How to Book a COVID-19 Vaccine Without a Medicare Card

People in Australia are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Australia is currently in Phase A of its four-phase National COVID Response Plan. In order to move onto Phase B, which would feature fewer lockdowns and increase the cap on international arrivals, 70 per cent of the eligible population in Australia will need to have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine

In Australia, COVID-19 vaccines are free for everyone, including international students. 

While many Australian citizens need to provide their Medicare (public health system) details before receiving their COVID-19 vaccination, you might not have access to Medicare as an international student. In this case, you will need to have an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, and to receive proof that you have been vaccinated.  

What is an Individual Healthcare Identifier?

An IHI is a unique 16-digit number used to identify a person for healthcare purposes in Australia. If you have an IHI, health professionals (such as doctors), and anyone else you allow, can access your health record

Information in your health record will include details of vaccinations you receive in Australia, such as a COVID-19 vaccine. Proving you have been vaccinated against COVID-19 might soon become essential in your occupation, when accessing public services, and when you’re travelling interstate or overseas. 

How do I get an Individual Healthcare Identifier online?

In order to apply for an IHI online, you must first have a MyGov account, which you can create through this link.

If you have a valid Australian visa, driver’s license, or passport, you can apply for an IHI online through your MyGov account. These are the steps:

  1. Sign into MyGov
  2. Select ‘services’ or ‘link your first service’
  3. Select IHI service from the list
  4. Follow the prompts to link the IHI service and receive your IHI

How do I get an Individual Healthcare Identifier with a form?

If you do not have a valid Australian visa, driver’s license, or passport, you can request an IHI with a form, as long as you provide other certified documents to verify your identity. These documents need to be certified by an acceptable referee. To find out how a referee can certify your documents, click here.

To request an IHI with a form, follow these steps:

  1. Download the form provided on this website
  2. Provide certified documents which confirm your identity. Acceptable documents are listed on the form
  3. Fill out the form
  4. Return the form by mail, fax, or email

Make sure you bring your IHI to your COVID-19 vaccination appointment to receive both your vaccine and proof of vaccination. 

How to book your vaccination

To book your vaccination, use the Australian Government’s Vaccine Eligibility Checker.

When booking, you will be asked whether you are eligible for Medicare. Even if you select ‘No’, you will be able to proceed with booking your vaccination. Vaccinations are in high demand. If you are eligible and can’t find a clinic or make a booking that suits you, please check back later. New clinics and appointments are being added all the time.

You’ll have to carry a form of identity, like a passport, and your IHI with you on the day of vaccination to receive your vaccine and proof of vaccination.

If you are worried about getting a COVID-19 vaccine, check out this article, or call your local doctor or vaccination clinic for more information.