Frequently asked questions
- Which COVID-19 vaccines are available in Australia?
Who is eligible and what is the dose schedule for a COVID-19 vaccination?
For the primary schedule, people aged:
6 months and over can have the Pfizer vaccine
- For most people the Pfizer primary course is 2 doses, 8 weeks apart.
- For children aged 6 months to under 5 years, the primary course is 3 doses, 8 weeks apart.
12 years and over can have the Spikevax (Moderna) and the Nuvaxovid (Novavax) vaccine.
- For most people the Moderna primary course is 2 doses, 8 weeks apart.
- For most people the Novavax primary course is 2 doses, given 8 weeks apart.
60 years and over can have the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) vaccine. 18 to 59 years can also have the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) vaccine, however, will be required to have an assessment of suitability by a general practitioner
- For most people the AstraZeneca primary course is 2 doses, 4 to 12 weeks apart.
A primary vaccination course consists of 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. A third primary dose is the recommendation for people aged 6 months or older who are severely immunocompromised or have a disability with significant or complex health needs.
The booster dose is given 3 months or more after the primary course and is for people aged:
18 years and over, the recommendation is to have the Pfizer vaccine or Moderna Bivalent vaccine, regardless of which brand of vaccine you received for your primary vaccination course.
5 to 17 years, the recommendation is to have the Pfizer vaccine, regardless of which brand of vaccine you received for your primary vaccination course.
18 years and over, while not preferred, you can receive the AstraZeneca or Novavax vaccine
This booster dose will be the fourth dose for people who are severely immunocompromised, since the recommendation for this group is to receive 3 primary doses.
Winter dose or 4th dose is given 3 months after you receive your 1st booster dose and is for people aged:
- 50 years or older
- a resident of an aged-care or disability-care facility
- 16 years or older and severely immunocompromised (this will be a fifth dose)
- 16 years or older and with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness
- 16 years or older with disability, with a health condition that increases the risk of severe disease.
If you are aged 16 to 17 years, you can only have the Pfizer vaccine as your winter booster dose.
If you are aged 18 years and over, the Pfizer or Moderna Bivalent vaccines are the preferred vaccines.
If you are severely immunocompromised, this additional booster dose will be a fifth dose since the recommendation for this group is to receive 3 primary doses.
What booster is available at the Health Service?
The Health Service, University of Melbourne, is administering the Comirnaty (Pfizer) and the Spikevax (Moderna) Bivalent as boosters. Regardless of which COVID-19 vaccine you received for your initial doses, you can still receive one of these as your booster.
I’ve tested positive to COVID. Do I still need a booster and if so, when can I get it?
A booster vaccination is still highly recommended, even if you have tested positive to COVID and have had a two-dose primary vaccine course. If you have had COVID-19 you should wait to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine for 3 months after your confirmed infection.
- What are the side effects after receiving a COVID-19 vaccination?
What is required before making a COVID-19 vaccination appointment?
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).
Is the booster mandatory?
Boosters are not mandatory, though it is highly recommended to have your third dose to maintain best possible protection for you, your loved ones and the community against the virus and any new emerging strains.
How can I book my child in for their COVID-19 vaccination?
The Health Service, University of Melbourne, is not currently offering COVID-19 vaccinations for children. Please check the Government website for information regarding providers.
What is an Individual Health Identifier (IHI) and do I need one?
Although it is no longer a requirement to have an IHI number to receive a COVID-19 vaccination it is beneficial as it will allow you access to your COVID-19 immunisation statement via the myGov website. If you are not eligible for Medicare, e.g. you are an international student on a visa, then you can get an Individual Health Identifier (IHI).
To find out how to setup a myGov account if you require assistance with access to your vaccination record.
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?
Yes, you can have other vaccines at the same time as your COVID-19 vaccine. Please speak to your health care provider for any further information.
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.
How do I upload my overseas COVID vaccination record to the Australian Government?
If you are a Melbourne University student or staff member, please make an in-person appointment with one of our GPs. You will be required to bring a hard copy of your official vaccination record (translated to English) provided by your Country, that will state the COVID vaccination you were given along with the date your vaccination was administered and the batch number. You will also be required to bring your passport for verifying your identity.
Please ensure you have your Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) number as we cannot upload your vaccinations to the Australian Government without one.
How to get proof of my COVID vaccinations?
There are 5 ways you can show your COVID-19 proof of vaccination to gain entry to businesses and venues in Victoria.
- COVID-19 digital certificate via the Service Victoria app
- COVID-19 digital certificate saved to a smartphone wallet
- Printed copy of COVID-19 digital certificate
- Printed copy of immunisation history statement
- Eligible proof of vaccination exemption
Please click on this link for detailed instructions.
The Department of Health has broadened COVID-19 testing criteria to include anyone with mild symptoms. To undertake a test, visit the Where to get tested page to locate testing centres near you.
If you have tested positive to COVID-19
Please notify the University by emailing email@example.com and include your name, phone number and contact details. Your information will be kept confidential. For more information please visit COVID-19 testing and notification page.
COVID-19 documents for travel purposes only
The Health Service does not provide PCR COVID Testing.
We recommend St Vincent’s Pathology for all PCR COVID Travel testing. This service is provided at certain locations, and you will be able to select the location most convenient to you.
Private fees apply, and a travel letter will be emailed to you.
This service is not provided at the St Vincent’s pathology lab at the Health Service.
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 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.