MVEC general enquiry
What is the recommendation for individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine(s) overseas that is not recognised in Australia?
Individuals who have previously received a first dose or a course of COVID-19 vaccine/s using a brand that is not recognised in Australia should be re-vaccinated with a full course using a brand that is recognised by the TGA.
The minimum interval between receiving the last dose of non-recognised vaccine and receiving the first dose of TGA recognised vaccine should be the same interval that is recommended between doses of the non-recognised vaccine course (commonly 3-6 weeks depending on the vaccine). A longer interval will be accepted if this is not possible. Once a TGA recognised COVID-19 vaccine course has been commenced, the recommended intervals between these doses should be adhered to.
For further information on COVID-19 vaccines recognised in Australia refer to COVID-19: TGA recognised vaccines.
What is the recommendation for individuals who have received dose 1 of a brand of COVID-19 vaccine that is not available in Australia?
Individuals who have previously received a TGA-recognised first dose of COVID-19 vaccine that is not available in Australia can complete their vaccine course with any COVID-19 vaccine brand available in Australia. This second dose can be administered 4-12 weeks following the first dose. A longer interval will be accepted if this is not possible.
A COVID-19 vaccine booster dose is then recommended for all age-eligible individuals ≥3 months following the completion of the primary course.
For further information in Australia refer to ATAGI clinical advice on the use of a different COVID-19 vaccine as the second dose.
The only two absolute contraindications to vaccination are anaphylaxis to a previous dose of the same vaccine or anaphylaxis to a component of the vaccine. There are also a small group of specific medical conditions for each COVID-19 vaccine brand, precluding some individuals from receiving that brand. These individuals can still receive vaccination with alternate vaccine platforms.
A medical exemption can only be approved by authorised practitioners. SAEFVIC, MVEC and VicSIS Central are unable to provide medical exemptions. Following a VicSIS appointment with an immunisation specialist an exemption may be provided if deemed clinically appropriate. Due to significant waiting time for VicSIS appointments, referring clinicians may need to consider providing patients with a temporary exemption where clinically indicated whilst they wait for a VicSIS appointment.