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. Additionally, many pharmacies are now registered to administer both the AstraZeneca (“Vaxzevria”) and the newer Moderna (“Moderna mRNA”) vaccinations.
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 in August 2021 has allowed people to download a COVID-19 digital certificate, once they have had all required COVID-19 immunisations.
Missing or incomplete immunisation details
Some people may notice that immunisation information in their record is incomplete. This may be due to a setting in their record preventing information from the Australian Immunisation Register downloading to their record. This may have been set during the registration process and can be changed easily (see below).
How to change Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) settings:
We recently published guidance on our website about how to find immunisation information in My Health Record and how to check and change AIR settings. Click here to access the guidance: What to do if immunisation information is missing or seems incomplete.
This page includes a printable PDF with steps to check and change AIR settings in My Health Record.
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. The Medicare App also stores your immunisation information and has a digital certificate available for downloading. If you do not have the Medicare App on your phone, you can access the information to help you download it here.
For more information on COVID-19 and MS, please click here.