COVID-19 vaccination clinical information


Following a review of the use of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer is preferred over the COVID-19 vaccine by AstraZeneca in adults aged under 50 years. Find out more.

The information on this page will assist health professionals delivering the COVID-19 Vaccination Program in South Australia. Information contained in these documents is correct at the time of release. As information is continually evolving some documents will be updated if related information and recommendations change in the future.

Additional ATAGI advice on vaccination for people with certain conditions

ATAGI recommends that vaccination with any COVID-19 vaccine should be deferred for people who have a history of the following rare conditions. Advice may be updated as further information is available:

  • people with a confirmed medical history of CVST; and/or
  • people with a confirmed medical history of heparin induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). HIT is an immune-mediated complication of treatment with heparin that affects platelet function. A HIT-like mechanism is being investigated as a potential, but unconfirmed, pathway to CVST post COVID-19 vaccination.

Read more information about the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for COVID-19 vaccination providers.

Workforce training

To ensure the workforce is competent in the safe management and administration of COVID-19 vaccines, health practitioners must undertake specific mandatory training prior to order or administering any COVID-19 vaccinations.

For further information visit the Immunisation provider training and education page.

Resources for COVID-19 vaccine providers

The Australian Government Department for Health has a range of resources for GPs, including:

  • training information
  • clinical guidance and information
  • consent information, patient resources, and clinic resources.

The COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic Toolkit (PDF 982KB) provides a summary of clinical information and requirements for those who will be involved in the delivery of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program in South Australia.

Clinic checklists

Clinic resources

Health professionals delivering the COVID-19 Vaccination Program have access to clinic resources, including:

Related SA Health Policies

Reporting adverse reactions (mandatory)

As of 13 April 2021, an adverse advent following immunisation (AEFI) is a notifiable condition in South Australia pursuant to section 63(2) of the South Australian Public Health Act 2011. Medical practitioners and diagnostic laboratories are legally required to notify AEFI.

An AEFI refers to any untoward medical occurrence that follows immunisation, whether expected or unexpected, and whether triggered by the vaccine or only coincidentally occurring after receipt of vaccine.

All immunisation providers should notify any serious or unexpected AEFI, or any AEFI which resulted in healthcare attendance to SA Health. Members of the public are also able to report.

The South Australian Vaccine Safety Surveillance System (SAVSS) monitors AEFI for South Australia. Information from all received reports are also sent to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

Doctors are required to:

Be alert for any persistent, unexpected or severe AEFI, related to any vaccine.

Notify serious or unexpected AEFI, or any AEFI which resulted in healthcare attendance to SA Health: 

  • Online: Use the online Vaccine Reaction Report Form. On completion of the online report form, a lodgement number will be issued. If you have provided an email address, the option to receive confirmation including your lodgement number by email, is available. There is also an option to print a copy of your report.
  • Telephone: Alternatively you can phone the Immunisation Section, Communicable Disease Control Branch between 8.30am – 5.00pm Mon-Fri on 1300 232 272. Serious AEFI related to COVID vaccines can also be reported on this number outside of business hours.

Reporting program errors

COVID-19 Vaccine Program errors, including, cold chain error, incorrect vaccine count, incorrect dosage or vaccine given, can be reported via:

Vaccine safety surveillance

AusVaxSafety is the national system for monitoring vaccine safety in Australia and will actively follow up people who receive a COVID-19 vaccine by sending them an SMS or email with a short survey that asks if they experienced an AEFI.

SA Health vaccination clinics will encourage participation in active
surveillance by a QR Code system that is integrated with VaxTracker surveillance tool.

Active vaccine safety surveillance clinic information

Advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation

The Australian technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advises the Minister of Health on the immunisation programs and provides clinical guidance on the vaccines available in Australia.

Referring patients with a history of severe allergic reactions

Referrals can be made by GPs to the COVID Vaccine Adverse Effects Clinic at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) if there is a past history of reaction to the COVID-19 vaccine or for patients who experience a severe, immediate hypersensitivity reaction to vaccines.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccination see the Allergy, Immunodeficiency, Autoimmunity and COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs developed by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).

Referral criteria

Referrals will be reviewed by an Immunology Allergy Specialist clinicians as per the following triage criteria:

  • Individuals who have an immediate severe hypersensitivity reaction (occurring within 1 hour) after 1st dose of COVID vaccine.
  • Individuals who have a past history of anaphylaxis to polyethylene glycol (PEG, Macrogol) (all weights).
  • Individuals who have a past history of anaphylaxis to any component of the COVID-19 vaccine or other vaccine.
  • Individuals with history of severe immediate type 1 allergic reaction (Anaphylaxis) to multiple drugs, or unexplained anaphylaxis.
  • Individuals with history of severe unexplained illness within 14 days of receiving COVID vaccination requiring hospitalisation for greater than 24 hours.

Referrals that do not fulfil triage criteria will be rejected.

Please forward referrals to:

COVID Vaccine Adverse Effects Clinic, Level 3C, Royal Adelaide Hospital, Central Adelaide Local Health Network
Direct line: 08 7074 0787
Direct fax: 08 7074 6135
Email:  Health.RAHCOVIDVaccineAdverseEffects@sa.gov.au