vaccination certificate
With Australia opening up their borders, you need to be prepared and understand if your vaccination certificate is recognised there. Source: Saeed Khan / AFP

As students are readying themselves to head back to Australia, preparation is key in view of all the extra pandemic-induced bureaucracy. Besides taking care of your passport and visa, your vaccination certificate plays an equal importance when going overseas.

This raises the question: is your vaccination certificate recognised in Australia? Well, here is all the information you need regarding your certificate’s eligibility.

Your vax certs are need to pass certain criteria. Source: Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt / AFP

Foreign vaccination certificate guide

For foreign vaccination certificates, there are specific criteria that a cert needs in order to be recognised in Australia. These are the formats that will prove your vaccination certificate’s eligibility:

  • Issued by a national or state/provincial-level authority or an accredited vaccination provider
  • Written in English or accompanied by a certified translation
  • Containing at a minimum:
    • Name as it appears in the traveller’s passport
    • Either date of birth or passport number
    • The vaccine brand name
    • The date of each dose or the date on which a full course of immunisation was complete
  • If the certificate is not in English, it must be accompanied by a certified translation that includes the stamp or membership number of a professional translation association. The entire certificate must be translated.

If the foreign vaccination certificate is in a name that is different to what is in the passport, travellers will need to provide evidence of their name, such as a marriage certificate or driver’s licence.

Do note that both paper and digital certificates are equally acceptable.

For detailed explanations regarding your vaccination certificate’s eligibility with shortened brand names or alternate Sinopharm brand names, read here.

Source: Miguel Riopa / AFP

List of approved vaccines

In Australia, you are considered to be fully vaccinated if you have completed a course, including a mixed dose, of a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or recognised vaccine. Here is the list of vaccines and dosages recognised by Australia:

Two doses at least 14 days apart of:

  • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
  • AstraZeneca Covishield
  • Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
  • Moderna Spikevax
  • Sinovac Coronavac
  • Bharat Covaxin
  • Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for 18–60 year olds)

Or one dose of:

  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine

Seven days must have passed since the final dose of vaccine in a course of immunisation for you to be considered fully vaccinated. Mixed doses count towards being fully vaccinated as long as all vaccines are approved or recognised by the TGA.

To be considered as fully vaccinated, you’ll need to fulfill certain steps. Source: Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP

Coming to Australia (for unvaccinated students)

If you are unvaccinated, you will need to provide a medical certificate that indicates you are unable to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine because of a medical condition; the medical certificate must include the following information:

  • Your name (this must match your travel identification documents)
  • Date of medical consultation and details of your medical practitioner
  • Details that clearly acknowledge that you have a medical condition which means you cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccination (vaccination is contraindicated).

People who have received non-TGA approved or recognised vaccines should not be certified in this category and cannot be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel.

If you are granted a travel exemption, arrive in Australia and then you would like to be vaccinated against COVID-19, you will be able to get vaccinated free with an Australian-approved vaccine.

Source: Thomas Lohnes / AFP

Vaccination in Australia

COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone in Australia regardless of Medicare* or visa status. This includes international students currently in Australia. Here is the list of vaccines available in Australia:

  • Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
  • Moderna Spikevax
  • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria

Vaccination providers cannot charge you for the COVID-19 vaccine or your appointments to receive the vaccine. If your vaccination provider charges for any costs associated with the administration of the COVID-19 vaccination (including booking fees), you should report it.

Depending on your location, you will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from a range of providers, including your local general medical practice or doctor (GP), a state, territory or federal government vaccination clinic, or a community pharmacy.

The Australian Department of Health has published information in 63 languages about COVID-19 vaccines and getting vaccinated.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker is available in multiple languages: English, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Turkish, Korean, Serbian, Bengali, Punjabi, Hindi, Khmer and Assyrian Neo-Aramaic.

Finally, if you’ve received both vaccinations, you can prove this through online or hard copy vaccination certificate.

Be sure to read “=”Proving that you’re vaccinated – tips for onshore international students” for more information.