Eligible healthcare students are now able to make an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under phase 1b of the national vaccine rollout. An invitation from the Victorian Department of Health can be found here. The University of Melbourne has been working with its partners to provide a range of pathways for students to access the vaccine as quickly and as easily as possible. Students are strongly encouraged to complete a full course of vaccination unless medically contraindicated and provide evidence of vaccination to the University.
Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine
The Australian Government has commenced the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. This means people in the following categories are now eligible to access appointments for COVID-19 vaccination:
- adults aged 40 years and over;
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 16 years and over;
- NDIS participants aged years 16 and over, as well as carers of NDIS participants of any age;
- younger adults with certain underlying medical conditions, including those with a disability;
- people with travel exemptions;
- quarantine and border workers;
- critical and high-risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing; and
- other health care workers (those not included in phase 1a, including students with placements in healthcare settings).
Students may be deemed to be eligible if they have placement in a healthcare setting currently underway or commencing within the next two months.
Note that you may need to demonstrate your eligibility to receive the vaccine under this phase. You can do so by taking with you a Statement of Enrolment and a letter from the Department of Health (University login required) confirming of your status as a health student.
Pathways for vaccination
There are a range of pathways for eligible students to access the COVID-19 vaccine:
Via your placement provider
In some cases, your current or upcoming placement provider may be a designated vaccination hub and may offer vaccination to health students on placement within their organisation. Your placement provider will advise you if COVID-19 vaccination is available and details of any booking process that should be followed.
Via a high-volume vaccination centre
In Melbourne, high-volume vaccination centres are currently located at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton and the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre in South Wharf.
Walk-ins are allowed, but people are encouraged to book ahead by calling 1800 675 398 (select option 3, option 2, option 2).
To see a full list of high-volume vaccination centres in Victoria and their opening hours, please click here.
Via a local vaccination hub
Vaccination hubs are located across Australia. Details are available on the Australian Government website.
Please note that the Pfizer vaccine (currently recommended for people under 60 years of age) is not available at all vaccination sites. To check availability of the Pfizer vaccine, please contact the vaccination centre/hub directly or call the coronavirus hotline (1800 675 398).
Preparing for vaccination
The Australian Government has committed to making the COVID-19 vaccine available to all persons living in Australia free of charge. Before accessing the vaccine, you will need to ensure your Medicare details are up to date.
If you are not eligible for Medicare (for example, international students and some other visa holders), you are advised to apply for an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI). The IHI will enable your COVID-19 vaccination and all future vaccinations in Australia to be accurately recorded. It will also enable you access to an Immunisation History Statement, which can be used as evidence of your vaccination.
Application for an IHI requires the applicant to provide certified copies of their identity documentation and may take some time to process. Students are encouraged to submit their application for an IHI as soon as possible to minimise delays.