//COVID-19 and vaccines: Get the best advice for you and your family

COVID-19 and vaccines: Get the best advice for you and your family

30 August 2021

In a joint statement published on the Ahpra website, the Office of the Health Ombudsman has backed calls for people to make decisions about COVID-19 and vaccines based on reliable evidence-based information.

1. Get advice from the experts

Make sure you access the best, most accurate advice when making decisions about your own or your loved ones’ health.

For general information about COVID-19 and vaccines, the Commonwealth and state and territory Department of Health websites (see below), are the most accurate and up-to-date sources of information.

You can also talk to your GP about the COVID-19 vaccines and what would be best for you in your circumstances.

Other people who can provide quality and evidence-based advice include appropriately trained registered health practitioners (such as registered pharmacists and nurse practitioners). There are also regular updates from epidemiologists or experts such as your state or territory’s chief medical officer or chief health officer.

You can also check the qualifications and registration status of any registered health practitioner in Australia on the Ahpra website.

2. Know that registered health practitioners must meet national standards

Registered health practitioners are trusted sources of information for most Australians and have played a critical role in Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When providing care in person or sharing information online, health practitioners have a professional obligation to only share information that is evidence-based, in line with the best available health advice, and is consistent with public health campaigns such as the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy.

They also must meet their profession’s code of conduct, which you can find on Ahpra’s and the National Boards’ websites. Action can be taken against a practitioner that doesn’t meet those standards.

3. Don't get swayed by opinions

Don’t put your health or your loved ones’ health at risk. Incorrect information or sensationalised commentary can be dangerous.

Only people with relevant training, qualifications and expertise are a reliable source of advice on COVID-19 or vaccines.

People may have strong opinions on COVID-19 and vaccines but celebrities and influencers may not have the training or experience to give quality advice that you can rely on.

4. Reach out

Talk to someone you can trust, like your GP. Community leaders are also working with GPs and other registered health practitioners to share reliable sources of information about COVID-19 and vaccines.

You can also look up the COVID-19 section on the Queensland Health website, the Commonwealth Department of Health website or call the Coronavirus helpline on 1800 020 080 which is open 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Make sure you have the best, most accurate and evidence-based information for your specific needs when making decisions about your or your loved ones’ health.

You can read the full statement on the Ahpra website. To view the statement in Arabic, Farsi, Greek, Simplified Chinese or Vietnamese, go to the Translations page on the Ahpra website.