COVID-19

Update: Ahpra position on COVID-19 vaccination

The Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra), on behalf of all National Boards, has recently issued a statement outlining their position on COVID-19 vaccination for health practitioners and students. For more details on Ahpra's statement, the University response, and how to prepare for COVID-19 vaccination, please click here.

To view the latest information from Department of Health about the AstraZeneca vaccine, please click here. You can also see a summary of the latest change in advice here and FAQs here, both released on the 17th of June.

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

In Australia, healthcare students are eligible for vaccination against COVID-19 in phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, which is now under way. An invitation from the Victorian Department of Health can be found here.

We strongly encourage all students to get vaccinated once they have the opportunity to do so.

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). 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 Registry following each dose of the vaccine. Students with a Medicare number will be able to access their immunisation history statement via their Medicare online account or via the Medicare app.

If you have any questions about COVID-19 requirements, please contact the Health Hub at health-hub@unimelb.edu.au or +61 3 8344 5890 (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.

To apply for an IHI, you will need to:

  • Download and complete the Request or update an Individual Healthcare Identifier form (MS003) provided by Services Australia;
  • Get certified copies of your evidence of identity (e.g., passport);
  • Send your form and any supporting documentation by email, fax, or post to Services Australia following the instructions provided at the end of the form.

More information on how to get an IHI is available on the Australian Government website.

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Frequently asked questions

  • What if I had COVID-19 vaccination overseas?

    In this first year of COVID-19 vaccination, we are being more flexible with vaccine brands that are not yet approved for use in Australia as we understand many of our offshore students would have had access to different brands in their countries.

    If you’re providing documentation from overseas, please note that the original vaccination record must be in English (translations are not accepted) and the vaccine brand must be listed.

  • Should I submit evidence of vaccination to the University after each dose?

    No. Please only submit your COVID-19 documentation once you have received a full course of vaccinations (e.g., two doses for the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines).

  • 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 vaccination form, indicating that you are unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons. Alternatively, they can also provide a signed statement advising this.

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Infection and immunisation