are included. Where there are exceptions to these requirements, unvaccinated people must be able to provide evidence as to why they are not able to receive a vaccine. There are also requirements for employers to sight and keep records of proof of vaccination. You can contact SWOP NT to better understand how sex workers are impacted by the new requirements. 

More info

Queensland

Eligibility

All people aged 12 years and over are eligible for the Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna (Spikevax) COVID-19 vaccine. People aged 60 years and over, and any person over the age of 18 who has had a first dose of AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), without any serious adverse events and made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits are eligible for an AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) COVID-19 vaccine. 

Anyone over 12 years of age in Queensland can access vaccination for free. The Qld Gov are prioritising the following groups for their rollout:

  • Any person requiring a second dose of vaccine (based on vaccine type and age eligibility)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 12 and over
  • Pregnant women during any stage of pregnancy
  • Residential aged care and disability care workers
  • Healthcare workers and support staff including students on clinical placement
  • Hotel quarantine workers (including passenger transport services)
  • Workers at airports that receive international and domestic flights
  • Queensland-based international and interstate air crew workers
  • Border workers
  • Freight workers who cross domestic borders
  • Distribution centre workers
  • Fly-in-fly-out workers
  • Volunteers at a COVID-19 testing or vaccination clinic
  • Maritime industry workers
  • Critical and high risk workers e.g. emergency services, corrective services, youth detention centres, meat processing businesses, freight and food distribution
  • School and early childhood staff

Bookings

More info

South Australia

Eligibility 

Eligibility

  • Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine is available for all people 12+ years (people 60+ years who want to receive Pfizer must book at an SA Health vaccination clinic).
  • Spikevax (Moderna) vaccine is available for all people 12+ years at participating pharmacies.
  • Vaxzevia (AstraZeneca) vaccine is available for people 18+ years. Visit the AstraZeneca page for more information.

Bookings

The Vaccine Eligiblity Checker can help you to –

  • Book your vaccine appointments
  • Find participating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services
  • Find participating General Practices (GPs) and GP-let Respiratory Clinics providing the vaccine
  • Find participating pharmacies providing the vaccine

For more information:

  • Visit the SA Health COVID-19 Vaccine website, web pages are available in your language
  • Visit the Australian Government Health website, web pages are available in your language
  • Call the SA COVID-19 Information line at 1800 253 787, operates 9.00am to 5.00pm, 7 days a week
  • Call the National Coronavirus Information Helpline at 1800 020 080
  • If you require translating or interpreting services call 131 450
  • If you are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or have a speech or communication impairment, contact National Relay Service at 1800 555 677

More Info

Tasmania

Eligibility

  • All Tasmanians aged 12 years and over are eligible to receive the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine. This includes anyone aged 60 and over if they have not already had a first dose of AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria).
  • All Tasmanians aged 12 years and over are eligible to receive the Moderna (Spikevax) vaccine. This includes anyone aged 60 and over, if they have not already had a first dose of AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria).
  • AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) is a safe and effective vaccine and will continue to be accessible for people aged 60 years and over. If you’ve had a first dose of AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), it’s important that you receive a second dose of the same vaccine. 
  • You will get two doses of the same vaccine, and should not mix two different vaccines. 

Booking

You can book online or call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

More info

  • TAS Health information on vaccine rollout 
  • Call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Victoria

Eligibility

Victoria has expanded its eligible priority groups beyond the federal scheme to include: 

  • Priority industries:
    • corrective and detention services including community correction staff
    • staff working within high risk accommodation settings, such as supported residential services
    • public transport drivers and other workers that are public-facing
    • ride share and taxi drivers
    • all staff at international ports of entry
  • People considered to be vulnerable and at high risk of contracting or developing serious illness from COVID-19, such as:
    • those experiencing homelessness, sleeping rough, or in emergency accommodation 
    • those receiving drug and alcohol support services 
    • residents of residential mental health facilities
    • those in sensitive accommodation including high rise/low rise public housing, supported residential services, community housing, rooming houses and others
    • prisoners in custody and detainees within corrections facilities 

Booking

If you are eligible and wish to book an appointment you can:

  • Use the VIC Online Booking system
  • Call the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 (for an interpreter, press 0). 
  • Use the Vaccine Eligibility Checker if you want to access a participating GP or community health service
  • See here to find out which clinics offer walk-in appointments, and the estimated wait times of all clinics. 

If you or the person that you are booking for has a disability and needs additional support to get a COVID-19 vaccine or is unable to attend a vaccine centre, you can contact a Disability Liaison Officer.

More info 

Western Australia

Eligibility 

  • All people aged 12  and over can now be vaccinated in WA. 
  • Children aged between 12 – 15 years must have consent from their legal guardian. The guardian must either attend the appointment, or fill in a consent form and also ensure someone 18 years or older accompanies the minor to the appointment.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 12 years and over can also receive their vaccines from Derlbarl Yerrigan Health Service if they live in the Perth metro area. They can be contacted by phoning (08) 9421 3888. Those who live out of the Perth metro area should contact their closest regional Aboriginal Health Service.

Booking

  • You can book via the Vaccinate WA site
  • You can also call 13 268 43 (8am – 6pm, 7 days a week).
  • You can also get information on where to access the vaccine on the Roll Up for WA website

More info

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does the vaccine cost? 

Nothing. The vaccine is free for anyone living in Australia, regardless of citizenship or visa status. You do not need a medicare card, and you don’t need a prescription from a GP to get vaccinated.

What do I need to bring to my vaccination appointment? 

  • You need to bring a valid photo ID. 

What information do I need to disclose to book and receive my vaccination? 

  • You do not need to disclose any personal information beyond what makes you eligible for vaccination when booking or when you arrive at your vaccination appointment. You do not have to disclose your past or present work in sex work. 
  • For more info on disclosing particular identities, see below for accessible resources. 

What if I don’t have Medicare? 

  • If you don’t have a Medicare card, or are Medicare-ineligible, you can still get a COVID-19 vaccine. 
  • The Department of Health has provided more information on this here
  • You can book through the Vaccines Clinic Finder, where you can indicate whether you have Medicare or not. 
  • If you are not eligible for Medicare or an Individual Health Identifier, you will need to book your vaccine at a Commonwealth, state or territory government vaccination clinic

How do I get proof of my vaccination? 

Services Australia provides a short form that tells you how you can get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination. It is anonymous, quick and suitable for everyone, whether you have Medicare or not. The form can also be translated if you need. You can also visit the Department of Health’s information on COVID-19 digital certificates.

If you require proof of vaccination that does not disclose your legal name, please see our resource on providing proof of vaccination for sex workers. 

Which vaccine will I receive? 

You can choose which vaccine you would prefer when booking through the Vaccine Clinics Finder. According to the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) the current recommendations for each vaccine are:

  • Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca): recommended for people aged 60 years and over. It is also recommended to people aged 18 to 59 in outbreak areas, if they do not have immediate access to Pfizer or Moderna and have a prior discussion with their health professional. See here for further information on the AstraZeneca vaccine. 
  • Comirnaty (Pfizer): approved for use in people over the age of 12.  See here for further information on the Pfizer vaccine.
  • Spikevax (Moderna): approved for use in people aged 12 years and over. See here for further information on the Moderna vaccine.

The Department of Health has developed  vaccine safety and side effects information if you would like more info. It includes a link to the Vaccine Side Effect Checker, developed by Health Direct. 

How long do I have to wait between vaccinations?

The current dose schedules for the vaccines are: 

  • AstraZeneca: 4-12 weeks apart. 
  • Pfizer: 3-6 weeks apart.
  • Moderna: At least 4 weeks apart. 

What do I do if I have a complaint about my experience of vaccination? 

If you are concerned about something that happened during the process of your vaccination, you can make a complaint about it. For example, if you were pressured into disclosing information, discriminated against or denied service, you may want to make a complaint. 

You can complain either directly to the health service provider that provided you with the vaccination (eg. the GP clinic, vaccination centre or hospital) or you can make a complaint with the government health complaints service of your state or territory. 

Contact your relevant health complaints service for more information and advice on how to make a complaint:

You can also contact your local sex worker peer organisation for further support. 

What if I can’t get the vaccine due to a medical contraindication or natural immunity? 

If you think you may be exempt from receiving a COVID-19 vaccination, speak to your health care professional. 

Where can I find accessible information about the vaccine and vaccination process?  

For people who are multilingual, there are resources in a variety of  languages from the following websites:

For people living with HIV:

  • The National Association of People Living with HIV (NAPWHA) have created COVID-19 Vaccination resource page which includes audio / visual information on the vaccine, eligibility and confidentiality. 

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people:

For trans and gender diverse people:

  • TransHub has created a COVID-19 Resource page that includes information about the vaccine and gender affirming healthcare. 

For people with disability:

For people who are breastfeeding, pregnant or planning for pregnancy:

For aged care workers, providers and residents:

For people who use drugs:

  • Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL) refers people who use drugs to a list of prescribers (clinicians) put together by the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM). These clinicians are trained to provide appropriate care for people living with blood borne viruses. 
  • The NSW Users and AIDS Association (NUAA) has produced a set of COVID-19 resources on vaccination, living with COVID-19, NUAA services during the pandemic, and more. 

Where can I find reliable sources of information about COVID-19 vaccination?