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What you need to know


COVID-19, or coronavirus disease, is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that can be easily spread from person to person. While no longer considered a public health emergency of national or international concern, COVID-19 is still present and having an impact in the community. There are measures you can put in place to protect yourself and your loved ones, particularly when there are an increased number of cases in the community.

Latest news and information

It is especially important that those at high risk of severe COVID-19, including people living with a lung condition, are protected and take the necessary measures to reduce risk of exposure.  

To help stay safe, you can: 

  • Make sure your vaccinations are up to date. If you are unsure, speak with your healthcare provider, such as your GP or pharmacist.  
  • Talk with your healthcare team about your options for COVID-19 treatment and how to access these treatments if you test positive for COVID-19 
  • Stay home if you are unwell or test positive for COVID-19 
  • Practise good hygiene  
  • Consider wearing a mask in situations where it may be difficult to physically distance 

Vaccines and boosters

COVID-19 vaccines offer significant protection against severe COVID-19 infection. It can be difficult trying to keep up with the latest advice on when to get a vaccine and who is eligible. To assist, the latest recommendations on booster doses are summarised below (as per Department of Health and Aged Care, 2024): 

Recommendations by Age Group

75 years and older

  • Recommended every 6 months.

65-74 years

  • Recommended every 12 months. Can consider every 6 months.

18-64 years

  • With severe immunocompromise: Recommended every 12 months. Can consider every 6 months.
  • Without severe immunocompromise: Consider every 12 months.

5-17 years

  • With severe immunocompromise: Consider every 12 months.
  • Without severe immunocompromise: Not recommended.

Under 5 years

  • Not recommended.

Other Key Information

  • COVID-19 vaccines remain funded for all eligible individuals, including those without a Medicare card.
  • COVID-19 vaccines can be co-administered (given on the same day) with any other vaccine for people aged 5 years and over.

Individuals are encouraged to discuss their COVID-19 vaccinations with their health practitioner. For more information, visit the Department of Health website  here. We’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions about vaccines, staying well, and what to do if you get COVID-19.

Antiviral treatment

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may be eligible for antiviral treatment if you are:

  • 70 years of age or older
  • 50-69 years of age and with one additional risk factor
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, 30 years or older and with one additional risk factor
  • An adult who is moderately to severely immunocompromised
  • An adult who has experienced a past COVID-19 infection resulting in hospitalisation

Additional risk factors include living in residential aged care, pre-existing health conditions such as chronic respiratory conditions, or living remotely with reduced access to higher level healthcare. For a full list of risk factors, visit the Department of Health website. Check your eligibility for antivirals here. If you are at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19, it can help to have a conversation with your GP before contracting COVID-19 about your individual circumstances. Together, you can develop a plan to ensure you can access antiviral treatment quickly if you need it.

Rapid Antigen Tests

If you have tested negative for COVID-19 using a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) but have been a close contact with someone who tested positive, you may be wondering whether the negative result is correct. The Therapeutic Goods Association is reviewing all RATs included in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods.

Check whether your RAT has been independently tested and found to be effective here.

Characteristics and impact of long COVID-19 in people with lung disease

In 2022, Lung Foundation Australia commissioned The George Institute for Global Health to complete a scoping literature review to look at the characteristics and impact of long COVID-19 in people with lung disease.

COVID-19: A roadmap for recovery

The latest report COVID-19: A roadmap for recovery report by Lung Foundation Australia discusses the results from our national survey about the experiences of Australians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of ongoing COVID-19 symptoms.

Being prepared

If you or your loved one is living with a lung condition, it is important to be prepared in the event of receiving a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.  A plan may be developed with your treating healthcare team or GP and could include:

  • Instruction (action plan) on the actions to take if your usual symptoms change or worsen
  • Up-to-date prescriptions for both regular medications and emergency medications (if they are part of your plan)
  • When to seek further medical care or call an ambulance.

Information by state and territory

Click on your state or territory here to see relevant links to health department advice, translated resources and long COVID clinics (where applicable).




Have you had COVID-19?

We understand experiencing ongoing symptoms after contracting COVID-19 can be frightening. Our online COVID-19 Survivor and Support Group aims to connect people from right across the country to share their experiences to ensure no one feels alone on this journey. To find out more about the group, submit an expression of interest below and our team will be in touch.
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