COVID vaccines and eye injections
With Governments around Australia rolling out vaccines for COVID-19, a frequent question to our National Helpline is about safety of the vaccine when receiving eye injections.
If you’re receiving anti-VEGF treatment (eye injections) for wet age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular oedema or other retinal conditions, it is essential for you to continue your regular eye injections with your ophthalmologist.
If you stop eye injections, you risk permanently damaging your vision.
The Federal Government’s aim is to vaccinate as many Australians as possible against COVID-19, especially those most vulnerable.
It’s important that those eligible for the vaccine register for their appointment as soon as possible.
There is no known contraindication or additional precautions to receiving the vaccine for those undergoing anti-VEGF eye injections.
MDFA strongly recommends that, if eligible, you receive your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible, unless otherwise advised by your healthcare professional.
If you are receiving anti-VEGF eye injections and you have concerns about getting a COVID vaccination, please speak to your treating doctor.
The vaccine rollout
Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine is available in phases, and older and vulnerable groups of people have been prioritised.
If you’re aged 40 years or more, you’re eligible for vaccination. You can also use the Federal Government’s Vaccine Eligibility Checker to assess whether you are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination, then book an appointment at your nearest available clinic.
Eye care in lockdown
With many people in Australia going in and out of lockdown, it’s important to know that if you are well and have not been exposed to COVID-19, you can leave your home for essential medical appointments or medical emergencies. You are also allowed to take someone in your care to seek treatment
In times of lockdown, non-essential eye appointments may be rescheduled and your ophthalmologist or optometrist will advise if that’s the case. However, some eye treatments are designated as “essential”. This includes anti-VEGF eye injections and laser treatment.
As noted above, it is critically important for people receiving eye injections for wet AMD, diabetic macular oedema or a range of other macular conditions to continue receiving their scheduled treatment.
Any sudden loss of vision is an eye emergency. You should seek medical help if you experience:
- eye pain or discomfort
- recent change in vision
- new red eye signs or symptoms
- flashes of light or new floaters in your vision
- recent eye trauma
- new onset double vision.
If you are not currently being treated by an ophthalmologist, contact your optometrist.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, if you been exposed to a known case of COVID-19 or if you’re in quarantine, you should remain in quarantine. Seek immediate advice from your treating ophthalmologist or optometrist over the phone.
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, please follow the advice of your state or territory’s health department, and call your ophthalmologist for directions about your next eye injection.
Protecting your vision at home
More than ever it’s important that you are self-monitoring for any changes in your vision by using an Amsler grid.
We also recommend an eye-healthy diet. Why not try one of our Macula Menus? Our recipes are easy to prepare, full of foods that contain nutrients for macular health, and they’re delicious.
Download this information as a fact sheet
The information on this page is available to download as a fact sheet.
MDFA will continue to update this page as further details of the COVID vaccines roll-out are announced. If you have queries, call the National Helpline.