Information last updated: 14 April 2022
Testing for COVID-19
Testing locations can be found on the Victorian Government's Coronavirus website.
When to get tested
They are quick and highly accurate, particularly if you have symptoms or if you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19.
- If you have symptoms or you are a contact, and you can't access a rapid antigen test, you should get a PCR test.
- If you can't access either test at the moment, isolate at home until you can.
Free rapid antigen tests (RATs)
You can now pick up rapid antigen tests (RATs) for free from the following Merri-bek City Council locations:
- Customer Service Centres
- Neighbourhood Houses -
Brunswick Neighbourhood House, Sussex Street Neighbourhood House
- Recreational and Aquatic Centres
- Oxygen Youth Space - 4/8 Gaffney St, Coburg
These rapid antigen tests are provided by the Victorian Government to help with early detection and treatment of COVID-19.
- You can collect up to 2 packets for yourself, plus up to 2 packets for each household member per visit.
- People with a disability or their carer can collect up to 4 packets of tests.
You do not need a Medicare or Concession card.
1 packet contains 5 rapid antigen tests. There is no limit on how often you can collect rapid antigen tests.
COVID-19 vaccines in Australia
COVID-19 vaccines are currently available for everyone aged 5 years and over. These vaccines are safe, and they are free for everyone in Australia (even if you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident).
These vaccines are designed to help keep you and your community safe from COVID-19.
You can find out which vaccine you are eligible for and where you can get the vaccine using the Vaccine Clinic Finder tool on the Australian Government's Department of Health website.
The program for vaccinating 5 to 11-year-olds commenced in January, 2022. You can find out more about vaccinating children on the Victorian Government's Coronavirus website.
The COVID-19 vaccination program is being rolled out by the Commonwealth and State Governments. Merri-bek City Council does not run the COVID-19 vaccination program. You can find out more about the Commonwealth and State Government vaccine program on the Australian Government's Department of Health website.
All vaccines protect people from becoming very ill from COVID-19
All of the vaccines available in Australia are designed to protect people from becoming very ill from COVID-19. They are particularly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalisation, and death.
Getting your vaccination helps to protect individuals and communities by reducing the spread and severity of COVID-19.
The best person to talk to if you have concerns about your health and being vaccinated against COVID-19 is your doctor or regular health professional.
Information about boosters
While primary doses of COVID-19 vaccines provide protection, against severe disease, staying up to date on your vaccines will make sure the protection is even stronger and longer-lasting.
Staying up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines increases your protection against:
- infection with the virus that causes COVID-19
- severe disease
- dying from COVID-19
A booster will continue to protect you, your loved ones, and your community against COVID-19. These vaccines are free for everyone. The booster dose is not mandatory. They are recommended to maintain immunity against COVID-19.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends waiting 6 months after your most recent COVID-19 vaccination or infection to receive your next COVID-19 vaccination.
Learn more about booster doses for COVID-19 vaccines on the Australian Department of Health website.
The Influenza (flu) vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine
The COVID-19 vaccine can be co-administered (that is, given on the same day and one after the other) with the flu vaccine. There is no requirement for a time interval between these vaccines.
The most common way to access the flu vaccine is through your doctor (GP) or a pharmacist immuniser. Some workplaces also provide flu vaccine programs free for staff.
Support services and help with COVID-19 vaccination bookings
We are here to help if you need support with the following:
- Access to support services
- Help booking a vaccine
Phone our COVID-19 support service on 8311 4140 between 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and we can assist you with getting the support services you need. This includes support to assist you in making a COVID-19 vaccination booking.
You can find out more about support services on our COVID-19 support page.
Make a booking
Book a vaccine appointment at a participating general practice, pharmacy or community health service on the Vaccine Clinic Finder website.
Hotline and translation
The Department of Health’s Coronavirus Hotline 1800 675 398 can help you book an appointment. They can answer questions you have about vaccination. You can find out more about this hotline on the Victorian Government's Coronavirus website.
COVID-19 vaccinations at home
The Victorian Government has an at-home appointment system for COVID-19 vaccinations. An at-home appointment means a healthcare professional (such as a doctor or nurse) visits your home to give you a COVID-19 vaccine.
Depending on wait times, it may take a little longer for you to get vaccinated using this service compared to attending a vaccination clinic, general practice, or pharmacy. To book an at-home appointment, call the COVID-19 hotline on 1800 675 398. If you need an interpreter, call the hotline and then press 0.
On the day of your at-home COVID-19 vaccine appointment, it will take about 45 minutes to get your vaccine. You can find out more about what to expect from an at-home COVID-19 vaccine appointment on the Victorian Government's Coronavirus website.
People with special requirements or a disability (and their carers) are encouraged to contact a Disability Liaison Officer (DLO) who can help with their booking. You can contact a DLO by:
- completing the Request for Disability Liaison Officer support online form
- emailing DLOcoordinator@dhhs.vic.gov.au
You can learn more about vaccine information for people with a disability or special requirements, including information about DLOs, on the Victorian Government's Coronavirus website.
Where to learn more about vaccination
The following information about COVID-19 vaccines is available on the Australian Government's Department of Health website.
- General information about COVID-19 vaccinations
- COVID-19 vaccine information in Easy Read formats
- COVID-19 vaccine information in Auslan
- COVID-19 vaccine information in languages other than English
You can find out which vaccine you are eligible for and where you can get this vaccine using the Vaccine Clinic Finder tool on the Australian Government's Department of Health website.
Vaccination resources in other languages
The documents below contain information about COVID-19 vaccinations in a range of languages.
- Benefits of Vaccination Flyer - English (PDF 300KB)
- Benefits of Vaccination Flyer - Arabic (PDF 356KB)
- Benefits of Vaccination Flyer - Chinese (simplified) (PDF 404KB)
- Benefits of Vaccination Flyer - Greek (PDF 372KB)
- Benefits of Vaccination Flyer - Italian (PDF 307KB)
- Benefits of Vaccination Flyer - Turkish (PDF 305KB)
Translated information about vaccines
Translated information about the COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia is available on the Victorian Government's Coronavirus website.