Making safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available to all Australians is a key priority of the Australian, State and Territory governments. But what does this mean to expats staying in Australia?
The Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy (Policy) outlines the approach to providing COVID-19 vaccines in Australia. It sets out key principles, such as that COVID-19 vaccines will be made available for free to all Australian citizens, permanent residents, and most visa-holders. Further, it outlines how COVID-19 vaccines will be accessible on a rolling basis, dependent on vaccine delivery schedules and the identification of groups for most urgent vaccination.
Who is covered by this policy?
The COVID-19 vaccination will be free for all Medicare-eligible Australians and all visa-holders excluding the following:
- excluding visa sub-classes 771 (Transit)
- 600 (Tourist stream)
- 651 (eVisitor)
- 601 (Electronic Travel Authority).
In terms of preliminary priority population groups, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) identified the top three priority for the vaccination which are:
- Those who are at increased risk of exposure and hence being infected with and transmitting SARS-CoV-2 to others at risk of severe disease or are in a setting with high transmission potential. This includes health and aged care workers; other care workers, including disability support workers; and people in other settings where the risk of virus transmission is increased, which may include quarantine workers.
- Those who have an increased risk, relative to others, of developing severe disease or outcomes from COVID-19 including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, older people and people with underlying select medical conditions.
- Those working in services critical to societal functioning including select essential services personnel and other key occupations required for societal functioning.
For further information about the Australian COVID-19 Vaccination Policy, you may download the Australian Government Policy here.