People in Sydney entering cafes, hair salons and retailers after 107 days of lockdown have had to prove themselves in a new way: by providing evidence of their vaccination.
The same goes for residents across New South Wales, but it’s not the only state with vaccine passport plans.
In regional Victoria, the Vaccinated Economy Trial got under way in preparation for businesses reopening when the state hits the 70% double-dose vaccination target.
So here’s the question: how can I prove my vaccination status?
The most convenient way: get a Covid-19 digital certificate
You can see your name, date of birth, valid date and a big white tick on the certificate.
If you are using the Express Plus Medicare mobile app, you can directly acquire the certificate there. However, to access the app, you still need to set up your myGov and Medicare online accounts.
You may have to wait for up to 10 days to receive the certificate, according to Services Australia. Once it’s there, you can add it to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay.
Can I share the certificate on my state check-in app?
People in NSW will be able to add their digital vaccination certificate to their Service NSW app from Friday, as the state approaches its second stage of reopening.
This will mean NSW residents will be able to show venue staff their vaccination status when they check-in to venues.
Your vaccination certificate should appear in your Express Plus Medicare app. Once that certificate shows, you should be able to press a button that says “add to check-in app” and then chose the Service NSW app. You will need the latest version of the app to do this, so don’t forget to update first.
If you are in Victoria and use the Service Victoria app, you can share your Covid-19 digital certificate with it as well. It is the same process.
But here is the tricky part. If you are using an iPhone with iOS 13 or later, you have to get your digital certificate via your Medicare online account to share the proof with Service Victoria successfully.
If you are using an iPhone with iOS 11 or 12, you can use the Express Plus Medicare mobile app to get hold of the copy.
I don’t have Medicare, can I get a Covid-19 digital certificate?
But firstly, you need to get an Individual Healthcare Identifier. You can apply for it through myGov. This applies to people in both NSW and Victoria.
From there, you can view your immunisation history statement. You can also add it to your Apple Wallet or Google Pay, depending on what type of smartphone you use.
For people in Victoria, they can also share the statement on the Service Victoria app.
How can teenagers prove they are vaccinated?
Currently, anyone aged 12 and over can book a Covid-19 vaccine appointment.
In New South Wales, only people aged 16 and over need to show a vaccination certificate to enter venues open to the fully vaccinated, NSW Health said.
If your child is 14 or over, they can get their digital certificate through the Individual Health Identifier service on their own myGov account.
They can also share the digital certificate on the Service Victoria app.
If your child is between 12 and 14 years of age, you can get your child’s immunisation history statement by using your Medicare online account, which could be accessed via either myGov or Express Plus Medicare mobile app.
You can also ask your GP or vaccination provider to print a copy for you.
Or, you can give a call to the Australian Immunisation Register as they will post the statement to you. It can take up to 10 days.
I don’t use smartphones, can I still get a Covid-19 vaccination proof?
You can just print out your Covid-19 digital certificate via myGov, and carry it with you wherever you go.
But if the digital certificate isn’t an option, then you can print out an immunisation history statement that lists all your recorded vaccinations, including Covid-19 vaccinations, on the Australian immunisation Register.
You can access the immunisation history statement through My Health Record or Individual Healthcare Identifier service, both via myGov.
Alternatively, you can call the Australian Immunisation Register on 1800 653 809 and ask them to send you a copy. It can take up to 14 days. Your vaccination provider can also print an immunisation history statement for you.
I only had one dose, can I get a Covid-19 digital certificate?
You can only get the certificate after you have all both Covid-19 vaccinations and your vaccine providers record them to the Australian immunisation register.
However, you can use your immunisation history statement as proof for your one dose.
What if I took mixed doses?
You can still get a Covid-19 digital certificate even if you have mixed doses of approved vaccines.
If I took my vaccines overseas, how can I get proof?
You can add your overseas Covid-19 vaccine record to the Australian immunisation Register.
However, this is only applicable to Covid-19 vaccines that are approved for use in Australia AND received on or after the date it was approved.
You can ask a recognised vaccination provider to add your overseas vaccination records on the Australian Immunisation Register.
You need to translate your overseas vaccination documents if they aren’t in English. You can access the Free Translating Service on the Department of Home Affairs website.
Once your record is added, you can then access your Covid-19 digital certificate, or use your immunisation history statement as proof.
What if the vaccines I took overseas are not yet approved in Australia?
Services Australia say only Covid-19 vaccines approved for use in Australia by the TGA can be added to the immunisation register.
Currently, they are: AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, Moderna Spikevax, Pfizer Comirnaty and Johnson & Johnson Janssen-Cilag.
In October, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced it considered China’s Sinovac and India’s Covidshield as “recognised vaccines” for incoming international travellers, once borders reopen.
The federal government also said it was finalising the process of vaccination proof for people who received recognised vaccines overseas.
I can’t get vaccinated for medical reasons. What can I do?
If you are in New South Wales, you need to ask your doctor to sign a vaccine medical contraindication form and carry it with you.
If you are in Victoria, you need to show a medical certificate or a letter from a CHO-approved medical practitioner before entering venues open only for the fully vaccinated.
I want to travel overseas. What kind of vaccination proof will I need?
In early October, the federal government announced that an internationally recognised proof of vaccination document would be issued for Australians who plan to travel overseas “in coming weeks”.
It also said the proof would include a QR code that can be accessed globally and address the requirements from the International Civil Aviation Organisation.