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Vaccine Queue Calculator for Australia

Created by Steven Wooding, Joanna Michałowska, PhD and Wojciech Sas, PhD
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk
Last updated: May 03, 2024

This calculator was last updated on 12/03/2021. It is currently not updated on a regular basis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every country in the world, changing the lives of all of us. In Australia, the number of casualties has already exceeded 900, not to mention the country's economic loss. We all think this virus has been our guest for way too long - but what can we do about it? The most effective way to battle this kind of enemy is to create a vaccine against it 💉. Multiple companies have been in a race since COVID-19 was discovered to do just that, and some of them eventually succeeded 💪.

The first dose of the vaccine was administered in Australia on Sunday, 21 February. Yes, we have an awaited defence against COVID-19!

Since there are over 25,600,000 people in Australia, not everybody can get vaccinated immediately. It raises a whole load of new questions:

  • Who will be first in the queue to get the vaccine?
  • When are you likely to be offered it?

We created this calculator to deliver all the answers to both of these crucial questions. The vaccine queue calculator for Australia will estimate how many people are ahead of you in the queue to get a COVID vaccine in Australia. It also predicts how long you might have to wait to get your vaccine. By using our tool, you'll have a better idea of when you can expect to get vaccinated.

We've based our vaccine queue calculator on the priority list released by the Australian government and the likely rate of vaccination.

Who gets the vaccine first? - The priority list

More than 50 vaccines for the novel coronavirus are being tested in clinical trials worldwide. Some of them have already been approved in the United States, Canada, the European Union, and other countries. Australia has entered into 4 separate agreements for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines. The first one is expected to be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) by the end of January.

However, that's not the end of the COVID story just yet. Millions of doses of vaccines now have to be produced and injected into the arms of people. That is one massive manufacturing, logistical, and time-consuming task for everyone involved. It is all going to take time.

See our vaccine production calculator to better understand this process.

To make sure that people who are at higher risk will be vaccinated in the first place, the Australian government has published a COVID-19 vaccine national roll-out strategy. It consists of three phases (but five stages) of vaccination with a priority list of groups.

Let's have a look at it:


1. Phase 1a:

  • Quarantine and border workers;
  • Frontline health care worker sub-groups for prioritization*;
  • Aged care and disability care staff;
  • Aged care and disability care residents.

*Those include frontline staff in facilities or services such as hospital emergency departments, COVID-19 and respiratory wards, Intensive Care Units and High-dependency Units; laboratory staff handling potentially infectious material; ambulance and paramedics services; GP respiratory clinics, and COVID-19 testing facilities.

2. Phase 1b:

  • Elderly adults aged 70 years and over;
  • Other health care workers;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people > 55;
  • Younger adults with an underlying medical condition (detailed list here), including those with a disability;
  • Critical and high-risk workers, including defense, police, fire, emergency services, and meat processing.


3. Phase 2a:

  • Adults aged 50-69 years;
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 18- 54 years old;
  • Other critical and high-risk workers*.

*People working in the supply and distribution of essential goods and services such as food, water, electricity, telecommunications, and other critical infrastructure.

4. Phase 2b:

  • The rest of the adult population;
  • Catching up any unvaccinated Australians from previous phases.


5. Phase 3:

  • Population < 18 years old if recommended.

More details for different groups are available on Australian Government website.

Underlying medical conditions

If you have some underlying medical conditions, it means that you should receive a COVID-19 vaccination as a priority (Phase 1b).

Those include:

  • cardiovascular disease;
  • diabetes;
  • severe obesity (BMI >= 40);
  • chronic renal failure;
  • chronic lung disease (excluding mild or moderate asthma);
  • non-haematological cancer (diagnosed in the last 12 months);
  • chronic liver disease;
  • neurological conditions, including stroke and dementia;
  • chronic inflammatory conditions and treatments;
  • other primary or acquired immunodeficiency, including HIV;
  • poorly controlled blood pressure;
  • organ transplant recipients on immune suppressive therapy;
  • people with a bone marrow transplant in the last 24 months;
  • people on immune suppressive therapy for graft versus host disease;

*haematological cancers (e.g. leukaemia, lymphoma) diagnosed within the last 5 years;

  • receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Check a list of at-risk population groups for COVID-19 compiled by The Department of Health for more information and consult your doctor.

🙋 Also, see our diabetes risk calculator, cardiovascular risk calculator, BMI calculator, and blood pressure calculator to learn how to estimate these indicators.

How to use the vaccine queue calculator for Australia?

Follow these steps to calculate your likely place in the COVID vaccine queue. The first section is all about you:

  1. Enter your age in years. Generally, the older you are, the sooner you'll be called up to have the vaccine.
  2. Say whether you live or work in a care home. If everyone in a care home is vaccinated, that will allow relatives to visit with decreased risk to the residents.
  3. Are you pregnant, or are you planning to be in the next three months? If the answer is yes, the decision to vaccinate should be made by the pregnant woman after clarification of possible doubts with the doctor.
  4. Are you a hotel quarantine or a border worker? This group is probably at the highest risk of exposure of anyone in the community at the moment.
  5. Are you a frontline health care worker (e.g., nurse, doctor, etc.). This group is likely to have a lot of exposure to the virus and needs to be protected.
  6. Would you classify yourself as an other healthcare worker (not frontline)?
  7. Do you belong to the indigenous community? Indigenous Australians over 55 are at higher risk of disease.
  8. Are you critical or high-risk worker (e.g., police, fire, emergency service)? This group is much more prone to be exposed to COVID.
  9. Would you consider yourself as an other critical and high-risk worker? This category consists of people working in the supply and distribution of essential goods and services such as food, water, electricity, telecommunications, and other critical infrastructure.
  10. Have you got any underlying health conditions? These at-risk medical conditions include (but are not limited to) chronic lung disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and severe obesity. Check a list of at-risk population groups for COVID-19 compiled by The Department of Health or contact your doctor if you are not sure whether your condition may be eligible.

You will then see an estimate of the minimum and the maximum number of people who are in line to receive the vaccine before you. We also indicate how long it might be before you get both doses of the vaccine and be fully protected based on the vaccination rate. By default, we base these figures on a vaccination rate of 500,000 vaccination a week and a default uptake rate of 73% (not everyone who is asked to receive the vaccine will accept it). If you want to change these values, you can do it in the Rollout of vaccines section.

We know that waiting to get the vaccine might be frustrating. However, by prioritizing those people that are most at risk of hospitalization and death, we should quickly be able to save lives with this fantastic new weapon against the virus.

💡 How do masks help us avoid infection? See our face mask calculator to learn about the importance of wearing one during virus outbreaks.


Who shouldn't be vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccination is not recommended only in one case which is children under 18 years old 👶👦👧.

It shouldn't surprise or raise any doubts since new drugs are usually tested on adults first. However, with more available studies, these contraindications might change.

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

Once COVID-19 vaccines are approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), it means that they have passed all their safety tests. However, as with any approved drug on the market, you may experience side effects. Generally, though, the risk of side effects is much smaller than the possible consequences of a nasty COVID-19 infection.

These side effects include pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. Some people might also have injection site swelling and redness, and nausea. Very rarely, people feel unwell and have enlarged lymph nodes.

How many shots of the COVID-19 vaccine will I need?

Nearly all COVID-19 vaccines approved or under development need two shots to be effective. The doses need to be around 3 to 12 weeks apart, depending on the vaccine.

I'm pregnant or breastfeeding. Can I vaccine myself?

Currently, clinical trials have not yet provided data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant women. At the same time, there is no information on contraindications to the vaccination during pregnancy.

🤰 The decision to vaccinate should be made by the pregnant woman, after clarification of possible doubts with the doctor.

👶 There is no need to interrupt or avoid the initiation of breastfeeding by women who have received COVID-19 vaccine.

Women planning to become pregnant in the near future are advised to take the vaccination. The vaccine has not been shown to affect fertility.

Do I still need to wear a mask after I am vaccinated?

Yes, you need to wear a mask. At this stage, it is still unclear whether the current vaccine will also prevent the transmission of the virus to people around you. It is similar to the current situation where people have COVID-19 but suffer no symptoms. However, they are still able to transmit it to others. It may be only until a good majority of people have been vaccinated that restrictions to our daily lives are lifted.

For flu, experts say the herd immunity should be achieved when around 70% of the population gets vaccinated, so that is the current working theory for COVID-19.

If I've had COVID-19, do I need to be vaccinated?

Yes. If you have had COVID-19, then your body will have some natural immunity to it, preventing you from suffering from it again. However, some early evidence suggests this natural immunity might not last very long. While we also don't know precisely how long the vaccine's protection lasts, it could be better than your natural immunity. It will undoubtedly extend the time you are resistant to COVID-19.

Will there be enough vaccine for everyone?

Certainly not at the moment, but eventually, yes. Pfizer alone plans to produce 1.3 billion doses of its vaccine in 2021. As further vaccines are approved and manufactured, more supply will come on stream to meet the demand around the world.

Steven Wooding, Joanna Michałowska, PhD and Wojciech Sas, PhD
This calculator estimates where you are in the queue to receive a COVID vaccine in Australia. 💉

It is based on the priority list released by the Australian government on the 7th of January 2021.
About you
Care home resident or worker?
Pregnant? 🤰
Hotel quarantine/Border worker? 🛎️/🛂
Frontline health worker? 👩‍⚕️
Other health care worker? 👨‍⚕️
Indigenous community?
Critical/High risk worker? 👮👩‍🚒
Other critical/high risk worker?
Underlying medical conditions? 🤒
These at-risk medical conditions include, but are not limited to, chronic lung disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or severe obesity. View a detailed list or consult your doctor.
Rollout of vaccines
Vaccine rate
Australian government's plan
Time to vaccinate everyone
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