Vaccination at the University of Melbourne

Information about vaccination for students, staff and the broader University community.

COVID-19 vaccination pop-ups – Parkville and Werribee

Open to all University of Melbourne students and staff, and residents at University of Melbourne accommodation and affiliated colleges.

Find out more and get vaccinated

University of Melbourne position

You no longer need to provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination to access campus* – however, vaccination is still the best way to reduce your risk of severe illness, so please keep up-to-date with your vaccinations and book in for a booster if you are due.

* There are some circumstances under Public Health Orders and in some host workplaces where vaccination may still be required, further information is provided below.

Importantly, the University’s position on the importance of vaccination has not changed: we strongly encourage all members of our University community to stay up to date with their vaccinations, and we will continue to provide advice, information and resources to support our community to stay informed on this.

Public health experts continue to recommend vaccination to prevent infection, transmission, severe illness and death due to COVID-19 for all Australians from 5 years of age.

The University of Melbourne takes its position as a leader in public health seriously. Our people, across all disciplines, have been contributing to the global efforts to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic since the very beginning. If you or someone you know needs further information on vaccinations, we have created the VaxFACTS website, featuring a range of videos answering common questions about the vaccines.

Vaccination is part of a comprehensive public health response at the University. We have many measures in place to minimise COVID-19 transmission on campus, including making masks and rapid antigen tests available free of charge to students and staff, enhanced infection control, improved ventilation , additional cleaning of all facilities, physical distancing, sanitiser stations, and a voluntary COVID-19 screening program.

Your decision – and those of your friends, family and colleagues – to get vaccinated will determine our future as a resilient community.

Mandatory Vaccination Requirements

Victorian Government Pandemic Orders require anyone working on site in certain industries/settings to show evidence of COVID-19 vaccination (or valid exemption) to their employer – industries include residential aged care, healthcare, specialist school, disability and emergency services. This includes graduate researchers operating as workers, students on work placement and volunteers in these workplaces.

Some healthcare workers also need to show evidence of influenza vaccination (or valid exemption) to continue working on site.

Under these Orders, the host workplace:

  • must collect, record and hold vaccination information about any workers required to perform work on site; and
  • must not permit a worker who is unvaccinated to work on site unless an exemption applies.

What you need to do if you work in a setting with a vaccination requirement

  • All workers
    (incl. graduate researcher operating as worker, student on placement)
    • Download your evidence such as your COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate and/or Immunisation History Statement from myGov showing all doses received
    • Follow the instructions below for University staff or Students as appropriate
    • Carry your vaccination evidence with you when leaving home
  • University staff

    COVID-19 vaccination requirement

    • Open this ServiceNow form
    • Select Fully Vaccinated (Boosted) from dropdown selection list
    • Enter valid from date as shown on your COVID Vaccination Certificate
    • Provide consent and attach certificate

    Influenza vaccination requirement

    • Open this ServiceNow form
    • Select Vaccinated or Exempt from dropdown selection list
    • Enter vaccinated or exempted date as shown on your Immunisation History Statement
    • Provide consent and attach certificate
  • Students
    (eg graduate researcher operating as worker, student on placement)

    COVID-19 vaccination requirement

    • Instructions specific to your circumstances will be sent to you when needed and you can submit your evidence via SONIA

    Influenza vaccination requirement

    • Students on placement – instructions specific to your circumstances will be sent to you when needed and you can submit your evidence via SONIA
    • Graduate researchers – instructions specific to your circumstances will be sent to you when needed and you can submit your evidence via this ServiceNow form

Carry your vaccination information with you

You should always carry evidence of your vaccination information, to confirm your eligibility to be on site if asked. That evidence can include:

Grounds for exemption

  • COVID-19 vaccination requirement

    You may receive a medical exemption if you are unable to be vaccinated because you:

    • have a medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccines, or
    • have an acute medical illness, including COVID-19 infection – exemption for up to 4 months (or sooner if the medical practitioner specifies an earlier date)

    An authorised medical practitioner must register your exemption with the Australian Immunisation Register to be valid.

  • Influenza vaccination requirement

    You may receive a medical exemption if you are unable to be vaccinated because you have a medical contraindication to seasonal influenza vaccine as defined by Australian Immunisation Handbook. You must submit a written statement from an authorised medical practitioner outlining contraindication.

    A health service may also grant an exemption from the requirement to be vaccinated against seasonal influenza to a current healthcare worker employed or engaged by the health service if the health service:

    • has conducted a risk assessment and is satisfied that it is safe to permit the person to perform their role as a healthcare worker at the health service, and has determined the basis on which it is safe for them to perform that role; AND
    • is satisfied that removing the person from their current role would result in a serious risk to service delivery and patient care.

Frequently asked questions

Last updated: 3.30pm, 17 July 2022

We will update these questions and answers over time as needed.

Questions in the general category apply to all campus users, including students and staff.

Skip to specific questions for: Students Staff

General

  • What is the University's position on vaccination?

    Following recent changes to Victorian Pandemic Orders and consultation with the University community, the University’s COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements Policy will no longer apply from 18 July 2022.

    You no longer need to provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination to access campus, however, vaccination is still the best way to reduce your risk of severe illness, so please keep up-to-date with your vaccinations and book in for a booster if you are due.

    The University's two-dose COVID-19 vaccination policy achieved its objective, with more than 97% of University staff and 99% of students with on-campus requirements having met this requirement at the end of June 2022.

    Importantly, the University’s position on the importance of vaccination has not changed: we strongly encourage all members of our University community to stay up to date with their vaccinations, and we will continue to provide advice, information and resources to support our community to stay informed on this.

    Public Health Orders may still require staff or students to be vaccinated to work or study in specific circumstances. Where this applies, individuals must continue to comply with those Orders. Similarly, where staff or students are undertaking a University activity in a third-party setting, they must comply with any University requirements as well as the requirements of that third-party setting.

  • What areas/settings require vaccination at the University?

    The University of Melbourne operates across many settings and industries and complies with all relevant public health orders, including those mandating vaccinations for certain cohorts, activities or settings.

    Currently, if you over 18 and work in the following settings you are required to have received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to continue working outside your home:

    • Residential Aged Care Facility
    • Healthcare
    • Disability
    • Emergency Services
    • Custodial
    • Specialist Schools

    At the University of Melbourne this includes the Health Service and the Dental Hospital.

    Students who are on placement in any of the above settings will also be required to meet any requirements set out in the Pandemic Orders or the host workplace.

    Please see this guidance for more information.

  • Are students and staff undertaking activity off campus required to provide vaccination information? (eg participating in fieldwork, education at hospitals, placement at a healthcare facility)

    Public Health Orders may still require staff or students to be vaccinated to work or study in specific circumstances. Where this applies, individuals must continue to comply with those Orders.

    Similarly, where staff or students are undertaking a University activity in a third-party setting, they must comply with any University requirements as well as the requirements of their host organisation.

  • Is it appropriate to be removing the University's COVID-19 vaccination requirement mid-winter?

    Even though we are removing our two-dose vaccination requirement in line with Victorian Government settings, staying up-to-date with your vaccinations remains the best way to reduce your risk of severe illness, so please book in for a booster if you are due.

    The University continues to prioritise the health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff through a comprehensive public health response, with a focus on making free masks and rapid antigen tests available to staff and students, enhanced infection control, improved ventilation and cleaning measures across all facilities. Find out more about our COVIDSafe measures on campus.

    In addition to the measures implemented by the University, your personal choices matter. Every one of us can take steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, influenza and other seasonal viruses.

    • If you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms, don’t come to campus. Even if you test negative for COVID-19 on a rapid antigen test, you may later test positive or be contagious with another virus, so please stay at home and help protect your friends, family and colleagues. You may be able to work remotely during this time, but if you can’t the University offers a range of support services. Talk to your supervisor in the first instance to explore your options.
    • If you test positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact (household contact) of someone who has COVID-19, please follow the University’s testing and notification processes.
    • You are encouraged to take part in the University’s voluntary asymptomatic screening program for early detection of COVID-19.
    • Remember the basics – wash and sanitise your hands, keep your distance from others, and sneeze and cough into a tissue, mask or your elbow.
    • You are strongly encouraged to wear a mask where you can’t physically distance, or any time you want to, especially indoors and in enclosed spaces like lifts. Wearing a mask stops viruses spreading in the air when people talk, cough, sneeze and laugh. The University continues to make masks available for staff and students on campus.
  • Can I ask someone if they are vaccinated?

    Unless you work in a setting that requires vaccination as set out in the Pandemic Orders (eg healthcare settings) or additional measures approved by the University’s Pandemic Response Group, you cannot ask someone to disclose their vaccination status. Except for those settings, the University of Melbourne does not require people to provide proof of vaccination to attend campus or participate in University activities.

    Asking for someone’s vaccination status, unless it clearly required by the University or the Pandemic Orders, is a breach of privacy.

    Everyone should be encouraged to take steps they feel are appropriate and makes them comfortable on campus. This may include accessing the free rapid antigen tests (RATs) and masks which are available to students and staff across all campuses.

  • What happens with all the data collected about people as a result of the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements Policy?

    The University's Vaccination Privacy Collection Notice outlines requirements for collection, processing, retention and disposal of any vaccination data collected under the COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements Policy, Pandemic Orders and health legislation.

  • If I've recently had COVID-19, how long do I need to wait to get vaccinated or have a booster?

    You should talk to your GP or other qualified health professional to discuss your personal circumstances.

    However, ATAGI guidance is that everyone in Australia aged 5 years and over should wait 3 months between a COVID-19 infection and their next recommended vaccine dose. This is to optimise vaccine protection. The gap between infection and vaccination is likely to lead to a better immune response and result in longer protection from reinfection. The next scheduled dose of COVID-19 vaccine should be given as soon as possible after 3 months. You should still have all the recommended doses for your age and health needs.

    Studies have shown that having COVID-19 may not be as protective as being vaccinated against COVID-19. And people who have had COVID-19 and get vaccinated are better protected than everyone else.

  • Do I need to have a vaccine booster?

    A booster dose (also sometimes called a third dose) will ensure that the protection you have from your primary course remains strong and lasts longer, helping protect you and those around you, and preventing the spread of the virus.

    Booster doses are now recommended after three months for people aged 16+. This means you can have your booster dose three months after completion of the primary course of vaccine – which is two doses for the vaccines administered in Australia.

    Additional booster doses are recommended for some people considered to be at higher risk of severe illness and eligibility for booster doses continues to change as the situation evolves.

    In Victoria, workers in some priority sectors must have a third dose to continue to work on site.

    The University strongly recommends that you receive your booster dose(s) as soon as you are eligible to maximise protection and follow ATAGI guidance around staying up-to-date with your vaccinations.

    COVID-19 vaccination pop-up – Parkville

Students

  • How is the University supporting students to get vaccinated?

    COVID-19 vaccination pop-ups on campus

    The University Health Service has vaccination appointments available, including for third doses (or fourth doses for eligible people) and children, which can be booked online or by calling (03) 8344 6904.

    There are also many vaccination centres operating across Victoria, along with participating pharmacists and general practitioners.

  • I am concerned about getting vaccinated. What should I do?

    To help you make an informed decision, you should contact a trusted medical practitioner.

    The University has also produced some short and easy-to-understand Q&A videos that you, your friends, and family etc. can use. These VaxFACTS videos answer common questions about vaccine safety, side effects, COVID-19 immunity and risks.

    Students can also book an appointment with a GP at the University's Health Service if they have questions or concerns about the COVID-19 vaccination. See the Health Service website for details, including advice about services for students who are in and outside of Australia.

  • I live alone and am concerned that there'll be no one to help me if the vaccination makes me feel unwell. What should I do?

    If you are in Australia, the University can offer support if you don't have friends or family who can easily check in on your after you receive a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Once you've made your vaccination appointment, and before getting vaccinated, contact the University Health Service COVID-19 Hotline and we can organise for someone from our Health Service to call you after your injection.

Staff

  • How is the University supporting staff to get vaccinated?

    COVID-19 vaccination pop-ups on campus

    Staff may access existing flexible work arrangements to attend medical appointments, including to get vaccinated, during business hours if required and should discuss their individual arrangements with their manager if they require time away from work for medical reasons.

    The University Health Service has some vaccination appointments available, including for third doses (or fourth doses for eligible people) and children, which can be booked by calling (03) 8344 6904.

    The University will provide casual employees with a COVID-19 Special Payment equivalent (staff login required) for rostered hours scheduled the day after the casual employee has received a COVID-19 vaccine if they experience an adverse reaction to the vaccine preventing them from attending work.

  • I'm fully vaccinated but aware that I can still spread COVID-19 to others. I'm concerned that I live with a person who has a high risk medical condition. Will I be compelled to attend campus?

    We will continue to manage such circumstances in a compassionate, sensible and reasonable manner on a case by case basis. There are no changes to our usual practices for assisting staff with their carer’s responsibilities.