Vaccinations

COVID-19 Vaccinations

The UNSW Health Service has COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccines available for students, staff and community members.

If you have made an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination at the Health Service and have a printer, please bring along a printed copy of the Consent Form on the day.

For more information, see below. If you are unsure about getting vaccinated, find out more on the COVID-19 health alert page. For NSW Health information and locations, please read here.

 

60 years and over

If you are 60 or over and have a Medicare card or Medibank OSHC (overseas health cover), you can make an online booking for the AstraZenca at the Health Service.

Book here

If you have trouble making your booking, call the Health Service on 02 9385 5425. If you are new to the Health Service, register as a new patient with the online appointment booking form or fill out the new patient form here and email it to unihealth@unsw.edu.au before your appointment.

Note: If you do not have a Medicare card or Medibank OSHC, please visit your nearest GP-led Respiratory Clinic. You need 2 doses of the vaccine to get the best protection from the virus. When you book your first appointment, you will be given an appointment time for your second dose. COVID-19 vaccinations are free of charge.

On the day, please fill in the COVID 19 consent form and bring it to the appointment.  Read about how you can prepare for your appointment here.

Under 60 years of age

AstraZenca-what do I do about my second dose?

If you are aged between 50 to 59 years and have already had your first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and did not experience severe side effects, ATAGI recommends you still receive your second AstraZeneca dose as planned. This will provide you with greater coverage against severe illness from COVID-19. Note: the TGA has not authorised Pfizer for the second dose. 

We recommend having the second dose anytime between 8 to 12 weeks after the first dose. There is limited ability to bring second doses forward. If you feel this is necessary and want to change your existing appointment, please do the following:

  • If you booked online, we will have online bookings for the AstraZeneca second dose from July 15th
  • If you booked by phone, have any questions or cannot access the online booking system, please call the Health Service on 02 9385 5425  after July 15th
Not been vaccinated yet?

Pfizer vaccine

If you are 18 to 59 years old, the preferred vaccine is Pfizer. We have very limited supply of Pfizer and have started immunising identified priority groups who are regular patients of the practice and whom we contact directly. Please do not call, as we cannot accommodate additional groups at this time. There are no online bookings. You can find out where to book a Pfizer vaccine elsewhere through the Eligibility checker

Prefer the AstraZenca vaccine?

If you are 18 to 59 years old  and prefer to have an AstraZenca vaccine, you are able to have this at the Health Service.  You will need to make an appointment with a GP at the Health Service to discuss the risks and benefits for your age group. You can have the AstraZenca vaccination at this appointment. You will need to bring in your Medicare card or Medibank OSHC (overseas health cover).

To make a booking if you are not a regular patient of the practice or haven’t booked online before:

  • Register as a new patient here 
  • Select either the AstraZenca Clinic A or B and book your first appointment. This will include an opportunity to discuss with a GP the risks and benefits in your case.
  • After you have made your first appointment, book your second dose while you are still on the online booking form. The Health Service recommends having the second dose anytime from 8 to 12 weeks after your first dose.

If you are having difficulty with the online booking system, please call  02 9385 5425

 

After the COVID-19 vaccine

Learn more about the common side effects to the vaccines here. If you are concerned contact your GP, ring Health Direct on 1800 022 22 or complete the symptom checker below. 

Side effect symptom checker

If you are experiencing serious side effects, please go straight to your nearest emergency department

 

UNSW COVID vaccine FAQ’s

Will UNSW be making it mandatory for students and staff to get a COVID-19 vaccine? What if I work in a high-risk setting?  

In line with NSW Health advice, UNSW strongly encourages all students and staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccination when the vaccine is made available to them. This will help keep our UNSW community safe and our campuses open.  

I’m a UNSW international student in Australia, will I have to pay for the COVID-19 vaccination?  

No. The COVID-19 vaccination will be free for all Australian residents, including international students currently in Australia.  Please contact your health insurance provider. At the Health Service, if you have health insurance with the  Medibank there will be no charge.  If you don't have OSHC with Medibank you can still get a free vaccination but you will need to go to your nearest GP respiratory clinic for your vaccine. You can find out where this is here.

Will I need a COVID-19 vaccination to travel interstate or overseas on official University business, field trips or exchanges?  

During 2021, it is expected that international travel will remain a high risk activity and that additional UNSW and government approvals will be required for UNSW endorsed travel. As the COVID-19 vaccines roll out, travel requests and any attendant requirements will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.  

Airlines and governments are continually updating travel rules and requirements as they navigate the implications of COVID-19.  It is possible that in the future, you will be required to show proof of vaccination or a vaccination exemption prior to being allowed to travel on a plane.  

I work/study/research in a high-risk setting but will not be getting a COVID-19 vaccine for either medical or religious reasons or because I am a conscientious objector. What should I do?  

UNSW will use its existing procedures for when students or staff decline an immunisation, a HS079 Decline of Immunisation Authorisation form. If there is an impact on completing any aspect of your role, HR together with your manager will discuss the situation.  

 


Flu Vaccinations

We strongly encourage everyone in our UNSW community to get the flu vaccine this year. Flu vaccinations at the UNSW Health service are free for all staff and current students.

Flu vaccine booking information

Flu vaccines are recommended to all staff and students, and strongly recommended for anyone of the following:

  • people aged 65 and older
  • people with chronic conditions like heart, lung, or neurological diseases
  • pregnant women
  • children aged six months to under five years

When is the flu clinic open and how much does it cost?

You can still get your flu shot with the doctors at the Health Service.  The flu vaccine is free for all current UNSW staff and students. Please ring: 02 93855425.

Why is the flu vaccine so important this year?

The flu will not prevent COVID-19, but it will reduce the number of people who get the flu and therefore the number of people needing hospital beds as a result of severe flu, limiting the impact on the health system. It is also possible to get the flu and COVID-19 at the same time which will likely cause significantly worse symptoms. We are strongly recommending everyone is vaccinated this year.

Can I get the flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time?

Unfortunately, NSW Health recommends that there needs to be a waiting time of no less than 14 days between the 2 vaccines. We recommend you get your flu vaccine early this year, so it does not impact when you get your COVID-19 vaccine. If you qualify under the Phase 1b of the  COVID-19 vaccine we recommend you get your COVID vaccine prior to your flu vaccine.


Other Vaccinations

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines

The HPV vaccine protects against certain types of genital human papillomavirus (HPV) that affect both men and women.

HPV is a very common sexually transmitted infection which usually causes no symptoms and goes away by itself, but can sometimes cause serious illnesses. Almost all cases of genital warts and cervical cancer are due to HPV.

 The vaccine provides protection from HPV types 6, 11, 16 and 18 and protection is expected to be long-lasting.

The vaccine helps prevent 70% of cervical cancers, most of the genital cancers in men caused by HPV infection and 90% of genital warts in men and women. The vaccine works best if it is given before any sexual contact occurs

If you need more information, visit hpvvaccine.org.au or phone UNSW Health Service on 9385 5425. You can also call the National Immunisation Hotline on 1800 671 811 or the Cancer Council on 13 11 20.

If your language is not included, call the Telephone Interpretation Service on 13 14 50 and ask to speak to the National Immunisation Hotline on 1800 671 811.

The vaccine is given in three does, usually across a six-month period. Vaccinations are spaced two months apart for the first and second dose, and 4 months for the second and third dose. If you cannot stay to this schedule, talk to one of our GP’s.

Travel Vaccinations

Our GP's offer education and advice to minimise health risks while travelling and provide medications and immunisations. Common requirements are prevention of malaria or altitude sickness, treatments for diarrhoea and allergies. We are also an approved yellow fever vaccination clinic and provide you with yellow fever vaccination certification in the form approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This is essential for travel to areas such as sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America. Please make sure you book in for your yellow fever vaccination no less than 10 days before entering a risk area.

Administered by trained registered nurses, our available vaccines include the routine; measles, mumps, rubella, hep-b and influenza, to the more complicated, such as yellow fever and associated international certifications for travel.

Our team will only recommend immunisation based on the individual's requirement, itinerary of the traveller, their health status, when the benefit of the vaccine outweighs the associated risk of complications arising from vaccine side-effects, and when the risk of disease and illness is indicated.

For more information on travel vaccinations check out this link.

Hepatitis

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a liver infection caused by the Hepatitis B virus. It is the most common liver infection in the world and is usually passed from mother to baby or through exposure to infected blood during medical procedures. It can also be passed during unprotected sex, sharing needles, sharing razors or in a fight with someone infected with hepatitis B. If left untreated it can cause liver cancer. If diagnosed it is easily managed under the care of a doctor. Hepatitis NSW has more information about Hep B and treatment options.

Hepatitis B is prevented by a vaccine. To obtain maximum protection against hepatitis B, adults should receive three doses of the vaccine at zero, 1 and 6 month intervals.

 

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is an acute (short-term but quite severe) infection of the liver caused by the hepatitis A virus. It is passed through the faecal-oral route usually through contaminated food, water or cooking and eating utensils.

It is recommended that people travelling to countries where infection is common (Asia, Africa, South-Pacific, Central and South America) be vaccinated. Protection begins within 14-21 days after the first vaccine dose. A second vaccine dose is required for long-term protection.

Childhood Vaccinations

Why childhood immunisation is important

Immunisation is important because it helps to protect your child from serious infectious diseases, some of which can be life threatening.

Immunisation is also good for you and your child because it stops infectious diseases spreading in the community. Sometimes, immunisation can get rid of these diseases completely, as in the case of smallpox.

This happens through herd immunity. Herd immunity is when enough people in the community are immunised against a disease, and the spread of the bacteria or virus that causes the disease either slows down or stops completely. We need herd immunity to protect vulnerable children who might not be able to get immunised because they’re too young or they have a serious illness – for example, a weakened immune system.

GPs can give other immunisations that aren’t on the NIP schedule, like those needed by children with medical conditions, as well as some travel immunisations.

The Australian Government funds the immunisations on the NIP schedule.

We currently directly bill all children under 16. This will mean, if you hold a current Medicare, Medibank, AHM, Allianz or BUPA card there will be no out of pocket fee

If your child needs extra immunisations that aren’t part of the NIP schedule – for example, the annual influenza vaccine for a healthy child, or travel vaccines we have these vaccines available in our clinic. The costs of vaccines vary depending on the type of vaccine

Your child’s immunisation history and the Australian Immunisation Register

Your child’s immunisation history is recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR).

Your child’s immunisation history statement is a useful personal record. You can use it as proof that your child is up to date with recommended immunisations. You might need this proof to enrol your child at child care or when entering Primary School

Your child is put onto the AIR automatically once he’s enrolled in Medicare. And you can request your child’s immunisation history statement at any time through your Medicare online account on myGov, by asking your GP, or by calling the AIR on 1800 653 809.

You can also give your GP permission to access your child’s immunisation history on the AIR. This can help with planning what immunisations your child needs and when.

Medical Student Compliance Checks

NSW Health requires that all medical students placed in any of its facilities are fully compliant with its requirements.  This applies to students undertaking clinical placements or students who require access to its facilities, which includes all UNSW Medicine teaching hospitals.

UNSW Medicine is required to enter information about all medical students into ClinConnect, a NSW Health database for managing clinical training placements in public hospitals. Information reported to ClinConnect includes student name, student number, student e-mail address, gender and date of birth.

Prior to the first clinical training session in Year 1, students will need to provide certain documentation to NSW Health staff at an on-campus checking session.  If not fully compliant with their requirements, students will be given instructions on what to do before commencing clinical training.  UNSW Medicine cannot overrule the decision of health staff and clinical training will be delayed until compliance is reached.

Students must note that clinical placements are a substantial and essential element in the UNSW Medicine program. Students who fail to satisfy the requirements of NSW Health at any point during their enrolment in the program may be excluded from undertaking a clinical placement. This will delay progress in the program and may ultimately lead to exclusion from the program.

For more information and to download the appropriate documentation, click here