With each coming day it seems like that tantalising COVID-19 vaccination is almost upon us. But then comes the question of keeping track of who has and hasn’t gotten that all-important jab. Now the government’s given us a bit of info about what to expect.
On Sunday, Government Services Minister Stuart Robert announced that everyone will get a digital record of their coronavirus vaccination in the Express Plus Medicare app, which will be organised by the GP or nurse administering the shot. We’ll also be able to print out that record as a hard copy.
“The key thing for Australians know is that they will have a record, a digital and paper certificate,” Robert said.
“For some 88 percent of Australians who have a smartphone, they will be able to access that digital certificate there, downloaded, onto their phone as a permanent record.
“They will be able to print it out and they can always contact Services Australia via phone or popping in and getting it printed for them. Every Australian will have a record of their vaccination, should they need it.”
Robert hasn’t had the best track record through the pandemic, though. Things kicked off with chaos when MyGov crashed as people who had lost their jobs flocked to Centrelink. Then came the COVIDSafe app, which was plagued with flaws and government miscommunication.
We’re still not 100% sure what a post-vaccine Australia will look like, but most people are anticipating having to show vaccination record to get into venues like pubs and clubs.
On top of that, a vaccine record will probably also be essential for international travel. But with no international standard on the horizon, it’ll be up to other governments to recognise Aussie certificates.
“Any requirement for borders to open up will require vaccination and it will require the widespread use of assured certificates, and that is what we are talking about today – the Australian assured certificate that Australians can have enormous confidence in,” Robert said.
“Importantly for Australians, they can have assurance the certificate they will have will be robust, it will be anchored to them, so they will know it’s their certificate, and it will be widely accepted.”
If you’ve travelled in certain parts of Africa or South America, there’s a chance you’ve already had to go through a similar process with a yellow fever vaccination certificate.
The vaccination rollout is scheduled to begin later this month, with frontline health workers and aged care residents/staff first in line. You can see when you’re due to get it yourself here.