The COVID-19 vaccination program began rolling out in gradual phases from February 2021, targeting specific groups of people in higher risk categories first, including people with MS in phase 1b. The COVID-19 vaccine is free of charge and is voluntary. The vaccine roll-out has now progressed to most adult age groups, but if you are living with MS and have not received your vaccinations as yet, you are still eligible to be included in the later rollouts.
At present, COVID-19 vaccination bookings can be made by going through the Department of Health online eligibility checker, which will firstly assess your eligibility for the vaccine, with the option to then make a vaccination booking if you are eligible and if there are appointments available at approved vaccination centres. Check your eligibility here. As the rollout has progressed, more GP practices have been added to list of approved vaccination centres, so it is worthwhile checking with your GP in the first instance if they are able to administer your COVID-19 vaccinations in their practice.
Providing proof of your MS
If you are having your COVID-19 vaccinations with your regular GP, there is no need to provide proof of your MS diagnosis, as your GP records will cover this. However, if your vaccination booking is at another practice or through a hub vaccination centre, the vaccinators have an obligation to check that you are in the category currently open for vaccination. Alternative forms of evidence if you are attending another centre include your MyHealth record, a referral from your GP or Specialist, or alternative medical records including a printout of your medical history, a printout of your chronic disease care plan, a discharge summary listing your diagnosis, or a valid prescription or medication prescribed to treat your MS. If none of these options are available to you, a Phase 1b Eligibility Declaration Form is also now available for you to fill out. Please click here to access the form.
Note: Your medical team (Neurologist, MS Nurse, GP) is still your primary source of contact for any concerns or specific questions you may have about COVID-19, vaccinations and timing of MS treatments and other medicines.
Providing proof of your vaccination
My Health Record was upgraded in June 2021 to enable consumers to obtain their immunisation history statement from My Health Record to show proof of their vaccinations. This service is also available for people who are not eligible for Medicare, if they have a My Health Record. Additionally, the next release of My Health Record (currently scheduled for end of August 2021) will allow consumers to download a COVID-19 digital certificate, once they have had all required COVID-19 immunisations.
For further details, please see Getting proof of vaccination from My Health Record.
If assistance is needed, the Help Line can be contacted on 1800 723 471.
For more information on COVID-19 and MS, please click here.