How to speak to kids about COVID-19 vaccines

The safety of the Australian population has always been the Australian Government’s highest priority. For this reason, decisions regarding COVID-19 vaccines have been, and continue to be, based on the expert medical advice of the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI).

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Start a conversation and listen to your child’s response
Start a conversation with your child and invite them to share what they have heard about
COVID-19 vaccines. It’s important to listen to their responses and acknowledge any fears they
have about being vaccinated.
For example:
• Tell me what you know so far about the COVID-19 vaccine.
• Have you ever had a vaccine before?
• What did that feel like?
The chances are your child has had a vaccine before and it may not have been so bad

Answer your child’s questions
Have some kid-friendly responses ready to go for any questions your child might have. Here are
some of the key questions and answers that might help in this conversation:
What is a vaccine?
A vaccine is a medicine that helps people fight a virus if they come in contact with it.
It can stop people from getting very sick.
Why do I need to be vaccinated?
The COVID-19 vaccine is a safe way to protect you, your family, and your friends from getting
Use real examples, such as protecting the child’s grandparents, and being able to get back to
school and back to team sports if you think this will help.
How do vaccines work?
Vaccines work by teaching your body how to fight illness.
Is the vaccine safe?
Vaccines are very safe. In Australia, they have been tested thoroughly by an agency that makes
sure all medicines are safe. They would not be given to people if they were not safe

More information
You can visit the Department of Health website at for more information
about the vaccine.You can call the National Coronavirus and COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline on 1800 020 080.
If you need information in a language other than English, call the Translating and Interpreting
Service on 131 450.
If you are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impairment, you can call the National Relay Service
on 133 677.