The COVID-19 vaccine is a safe way to protect you, your family, and your friends from getting sick.

The information on this page is about vaccinating people aged 18 to 64.

Recommended vaccines

Adults can be vaccinated at SA Health vaccination clinics, GPs and pharmacies. 

For people aged 18 to 64:

  • Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine
    • Two doses, eight weeks apart
    • A booster dose three months after your second dose
  • Moderna COVID-19 vaccine (only available at GPs and pharmacies)
    • Two doses, eight weeks apart
    • A booster dose three months after your second dose
  • Novavax COVID-19 vaccine (only available at selected SA Health vaccination clinics, GPs and pharmacies)
    • Two doses, three weeks apart
    • A Pfizer or Moderna booster dose three months after your second dose

People aged 18 to 64 with severe immunocompromise:

  • A third dose is recommended, two months after the second dose
  • A booster dose three months after your second dose
  • A winter dose four months after your booster dose, or three months after you’ve recovered from COVID-19 if you caught it after your booster dose.

Find out what to expect before, during and after your vaccination appointment.

Why should I get vaccinated?

The vaccines work by teaching your body to fight illness so that you don’t get sick or your symptoms aren’t as bad if you do get sick.

Having the vaccine means you will be less likely to catch COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you’re vaccinated, you will be able to visit vulnerable or older family members more safely. 

There is still a chance that you will catch COVID-19, but if you do, you are likely to have no symptoms or mild symptoms.

Safety and efficacy

All age groups are given the same safe and effective vaccine, which is given at a different dose depending on age.

The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, providing protection against existing variants including Delta and Omicron.

The vaccines have been tested extensively in clinical trials and, following the conclusion of the clinical trials, millions of people around the world have been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Side effects

You might experience some side effects after your vaccine, but these are usually mild and only last for a couple of days. This might include pain, redness or swelling, a headache, or a fever. This is very normal. 

Use the COVID-19 vaccine side effects symptom checker if you have concerns about any symptoms after your vaccine. Alternatively, you can call the National COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline on 1800 020 080.

Underlying medical conditions and allergies

Older adults with an underlying medical condition should speak with their GP or treating specialist about getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

It is important that you get vaccinated as soon as possible to significantly reduce your risk of COVID-19 infection, illness or hospitalisation.

Your GP or treating specialist may refer you the South Australia COVID-19 Specialist Immunisation Clinic (SACSIC) at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. All referrals must be made by your GP or treating specialist using the SACSIC Referral Form. Criteria for referral are listed on the form.

For further information about the importance of vaccination, read the Allergy, Immunodeficiency, Autoimmunity and COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs.

Vaccination after COVID-19 infection

If you have had COVID-19 you should wait to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine for 3 months after the confirmed infection.

This is to optimise your vaccine protection. A longer gap between infection and vaccination is likely to lead to a better immune response and result in longer protection from reinfection.

The next scheduled dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be given as soon as possible after 3 months. You should still have all the recommended doses.

If you have had COVID-19, you do not need to defer other vaccinations – for example, your flu vaccine. But you should not get any vaccine if you are acutely unwell (e.g., you have a fever).