vaccination in australia
The NSW pilot plan will see the phased return of fully vaccinated international students. Source: William West/AFP

Australia recently announced that it would be allowing a limited number of international students to its shores under its New South Wales and Victoria pilot plans at the end of the year. After Australians, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the next priority would be skilled migrants and international students. If you’re hoping to return to Australia in the near future, it’s essential to know the rules surrounding vaccines in Australia.

Here’s a breakdown of vaccines in Australia that are currently approved:


According to The Sydney Morning Herald, more than 80,000 Chinese international students are set to be allowed back into Australia when international borders reopen after the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) — the country’s drug regulator — recommended approving the Sinovac vaccine for travellers.

Morrison said the decision by the TGA was a “major milestone” that would allow authorities to determine international travellers as being appropriately vaccinated. He said it did not mean that the vaccine would be approved for local immunisations.


Approved vaccines in Australia for international travel also include the Covishield AstraZeneca vaccine produced by the Serum Institute of India. This could pave the way for some 17,000 Indian international students who are waiting to return or study in Australia, said The Sydney Morning Herald. Covishield is also approved for use in countries such as Nepal


At the time of writing, Pfizer is approved in 101 countries, according to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) vaccine tracker. This is also an approved vaccine in Australia.


The Astrazeneca vaccine is among the most widely accepted. Source: Saeed Khan/AFP


AstraZeneca is among the vaccines currently in use in Australia. WHO notes that the vaccine is approved in 123 countries — the highest among the seven WHO-approved vaccines.


Moderna must meet the TGA’s high standards for quality, safety and effectiveness. It is approved by 76 countries, including Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, India and Indonesia.

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson was the third COVID-19 vaccine to receive regulatory approval in Australia. It is approved by 71 countries, including Canada, Indonesia, India, the UK and the US. 

Non-approved vaccines in Australia 

At the time of writing, the TGA has yet to recommend approving China’s other major vaccine, Sinopharm — which has been approved by the WHO — and Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik, which hasn’t been approved by WHO.