FAQs on vaccination requirements for tourists visiting Australia
As in any country today, there are specific requirements before authorisation to enter Australia is granted. The Australian Visa is issued to non-native travellers who have accomplished the conditions set by the government. Among these conditions are vaccination records that one has to carefully consider to avoid integrating diseases that are foreign to the country. To put it simply, yes, you need several vaccinations to visit the land down under.
With the massive spread of Covid-19, the concept of completing one’s vaccination has become a reality all of us have to adhere to. However, it is not just the coronavirus that the country is wary about. There are vaccines that tourists need to have to keep both themselves and Australia safe.
Below are the usual vaccine-related questions for those looking to visit Australia soon.
When should you get immunised?
Whether you plan to stay long-term or just for a few weeks or months in Australia, you must be up-to-date with your routine vaccinations. Therefore, it is best to consult your physician regarding your travel plans. They will conduct an assessment and advise which vaccines should you have or update.
It is preferable to complete all vaccinations at least a month before your travel to have your immune system checked and your documents updated.
Are Covid-19 vaccines essential when visiting Australia?
Australia has been praised by the United States Chief Medical Advisor to the President, Dr Anthony Fauci for its effective effort in battling the pandemic in 2020-2021. This led to the country’s opening to tourists last December 1, 2021. However, the standing condition is that the visitor should be completely vaccinated against Covid-19 at least seven days before their arrival.
There are also hotels and homestays that require your vaccination documents before they allow you to book and check-in. It has been a compliance obligation that all staff in the hotel trade and industry be vaccinated and protected against the pandemic to provide the safest and best service. This also applies to guests whether, local or foreign.
What are the Covid-19 vaccines currently accepted by Australia?
Two doses (at least 14 days apart) of the following Covid-19 vaccines should be accomplished:
- AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
- AstraZeneca Covishield
- Bharat Biotech Covaxin
- Moderna Spikevax
- Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
- Sinovac Coronavac
- Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for people aged 18-60)
Individuals vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson/Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine only need one dose, while children under 12 are exempted.
What are the essential vaccines required by the Australian Government?
Routine vaccinations should be updated before an Australian visa is granted to an individual. This ensures that tourists would not propose any public health threat to the country. It is also natural for any government to prevent tourists from incurring substantial health care costs.
The latest proof of vaccination for the following are therefore needed:
- Influenza (flu)
- Chickenpox (varicella)
- Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR)
Are there vaccines needed if I would like to go hiking and camping?
Australia is known for its beautiful fauna and flora. There are scenic trails available whole year-round, with various levels of difficulty. If you are visiting the country for this purpose and are planning to stay in a hotel that showcases nature at its best, there are vaccines that you have to equip yourselves with.
If you are planning to go on a hiking or camping adventure, it is advisable that you get a rabies shot. The risk of contracting rabies through contact with bats is not highly likely, but safety should always be your priority since you are not in your home territory.
A rabies shot is also a must if you will be going to Australia for work involving animals.
A vaccine against Japanese Encephalitis is favoured for visitors planning on an extended stay in remote areas of the country. It is a viral brain infection found in pigs and birds and is passed by mosquitoes through their bites.
Although there is no risk of getting yellow fever in Australia, having a vaccine against this is obligatory if you are arriving from a place where there is a high risk of this virus. Similar requirements also apply for passengers transiting through places with recorded high incidence with a layover of more than 12 hours.
What other vaccines should I have administered if I extend my stay?
Australia is undoubtedly one of the best places to travel as it’s balanced with the right amount of terrain and beaches. As a result, many tourists tend to renew their visas for a prolonged stay. For this same reason, hotels and other types of accommodation offer long-stay lodging for affordable prices.
If you are among those captivated by the beauty of Australia, it is only appropriate that you have the following vaccines:
- Hepatitis A – a virus found in the stool and blood of people who are infected, Hepatitis A is contagious and often ingested unconsciously through food and water. Staying in Australia, or any foreign place, for a considerable time will increase your exposure.
- Hepatitis B – there are many nightlife spots in Australia, and if you are planning to stay to party and celebrate life, it is wise to equip yourself with a vaccine against Hepatitis B. This virus is often acquired through sexual intercourse, getting a tattoo or piercing, or sharing personal care items such as razors and toothbrushes.
As the world is slowly adapting to Covid-19, travel restrictions are gradually easing, giving Australia the spotlight for adventure once again. Knowing the necessary vaccinations and complying with them contributes to the welfare and safety of the country and its citizens. Make sure to plan ahead to make your next Australia trip one for the books!