International students in Australia eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine
Australia’s Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, made it clear international students were an important part of the country’s vaccination strategy, which aims to give as many people as possible access to the vaccine. He said:
“We need to make sure that everybody who’s on Australian soil is safe, and everybody who’s on Australian soil has access to protection. That means the Government will provide COVID-19 vaccinations free to all visa holders in Australia.”
Commenting on the announcement, Alex Chevrolle, Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand at Study Group, said:
“This is excellent news for international students in our Centres across Australia, and for the 520,000 international student visa holders who have been living and studying in Australia throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Vaccines have a crucial role to play in getting the country back to normal, and to reopening our borders to students who are keen to continue their education and to progress to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in our excellent universities. While this has been a truly challenging time for students and education providers, Australian education has gone to tremendous efforts to shift studying online and to support students to the best of their ability. Now we are looking forward to doing what it takes to strengthen this important activity for students and for the wider Australian economy.”
Australia has secured 150 million doses of various vaccines. Rollout will commence in the coming weeks with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, subject to final approval by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration. The Australian Government also has agreements to use the Oxford-AstraZeneca, Novavax and COVAX Facility vaccines in place, subject to completion of successful clinical trials and approval.
The Australian Government concluded within their COVID-19 Vaccine and Treatment Strategy:
“We look forward to welcoming international students in a COVID Safe way when it is safe to do so. A range of factors including vaccination status will be considered for international arrivals to ensure protection of international students and the Australian community.”
Study Group is the leading provider in international pathway programmes.