COVID-19 vaccination for adolescents
The COVID-19 vaccine is a safe way to protect you, your family, and your friends from getting sick.
The information on this page is about vaccinating people aged 12 to 17.
Adolescents can be vaccinated at pharmacies, GPs and SA Health vaccination clinics.
People aged 12 to 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who can provide consent. People aged 16 and over can provide their own consent and attend their appointment by themselves.
Adolescents can be vaccinated at SA Health vaccination clinics, GPs and pharmacies. People aged 12 to 15 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who can provide consent. People aged 16 and over can provide their own consent and attend their appointment by themselves.
For people aged 12 to 17:
- Primary course:
- Third (booster) dose for ages 16 to 17 only
- Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine: given three months after your second dose.
People aged 12 to 17 with underlying medical conditions:
- An additional (third) dose is recommended as part of the primary course for people with severe immunocompromise, given two months after the second dose.
- A booster dose is recommended for people with severe immunocompromise, disability with complex health needs, or other complex health conditions that increase risk of severe COVID-19 illness, given three months after the primary course.
- An additional (winter) dose is recommended for people aged 16 and older who have severe immunocompromise, disability with complex health needs, or other complex health conditions that increase risk of severe COVID-19 illness, given three months after first booster dose.
Find out more about each vaccine what to expect before, during and after your vaccination appointment.
Vaccination after COVID-19 infection
If you have had COVID-19 you should wait to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine three months after your positive COVID-19 test.
A three month gap between infection and vaccination is likely to lead to a better immune response and result in longer protection from reinfection.
The next scheduled dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be given as soon as possible after three months. You should still have all the recommended doses.
If you have had COVID-19, you do not need to delay other vaccinations – for example, your flu vaccine. But you should not get any vaccine if you are acutely unwell (e.g., if you have a fever).
Why should I get vaccinated?
The vaccines work by teaching your body to fight illness so that you don’t get sick or your symptoms aren’t as bad if you do get sick.
Having the vaccine means you will be less likely to catch COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you’re vaccinated, you will be able to visit vulnerable or older family members more safely. School will also be safer.
There is still a chance that you will catch COVID-19, but if you do, you are likely to have no symptoms or mild symptoms.
Safety and efficacy
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, providing protection against existing variants. The vaccines have been tested extensively in clinical trials and, following the conclusion of the clinical trials, millions of people around the world have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
You might experience some side effects after your vaccine, but these are usually mild and only last for a couple of days. This might include pain, redness or swelling, a headache, or a fever. This is very normal. Talk to your parent or caregiver if you feel unwell or are worried about how you feel after the vaccine.