COVID-19 can be very serious for adults in high-risk groups, even when they are fully vaccinated.
Everyone five years and older can now book an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. An additional booster dose, known as the fourth dose, is now available to people 30 years and older and recommended for people 50 and older.
For more information about vaccinations, click here.
If you have COVID-19, it is important to know you have the infection as soon as possible so you can isolate and avoid infecting anyone else.
Another important reason to find out as soon as possible if you have COVID-19 is that antiviral medications, recommended for older people and other high-risk groups, have to be taken quickly to be effective.
It is advisable to have a supply of rapid antigen tests (RATs) in the home so that you can test yourself as soon as you develop symptoms that may be a result of COVID-19. If you test negative but symptoms persist, please visit your doctor.
In Tasmania, you can request a RAT test by calling the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 or via the online form.
From 1 February 2023, PCR testing will continue to be available at GP clinics or by GP referral at pathology services.
What To Do If You Test Positive
All Australians aged 70 or older who test positive to COVID-19 are able to access antivirals on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Antiviral treatments, taken as a tablet or capsule, help to stop COVID-19 infection from becoming severe, but they need to be started early after testing positive. That is why it is recommended that you do a rapid antigen test or PCR test as soon as you develop symptoms.
People aged over 50 with two or more risk factors for severe disease, and Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people aged over 30 with two or more risk factors for severe disease also have access to antivirals on the PBS. Immunocompromised people over 18 may also be eligible.
Please talk to your doctor now about your COVID-19 risk factors and treatment options. Your doctor can help determine your exact eligibility for antivirals. Making a plan now will help save valuable time if you test positive for COVID-19.
For further advice please call Public Health or check up to date guidance on the Tasmanian Government Department of Health website.
COTA Tasmania has developed resources to support older Tasmanians during the COVID-19 pandemic, with support from the Tasmanian Government.