Page last updated 30 Sep 2021

Everyone aged 12 years or older can now get a COVID-19 vaccine.

You can now book or change a vaccination appointment at a vaccination centre through the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 vaccine online booking system.

The vaccines are free. This includes for Australian citizens, permanent residents, refugees, people seeking asylum, temporary and provisional visa holders (including international students and temporary migrants).

You do not need a Medicare card to get a vaccine. If you do not have a Medicare card, you can apply for an Individual Health Identifier (IHI) number.

To do this, you will need to complete and submit a Request or update an Individual Healthcare Identifier form. You can also visit a Medicare office to get an IHI.

If you cannot get an appointment at your preferred location, you should continue to check back, as more appointments will become available over the coming weeks.

These social media tiles can be used by stakeholders to help communicate with international students about the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Publication date:
30 September 2021
Publication type:
Digital image
Intended audience:
International students

COVID-19 vaccine FAQs

Eligibility

When can I get vaccinated?

Everyone aged 12 years or older can now get a COVID-19 vaccine.

For the most up to date information, view the who can get vaccinated page.

Can I still get a COVID-19 vaccine if I am not an Australian citizen?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone living in Australia.

You do not need an Individual Healthcare Identifier or a Medicare card to get a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre.

  • If you do not have a Medicare card, you can apply for an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI).
  • Individual Healthcare Identifiers are used to match the correct record to the person being treated - no clinical information is linked to the identifier.
  • Applying for an Individual Healthcare Identifier and being vaccinated for COVID-19 will not impact your visa status or your eligibility for government payments.

Can I get my vaccine without an id?

Mandatory reporting of COVID-19 vaccinations to the Australian Immunisation Register is a legal requirement.

Proof of identification is required so that your vaccination provider can record your vaccination (including every dose) in the Australian Immunisation Register.

When you receive your vaccination, your vaccination provider will enter your:

  • name
  • date of birth
  • contact details
  • gender
  • Medicare number or individual healthcare identifier, if you have one

After your vaccination you’ll be able to access your immunisation history through your Medicare Online account, the Medicare Express Plus app and your My Health Record. If these channels are not suitable, you can request your immunisation history by phoning Services Australia on 1800 653 809

Proof of identity may also be required so your vaccination provider can confirm your eligibility for vaccination for certain reasons (e.g. access to a reserved Pfizer appointment). If you’re attending your usual doctor's clinic for vaccination, your clinic’s records may be used as evidence. If you are eligible but don’t have proof of your eligibility, you can complete an eligibility declaration form.

Cost and consent

Is the COVID-19 vaccine free?

Yes. COVID-19 vaccines are free for Australian citizens, permanent residents and temporary visa holders, including international students and people seeking asylum.

Do I have to get a vaccine?

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will help keep you, your loved ones and community safe. Vaccination is voluntary.

If you are working in the aged care sector, you are required to have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose by 17 September 2021.

Which COVID-19 vaccine will I receive?

Pfizer and Moderna are the preferred COVID-19 vaccines for people aged 12 – 59 years.

People aged over 18 can choose to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine after they have discussed the risks and benefits with a qualified health professional and given their informed consent.

I’m aged 18-59 years can I choose to get AstraZeneca?

Pfizer and Moderna are the preferred COVID-19 vaccines for people aged 12 – 59 years.

People aged over 18 can choose to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine after they have discussed the risks and

Do I need to give consent to receive my vaccine?

Yes, your consent is required before you can receive a vaccine. Medical personnel are legally obliged to make sure a person consents to a medical procedure, including receiving a vaccine, before the medical procedure can be done.

Making an appointment

How do I make an appointment at a vaccination centre?

You can book an appointment at a vaccination centre by using the online booking system or calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398. If you need an interpreter, press 0.

Will there be interpreters at the vaccination centres?

You can ask an interpreter to be at your appointment by calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 and pressing 0. Ask the interpreter to help you make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a Victorian Government vaccination centre.

Everyone who gets a COVID-19 vaccine must be able to understand what they are told at their vaccination appointment and give their consent.

View the Australian Government’s translated information about COVID-19 vaccines.

After you are vaccinated

I’ve had a COVID-19 vaccine do I need to wear a face mask?

Yes, even if you’ve had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine you must continue to wear a face mask in line with current advice.

Learn more about when to wear face masks.

I’ve had a COVID-19 vaccine – do I need follow public health restrictions?

Yes, even when you’ve had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine you must follow COVIDSafe behaviours to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Make sure you:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often or use hand sanitiser when you can’t wash your hands
  • Keep 1.5 metres distance from other people
  • Wear a face mask when required
  • Cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow
  • Follow current public health restrictions.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 and stay home until you receive a negative result if you:
    • feel even a little unwell
    • have been to an exposure site
    • have been in close contact with someone who might have COVID-19

Will I get side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine?

Like all vaccinations, COVID-19 vaccines can have side effects. Expected side effects are generally mild and last a day or two on average.

You will be watched by a health professional for 15 minutes after your vaccination to make sure you are okay.

If you are feeling unwell after getting your COVID-19 vaccine, you should seek immediate medical care.