Frequently asked questions
Am I eligible to get the vaccine?
Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines will become available in phases.
Use the Australian Government’s Eligibility Checker to see if you’re eligible.
If you are a Melbourne University staff or student and you're unsure of your eligibility or you have concerns or questions about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you can make an appointment at the Health Service to discuss with a GP.
The Eligibility Checker says I am eligible to get the vaccine. What do I do now?
Visit the Vaccination centres page to learn how you can get vaccinated at a Victorian vaccination centre.
You can also use the Eligibility Checker to find GP clinics that are offering COVID-19 vaccines.
You will be required to show proof of your eligibility. You will need to take one of the following (as relevant to the criteria of eligibility that you meet) as evidence to confirm your eligibility:
- a current work ID card showing employment at a relevant occupation for Phase 1A or 1B;
- a letter from your employer confirming that you are currently employed in a priority occupation for Phase 1A or 1B;
- documentation confirming you are a carer;
- for household contacts of a quarantine / border worker, proof of occupation of the quarantine / border worker and evidence to demonstrate you live at the same residential address. For instance, this could include: bills or rates notices with both of your names and address, or separate documentary evidence that shows each of your names while showing the same address;
- a referral from your GP or treating specialist confirming that you have been diagnosed with one or more of the relevant medical conditions, or have undergone or are undergoing one or more of the procedures for Phase 1B;
- proof in the form of an alternative medical record that is dated within the last 5 years which shows that you have received the relevant diagnosis for the medical condition or have undergone or are undergoing the procedure for Phase 1B. This includes:
- a printout of your medical history as recorded in your clinical records – i.e. your patient medical summary as printed out from your GP’s practice;
- a printout of your chronic disease care plan from your GP;
- a discharge summary from a hospital or other medical facility; or
- a script in your name for a medication that you have been prescribed to treat one or more of the relevant medical conditions or one or more of the procedures in the form attached.
- a condition-specific identifier that you have been issued with, such as a National Diabetes Services Scheme membership card
If you cannot provide any of the above as evidence of your eligibility, you may use the Eligibility Declaration Form.
What else do I need to do before making an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine?
If you are a domestic student or staff member and are registered or eligible for Medicare, please make sure your details are up to date with Medicare. You can do this using either your:
If you don’t have your account set up, you can:
- Enrol in Medicare, if you’re not already enrolled.
- Set up your Medicare online account if you’re enrolled in Medicare, but don’t have Medicare linked to myGov.
If you are an overseas student or staff member and not eligible for Medicare, you will need to obtain an Individual Health Identifier (IHI) to receive your COVID-19 vaccine as well as other vaccines, including the flu vaccine.
Please click to get an Individual Health Identifier (IHI).
What is an Individual Health Identifier (IHI) and do I need one?
If you are not eligible for Medicare, e.g. you are an international student on a visa, then you must get an Individual Health Identifier (IHI) before booking your appointment or going to a walk-in vaccination centre.
This allows your vaccine record to be entered into the Australian Immunisation Record (AIR).
It may take several weeks to get your IHI so be sure to register for one now.
How much does the COVID-19 vaccine cost?
COVID-19 vaccines will be free for everyone living in Australia including citizens, permanent residents and most visa-holders. Those on visitor visas, electronic travel authority, eVisitor and Transit visas are currently excluded.
You will not need a prescription from a GP to get vaccinated.
If you have a Medicare card, please bring it with you.
Can I get my flu vaccine (or any other vaccine) at the same time as my COVID-19 vaccine?
No. You must wait at least two weeks between getting the COVID-19 vaccine and any other type of vaccination, including the flu jab.
If you have recently received any vaccines, please ensure you wait at least two weeks after the date you received any other vaccine(s) before getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Which COVID-19 vaccine will I get?
The Australian Government’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has currently approved 2 vaccines for use in Australia:
This means these vaccines have met the TGA’s rigorous standards for safety, quality and efficacy.
The TGA will only register a vaccine if its benefits are much greater than its risks. This means every vaccine available in Australia has been proven to protect against COVID-19.
Please note that the AstraZeneca vaccine is not recommended for people under 50 years old.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends that the COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer (Comirnaty) is preferred in adults aged under 50 years.
Click here to learn about vaccines approved for use in Australia.
How many doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will I need?
Both the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine require two doses.
The AstraZeneca doses are given 4-12 weeks apart.
The Pfizer doses are given 3 weeks apart.
Where can I go for more information about COVID-19 vaccines?
For the latest news and information about vaccines in Australia, visit the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccine website.
The Department of Health has broadened COVID-19 testing criteria to include anyone with mild symptoms. To undertake a test, please contact us on (03) 8344 6905 or visit the Where to get tested page to locate testing centres near you.
Documents for travel
The University Health Service offers the gold standard COVID PCR test.
Some countries require different tests and documentation when you are returning to your home country. The Health Service cannot provide tests for countries requiring tests other than the COVID PCR.
If you require a returning traveller COVID test, please contact the University's COVID-19 hotline on (03) 8344 6905 to see which testing site you may need to attend.
The Health Service has a dedicated COVID-19 Hotline for University of Melbourne students and staff members. Please contact this hotline for advice if you:
- Are feeling unwell and have COVID-19 symptoms (fever, breathing difficulties, cough, sore throat, fatigue and/or tiredness)
- Have recently returned from overseas
- Have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
- Are a health care worker or aged care worker, or
- Live in a residential college or student accommodation.
COVID-19 Health Service Hotline
- Phone: (03) 8344 6905
- Hours: 8.45am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. For assistance outside these hours call the Department of Health Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398.