Information for North Coast communities
Healthy North Coast has worked closely with the NSW Public Health Unit and our primary health care workforce since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to support our local communities.
If you can’t find the COVID-19 information you are looking for below, please get in touch with us using this contact form
You can also sign up to our community newsletter to receive important updates direct to your inbox.
To speak directly to a professional about COVID-19, call the Australian Government’s National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. If you require translating or interpreting services, call 131 450. Both lines operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Receive the latest local COVID-19 information via our Healthy North Coast newsletters
COVID-19 vaccines are free and recommended for everyone aged 5 years and older. The Vaccine Clinic Finder is the best way to find and book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
ATAGI have updated the number of vaccines required:
- 50+ should receive 4 doses
- 30-49 should receive 3 doses, option of 4th
- 16-29 should receive 3 doses
- 5-15 should receive 2 doses
Some people with severe or complex health needs may need additional doses and you should talk to your health professional to see what is best for your age and health needs.
Vaccines can be booked 3 months after your first 2 doses or COVID infection.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines visit https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines
If you are experiencing financial difficulty due to COVID-19, the NSW Government and the Australian Government can provide financial assistance and support.
To view more information and apply for assistance, visit the NSW Government website.
Call service available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for any COVID-19 related concerns or enquiries. To speak to someone about your individual situation, call 137 788.
National Coronavirus Helpline
Call this Australian Government Department of Health phone line for information on coronavirus. The line operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
1800 020 080
Phone this number to speak to a registered nurse about your health concerns. The line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
1800 022 222
- Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service
Beyond Blue has developed a range of information, strategies and expert advice to help support you.
You can call the phone support line on 1800 512 348 or chat online to a trained counsellor (available 24/7)
There is also an online community forum where you can connect with others.
- Connect to Wellbeing North Coast
Call Connect to Wellbeing to speak to someone about accessing the most appropriate services for your needs.
- Head to Health can help you find the right digital mental health resources to support you.
- The National Mental Health Commission has developed resources to help you look out for signs of pandemic fatigue, outlining steps you can take to be kind to yourself and overcome these feelings. To learn more, view the National Health’s Commission’s pandemic fatigue flyer.
If you or someone you care for needs immediate emergency support, please call one of the numbers below:
Nearest emergency department 000
Lifeline 13 11 14
Mental Health Access Line 1800 011 51
More support information and resources can be accessed via Life in Mind.
- Dementia Australia has created COVID-19 dementia help sheets and other resources for for people living with dementia, their friends, families and carers.
- Older Persons COVID-19 Support Line provides information and support to senior Australians, their families and carers. Call Monday to Friday, except public holidays, from 8:30 am to 6 pm.
1800 171 866
Everybody is at risk of contracting COVID-19 (coronavirus), so you need to protect yourself and others. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and people living in remote communities are at greater risk from COVID-19. Find more information and advice about protecting your community .
You can also subscribe to the latest advice on COVID-19 for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
Fact sheets for the Aboriginal community
- Tips for mob (PDF, 307 KB)
- Booster shots: what to know and where to go (PDF, 109 KB)
- Isolating at home (PDF, 244 KB)
- Keeping COVID-safe (PDF, 883 KB)
Facebook videos for the Aboriginal community
- Djaan Jarrett on COVID vaccinations (18 May 2021)
- Djaan Jarrett on COVID testing (31 July 2020)
- Nicola Barker on COVID and chronic conditions (30 Mar 2020)
- Djaan Jarrett’s COVID message for the mob (22 Mar 2020)
COVID-19 vaccination questions and answers
Everyone in Australia can access free COVID-19 vaccines and boosters. It is important to talk to your doctor about any existing medical conditions before being vaccinated. Use the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder to find your nearest clinic. If you are eligible, you will be able to view vaccination locations and book your appointment.
Latest updates (July 2022)
From Monday, 11 July an additional 7.4 million Australians became eligible to receive a fourth COVID-19 vaccination. This followed the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) updating its recommendations.
ATAGI recommends people aged 50 to 64 years join those aged 65 and over in having their fourth dose. People aged 30 to 49 years may choose to have a fourth shot, as they are now eligible also.
To check your eligibility for a booster, you should visit your vaccination record on myGov or your MyHealthRecord app to see when your second dose was, then add 5 months.
Vaccination interval reduced
The recommended interval between vaccinations has been reduced from 4 months to 3 months.
For people who have had COVID-19, ATAGI recommends a booster shot 3 months after infection.
Antiviral access expanded
In other recent changes, Australians aged over 70 who test positive to COVID will be able to access antivirals on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme.
Access will also be expanded to:
- people aged over 50 with two or more risk factors for severe disease
- Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people aged over 30 with two or more risk factors for severe disease
- immunocompromised people over 18, who may also be eligible.
COVID reinfection period cut to 4 weeks
NSW Health has reduced the COVID-19 reinfection period from 12 weeks to 28 days due to the latest Omicron sub-variants and the rate at which they are infecting people.
The reduced reinfection period means people who have previously had COVID-19 will be required to test again after 28 days if still experiencing symptoms. Those who test positive after 28 days will be counted as new cases and should isolate.
There’s still time to take advantage of free flu shots offered by the NSW Government up to 17 July and to book a vaccination appointment with your GP or local pharmacy as soon as possible.
The influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and over. It can be given on the same day as the COVID-19 vaccine.
There are more than 200 locations across the North Coast where people can access their COVID or flu vaccines, including GPs and pharmacies.
People should continue to take precautions to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and influenza. These include:
- Stay at home if you are sick and avoid close contact with other people to protect yourself and the community.
- Wear a mask in indoor spaces if you are unable to physically distance.
- Sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often.
Below are shortcut links to some of the frequently asked COVID-19 vaccine questions.
About the COVID-19 vaccines
Getting the vaccination
- Why should I get vaccinated against COVID-19?
- How many doses do I need?
- Who should have a booster?
- Where can I get vaccinated against COVID-19?
- Why is a booster needed?
- Who is eligible for a booster vaccination?
- Why are people aged under 16 not eligible for a booster when they can get a vaccine?
- Which vaccines are available for the booster dose?
- How do I know when my last dose of my primary course of vaccination was?
- I’m immunocompromised and have had/am having a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Do I still need a booster?
- Is the booster dose mandatory?
- Am I no longer considered ‘fully vaccinated’ at 2 doses?
- Will I experience side effects from a booster?
- How do I know the booster is safe?
- Why do I need more doses, isn’t two enough?
- Why do I need protection against Omicron?
- Should I delay my booster if I have had COVID-19?
- Should I have a booster vaccination if I am pregnant?
- Why have ATAGI recommended a second booster for some people?
- Will more doses be required?
- How do I get a booster vaccination appointment?