Skip to main content
COVID-19 vaccination update for residential aged care – FAQs (November 2023)

No. Anyone recommended for a COVID-19 vaccine, should get one as soon as possible if they haven’t had one yet.

Australia has moved away from numbering doses and a ‘catch-up’ vaccination is not required.

ATAGI recommends a primary course of COVID-19 vaccinations, including a dose in 2023 and an additional dose if recommended.

It doesn’t matter how many doses a person has had before 2023.

There is not much benefit from having a COVID-19 vaccine soon after infection.

If you are unsure if you have had a COVID-19 infection in the past 6 months, it is safe to get a dose.

You can find a COVID-19 vaccine clinic and book an appointment with the health Service Finder at

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine from your local GP or pharmacist, or a GP or pharmacist visiting your aged care home.

All COVID-19 vaccines are anticipated to provide benefit to eligible people. However, the monovalent Omicron XBB.1.5 vaccines are preferred over other vaccines for eligible people.

See the Department of Health and Aged Care website:

You can also find a COVID-19 vaccine clinic and book an appointment with the health Service Finder at or call 1800 022 222 if you need COVID-19 advice.

If you get COVID-19 you need to take the oral antiviral treatments as soon as possible or within 5 days after getting symptoms.

Oral antivirals treatments are safe and effective in reducing the severity of COVID-19 and are available to people at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 including people 70 years and older.

Make sure you talk to your GP or nurse practitioner to find out whether the oral antiviral treatments are right for you and how to acess antivirals quickly if you need them.

2023 Pharmacy RACH Vaccination Program

Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN) is supporting the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout working alongside Residential Aged Care Homes (RACHs) to manage and reduce infection rates in facilities.

As a result, NQPHN has initiated the new 2023 Pharmacy RACH Vaccination Program to facilitate an in-reach service for pharmacies to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to vulnerable persons in RACFs.

For more information, click here.

COVID-19 vaccination by pharmacies in residential aged care homes

The Emergency Order which allowed pharmacies to attend Residential Aged Care Homes (RACHs) to vaccinate COVID-19 ended on 29 October 2023.

A new Extended Practice Authority for pharmacists was put into force. This allows pharmacists the opportunity to vaccinate at aged care facilities.

The authority can be found here.

Support for residential aged care homes

Northern Queensland PHN is working alongside residential aged care homes to manage and reduce infection rates in facilities.

All RACHs in the Northern Queensland PHN region were supported by the PHN to provide vaccinations for all residents and staff.

The PHN continues to actively support all RACHs in the region to ensure vaccinations are available.

Please contact us at if we can be of assistance.

Subscribe to receive NQPHN COVID-19 updates for Residential Aged Care Homes.

COVID-19 information and resources

Rapid response flowchart

The COVID-19 in a RACF: Overview and flowchart was jointly developed by a State and Commonwealth working group to help ensure Queensland can mobilise quickly and effectively in response to a COVID-19 case in an aged care facility.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

PPE for coronavirus (COVID-19) includes surgical masks, particulate filter respirators (such as P2 or N95), gloves, goggles, glasses, face shields, gowns and aprons. Guidelines on the use of PPE when caring for patients in the non-inpatient settings are available on the Department's website. If you have any questions about the use of PPE or if you require PPE, email

Support lines

  • A COVID-19 support line has been set up to provide information and support for older Australians, their families and carers. Freecall: 1800 171 866.
  • The FriendLine is for anyone who needs to reconnect or just wants a chat. All conversations with FriendLine are casual and anonymous and friendly volunteers are ready to talk about anything and everything. Call: 1800 424 287.

Public health guidelines

The Communicable Diseases Network Australia has developed these comprehensive national guidelines for the prevention, control and public health management of COVID-19 outbreaks in residential care facilities in Australia that cover:

  • preparedness and prevention
  • a flowchart for COVID-19 management
  • swab collection procedure, and more.

COVID-19 Vaccination and Antiviral Treatments factsheet

The Department of Health and Aged Care has developed a new resource, the COVID-19 Vaccination and Antiviral Treatments fact sheet, with information and answers to frequently asked questions for residents living in aged care homes and their families.

Useful websites

30 November 2023