Update: priority vaccination for healthcare students
The Victorian Department of Health has issued a reminder that healthcare students with upcoming placements can access priority COVID-19 vaccination for their first dose of Pfizer.
To book a priority appointment, students should call the Coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398 and identify themselves as a healthcare worker, advising they have a letter from the Department of Health (University login required) as proof of eligibility.
If a priority booking cannot be secured through the Coronavirus hotline, students should email firstname.lastname@example.org stating they have tried to book via the hotline and were unsuccessful.
Eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine
The Australian Government has commenced the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. This means people in the categories listed here are now eligible to access appointments for 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. 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 urged to complete a full course of vaccination unless medically contraindicated and provide evidence of vaccination to the University.
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 no longer allowed, so people are encouraged to book ahead online or 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 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.
You can apply for an IHI online through your myGov account or using a form. More information is available on the Australian Government website. Students are encouraged to submit their application for an IHI as soon as possible to minimise delays.