All Australian citizens, permanent residents and temporary visa holders, refugees, asylum seekers, temporary protection visa holders and anyone on a bridging visa will be able to get a vaccine for free.
The announcement was made on Thursday by Australia’s Health Minister, Greg Hunt, who confirmed the government’s vaccination policy will be made available for free to everyone in Australia.
As part of the government’s vaccination policy, COVID-19 vaccines will be made available for free to all Australian citizens, permanent residents, and most visa-holders.
The roll out is expected to begin before the end of February. While getting a vaccine isn’t mandatory, proof of vaccination may become a condition of entering or re-entering the country or other jurisdictions.
The roll out will be carried out in phases, prioritizing people facing a higher risk of exposure. This includes hospital staff, quarantine workers, aged care staff, workers caring for people with a disability, sectors which are supported by many temporary skilled visa holders.
The other two priority groups are those who have an increased risk, relative to others, of developing severe outcomes from COVID-19. This includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, older people and people with underlying select medical conditions.
It also includes people working in services critical to our society functioning. This includes people working in the defence, police, fire, and emergency services as well as meat processing.