Information for people with disability or special requirement

Last Updated: 23 Jun 2022 3:42pm

Get vaccinated now

People with disability or special requirements aged 5 years and over can get vaccinated.

This includes people who use Auslan, autistic people, NDIS participants, those who receive a Disability Support Pension, have mobility challenges, or any other disabilities or special requirements.

People with disability or special requirements and their carers can visit any Tasmanian community vaccination clinic to get a vaccination. Bookings are required – to make an appointment, go to COVID-19 vaccination or call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

Vaccines are also available at GPs and pharmacies.

Booster vaccines are available to anyone aged 16 and over who has had their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine more than three months ago. This includes people who were aged 15 when they received their second dose and are now aged 16. Certain people are also eligible for a second booster four months after their first booster dose.

Adolescents aged 12-15 years – a first booster of Pfizer vaccine is recommended three months after a primary course for people in this age group:

  • who are severely immunocompromised
  • have a disability with significant or complex health needs
  • have complex and/or multiple health conditions which increase the risk of severe COVID-19.

Read the ATAGI Statement on first boosters in 12-15 year olds.

A third primary dose vaccination is recommended for anyone who is severely immunocompromised as part of their primary course of vaccination – this is different to a booster vaccine.

ATAGI recommends a second winter dose (or fourth dose) for residents in disability care.

Read more about boosters and third primary doses.

Additional support at state-run vaccination clinics

Tasmania offers COVID-19 vaccination clinics accessible for people with disability additional needs.

This includes people with a fear of needles or medical procedures, mental illness, anxiety or people who just need a longer appointment time.

Additional support may be available at community clinics depending on the location. This includes:

  • Wheelchair access
  • Low sensory or private space: a private room or location away from the general vaccinations area
  • Longer appointments
  • Fast track: priority access on arrival to reduce waiting time in queue
  • Interpreter service: professional healthcare Auslan interpreters are available for people who are Deaf (see below for more information)
  • Trained staff: who have received training by Autism Tasmania or are familiar with how to care for people with disabilities
  • Pain relief options: including topical anaesthetic cream
  • Early Bird Vaccination for People with Additional Needs: a customisable vaccination opportunity to provide a quiet and supportive environment
  • Support person: you can ask someone to be with you when you are vaccinated. This could be a support worker, family member, carer, or friend.

If you have additional needs and would like to discuss your concerns or your eligibility for a home visit vaccination, call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 and ask for a referral to the vaccination clinical nurse consultants. An Immunisation Plan will be developed to ensure you have an appropriate vaccination experience. This may include vaccination at the Early Bird Service for People with Additional Needs. You may also be able to get your COVID vaccine and/or your flu vaccine at home.

Preparing for your vaccination appointment

Before going to a vaccination appointment, we suggest you read the My Immunisation Action Plan which:

  • makes suggestions such as bringing headphones or sunglasses with you
  • explains using a Buzzy - a small vibrating plastic bee with blue ice-pack wings which is placed on an arm to help block pain and distract the person getting vaccinated
  • asks you to think about what clothes to wear which will make it easier for the immuniser to access your arm
  • suggests you talk about who is going to take you and how you will get to the clinic
  • has suggestions on how a child can sit comfortably while getting vaccinated.

Fill out the plan and bring it with you to your appointment. Give the plan to the immunising team who will use the information you have provided to support you through the vaccination process.

How to request an Auslan interpreter

To request an Auslan interpreter at your appointment, please email tasvax@health.tas.gov.au with your name, the clinic location and time and we will endeavour to organise this.

For information about the vaccine in Auslan, please see this series of videos in Auslan explaining and answering questions related to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Informed consent for persons with a disability

Everyone, including those with disability and residents in disability accommodation, must provide valid consent before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you choose to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the staff where you live or at the location you go for vaccination will ask you whether it is okay to give you the vaccine. It is your choice to have the vaccine or not.

If you can't give consent, someone who is allowed to make decisions for you can give consent for you.

Learn more facts and information about COVID-19 vaccines.

More information

Read more information about COVID-19 vaccines for people with disability.

For information in Easy Read, please see Fact Sheets about COVID-19 vaccines in Easy Read format.

Popular Fact Sheets include:

More support

For more help or support:

  • Call the Disability Gateway Helpline on 1800 643 787 for support with booking.
  • The National Relay Service is available for people who have trouble hearing or speaking with people who use a phone.
  • Call the National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 and choose option ‘5’ for disability help. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.