Vaccination for non-Medicare card holders

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Vaccination for non-Medicare card holders

Page last updated 4 August 2023.

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COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone in Australia, regardless of Medicare or visa status. This includes:

  • refugees
  • asylum seekers
  • temporary protection visa holders
  • people on bridging visas
  • overseas visitors
  • international students
  • migrant workers
  • people who are not Australian citizens
  • people who are not permanent residents
  • people who are living in Australia on a visa
  • those whose visas have been cancelled or who have overstayed their visas
  • those who are eligible for, but do not have a Medicare card (e.g. some people experiencing homelessness).

Non-Medicare card holders should bring some identification when they get their COVID-19 vaccine.

Vaccination support for non-Medicare holders in general practice

Everyone is encouraged to discuss any questions or concerns about vaccine safety or suitability with their usual GP.

If patients are not eligible for Medicare, general practice providers can still supply COVID-19 vaccines to these patients, but cannot bill for this service (Medicare or otherwise). 

Where to access a COVID-19 vaccine for non-Medicare card holders

Individuals who do not have a Medicare card, or are not eligible for Medicare can receive their COVID-19 vaccinations for free at community pharmacies that are administering COVID-19 vaccines.

All COVID-19 vaccination providers are listed on the Service Finder website — you can filter the results to show the options for people without a Medicare card.

Please note, the Service Finder asks users to choose which vaccine they prefer.

Booking a COVID-19 vaccination appointment

Bookings can be made directly with the vaccination provider via the Service Finder.

Most pharmacies will also likely make bookings for walk-ins, which is a good option for people who don’t feel comfortable using online methods.

The National Coronavirus Helpline can assist people to locate a vaccine clinic and provide them with contact information to make a booking with the support of an interpreter. Call 1800 020 080 and press 8 for free interpreting.

‘Hey EVA’

The Easy Vaccination Access (EVA) service exists to help book COVID-19 vaccination. 

To use the service, just text ‘Hey Eva’ to 0481 611 382. EVA will then ask the client for their: 

  • name 
  • preferred language 
  • preferred date and time to call them back 
  • best number to call back on. 

This will allow a trained call agent from the National Coronavirus Helpline to contact the client at their preferred time and book their vaccination appointment.    

Agents can: 

  • provide information and advice on COVID-19 vaccines 
  • help find an appropriate vaccine appointment 
  • connect with free interpreting support. 

EVA can also help the client locate a walk-in service (no appointment needed). 

You cannot arrange home visits through the EVA service. 

EVA operates from 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week.  

Recording a COVID-19 vaccine on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) for non-Medicare card holders

Vaccination providers must record COVID-19 vaccinations administered to all individuals, including those without a Medicare card. Further information on how to do this can be found on the Services Australia website.

If a vaccination provider is unable to use their software to record the vaccination, it can be manually entered using the AIR Secure Site.  The AIR Secure Site can record new patients, including those without a Medicare number.

Health professionals should add as much detail as possible to these records to allow for future matching including:

  • first and last names (if known)
  • address
  • date of birth
  • postcode.

These individuals will be recorded on the AIR and given a supplementary identification number (SIN). This record can be used to record future immunisations, or until the individual has completed a Medicare registration.

Proof of Vaccination for non-Medicare card holders

The easiest way for individuals without a Medicare card to get proof of vaccination is by asking a vaccination provider to print a copy of their immunisation history statement on their behalf.

More options and information can be found on the Services Australia website.