COVID-19

Update: mandatory COVID-19 vaccination

Following recent Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advice to the National Cabinet, COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for all Victorian healthcare workers, including students on placement, from 15 October 2021. Students are urged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. Information on how to access the vaccine is available here.

If you have not finished your course of COVID-19 vaccinations yet, please provide proof of your first dose and a booking confirmation for your second dose via Sonia in the meantime. If your first dose is scheduled between 15 and 29 October 2021, please provide a booking confirmation followed by evidence of your first shot once you’ve attended your appointment.

To continue attending clinical placements, students must provide evidence of a full vaccination course by 15 December 2021. If you cannot get vaccinated due to medical reasons, please refer to the FAQ section below.

COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that causes respiratory infections, which can vary from a common cold to pneumonia. The virus spreads through close contact with an infectious person, contact with fluids from coughs and sneezes of an infectious individual, and contact with infected objects or surfaces.

As COVID-19 is a new disease, there is no existing immunity in our community at this point. Measures such as good hand hygiene, physical distancing, and mask wearing are currently known as effective ways to slow the spread of the virus. It is also important to get tested if you develop any cold or flu like symptoms, no matter how mild these may be.

Requirements for students

Following recent Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) advice to the National Cabinet, COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for all Victorian healthcare workers, including students on placement, from 15 October 2021. An invitation from the Victorian Department of Health can be found here.

Students are urged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible.

How to access the COVID-19 vaccine

Students are expected to retain evidence of their full course of COVID-19 vaccinations (i.e., 2 doses for most brands). The documentation must include at least the students’ name, vaccination date, and vaccine brand. We suggest using our COVID-19 vaccination form, however please note that using the form is not mandatory as we also accept vaccination cards, Medicare records, and other kinds of official documentation containing the information previously listed here.

It will be mandatory for vaccination providers to make timely recordings of any COVID-19 vaccinations into the Australian Immunisation Register following each dose of the vaccine. For information on how to get proof of your COVID-19 vaccination in Australia, please see here.

If you have any questions about COVID-19 requirements, please contact the Health Hub at health-hub@unimelb.edu.au or +61 3 8344 5807 (option 3).

Evidence of COVID-19 vaccination should be submitted via the ‘Checks’ tab on Sonia.

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Advice for international students and other visa holders

International students and other visa holders who are not eligible for Medicare are required to apply for an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) in order to have COVID-19 vaccination at some vaccination hubs. The IHI will enable your COVID-19 vaccination and all future vaccinations in Australia to be accurately recorded. It will also give you access to an Immunisation History Statement, which can be used as evidence of your vaccinations.

Students who are not eligible for Medicare will not be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine without an IHI at some vaccination hubs. We recommend starting this process as soon as possible to minimise any delays.

You can apply for an IHI online through your myGov account or using a form. More information is available on the Australian Government website.

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Frequently asked questions

  • What if I had COVID-19 vaccination overseas?

    If you had your COVID-19 vaccination done overseas, your records will be accepted if:

    If you had a TGA-approved vaccine overseas, you can register it on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) once you return to Australia following the instructions available here.

    If you had a vaccine that is not currently recognised in Australia, we recommend seeking advice from your GP on either:

    • Getting vaccinated again with a TGA-approved vaccine if appropriate; or
    • Getting a medical exemption if more doses are not recommended at this point in time, in which case you can ask them to fill out our COVID-19 medical exemption form. Alternatively, they can also provide a signed statement advising this.
  • Should I submit evidence of vaccination to the University after each dose?

    If you have not finished your course of COVID-19 vaccinations yet, please provide proof of your first dose and a booking confirmation for your second dose in the meantime. If your first dose is scheduled between 15 and 29 October 2021, please provide a booking confirmation followed by evidence of your first shot once you’ve attended your appointment. In both cases, your check will remain under ‘Missing Information’ until you submit evidence that shows you are fully immunised.

  • I can’t get vaccinated due to medical reasons. What should I do?

    Please have a conversation with your medical practitioner and ask them to complete our COVID-19 medical exemption form, indicating that you are unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons. Alternatively, they can also provide a signed statement advising this.

More information

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Infection and immunisation