Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

The Victorian government on Monday rolled out trials at 14 venues across the state to test its soon-to-be-implemented “vaccinated economy.”

When Victoria reaches its next immunization target of 70 percent double vaccination, which is expected to be on October 26 or before, companies like hairdressers and restaurants will be able to reopen for fully vaccinated customers.

When the state reaches 80 percent double vaccination, which is expected to be around November 5, a wider range of businesses such as nightclubs, gyms and all retail stores will be able to serve fully vaccinated customers.

Patrons must prove their full vaccination status to gain access to venues and businesses in the coming months.

It came as the state government on Monday unveiled a new advertising campaign promoting vaccination as the “ticket” to access services.

“It’s about capturing the feeling that Victorians want to get back to the things we love, the things we strive for again after 20 months of hard work,” Health Minister Martin Foley said.

“Eating, sports, traveling, work, but perhaps most importantly, reconnecting with family and friends and those we love.”

Here are the answers to some of ABC readers’ most frequently asked questions about the new “vaccinated economy”:

How can I prove that I am completely vaccinated?

Everyone who gets a jab gets their two doses registered in the Australian Immunization Register (AIR) by their vaccine provider according to their second appointment.

It can take up to 10 days before your vaccination status is updated and displayed on government records and your immunization history statement.

After both vaccine doses are registered, Victorians will have access to a COVID-19 digital certificate.

A screenshot of a PDF titled COVID-19 Digital Certificate
The COVID-19 vaccination certificate is available both digitally and in print.(Delivered to: Australian Digital Health Agency)

To access this certificate, fully vaccinated Victorians must create or log in to a myGov account online and link their Medicare online account,

For those who are not enrolled or eligible for Medicare, each Australian resident is automatically assigned a unique 16-digit Individual Healthcare Identifiers (IHI) number, and this service can also be linked to a myGov account to access a COVID -19 digital certificate.

An IHI can also be registered under a pseudonym for vulnerable or vulnerable individuals who are concerned about sharing their name when providing evidence of vaccination.

Alternatively, Victorians can also link their My Health Record service if they cannot access Medicare or their IHI.

A digital COVID-19 certificate can then be added to a smart phone wallet and displayed in places as proof of vaccination.

Is there an app I can use?

The government has released a new version of the Service Victoria app, which aims to streamline the process of proving vaccination status when attending venues.

Victorians need to download the latest version of the app, which was released on October 11, to use the check-in features.

From kl. By 5pm on Monday, 190,000 Victorians had already downloaded the Service Victoria app.

A digital COVID-19 certificate can be shared with the app via the Express Plus Medicare app or via a myGov prompt.

A menu in the Service Victoria app for adding a COVID-19 certificate
The Service Victoria app accesses a person’s certificate through the myGov or Medicare Express Plus app.(Service Victoria )

Guests will then use the Service Victoria app to check in, as opposed to starting the check-in process on a QR code via their phone camera.

Business owners and staff will then be able to see if a patron is fully vaccinated or not.

Two phone screens showing proof of vaccination status.
Businesses and venues will be able to check guests’ vaccination status via the Service Victoria app.(Service Victoria)

Health authorities said companies and the government will not have access to other personal records through this process.

What if I do not have a smart phone or can not use myGov?

Printed COVID-19 digital certificates are accepted as proof of vaccination status.

The AIR can be contacted directly on 1800 653 809 and sends a paper copy of the certificate within 14 days by post.

Can my whole family use one certificate?

Each member of a family over the age of 16 must present their own certificate, but health authorities said there are still discussions about how to let people add addicts to their Service Australia app.

Currently, children under the age of 16 do not need to be vaccinated, but must be accompanied by fully vaccinated adults.

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Can certificates be forged?

COVID-19 digital certificates use technology such as a special hologram to verify the document.

“COVID-19 digital certificates can only be added to the app via the Express Plus Medicare app or the myGov website,” said Government Services Minister Danny Pearson.

“You can not take a screenshot of your certificate and upload it to your Service Victoria app. We make it pretty secure.”

The security guarantees were given after several vulnerabilities regarding the digital certificate published by a software developer in Melbourne.

As physical vaccination certificates are still valid as evidence, it is currently unclear whether evidence can be falsified with physical documents.

Will the Service Victoria app work interstate?

Different apps will be needed for different states and jurisdictions if Victorians travel between countries and require proof of vaccination.

Mr Pearson said the government was in talks with other states to increase the ability of apps from different jurisdictions to communicate.

He said it was a complex process given the dated technology currently in use with AIR.

“It’s quite involved and it’s quite complicated. The Australian Immunization Registry is basically a 1990s mainframe computer,” he said.

How can I prove that I am completely vaccinated when I go abroad?

The Australian Government has announced the introduction of a globally recognized international COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

It will contain a QR code that can be read internationally and will comply with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

The Commonwealth said in a statement that “engagement with commercial airlines and foreign governments has already begun to ensure that they are familiar with the system”.

What if I was vaccinated abroad?

Those vaccinated abroad can update their AIR information and add any vaccinations they have received in other countries.

However, only five vaccinations are currently recognized by Australia:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech (Comirnaty)
  • Oxford-AstraZeneca / Covishield (Vaxzevria)
  • Modern (Spikevax)
  • Johnson & Johnson / Janssen
  • Coronavac (Sinovac)

Anyone who has received their vaccination abroad can ask their doctor or a recognized vaccination provider to register their jabs on AIR.

Sinovac Biotech vaccine developed in China and tested in Brazil
The Sinovac Biotech vaccine developed in China was considered a “recognized vaccine” by the Therapeutic Goods Administration on October 1st.(Delivered)

They must provide vaccination records either in English or translated into English.

The carrier then issues a digital COVID-19 certificate.

However, COVID-19 vaccines not recognized by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration, such as Sinopharm, Covaxin and Sputnik V, cannot be added to AIR and are not considered valid for full vaccination status.

How do I prove that I have a medical exemption from vaccination?

In order for a medical exemption to be considered valid instead of proof of vaccination, a person must have a medical certificate or a letter from an approved physician.

The document must be dated and valid for the period specified by the doctor (up to six months) or for six months from the date of issue:

The following are considered authorized physicians:

  • practicing registrars at an approved 3GA training ground
  • public health doctors
  • general practitioners
  • doctors of infectious diseases
  • clinical immunologists
  • gynecologist
  • obstetrician
  • Physicians who are professionally registered
  • Physicians who are fellows at the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • GP, Fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine

How long is proof of vaccination required at venues and events in Victoria?

No end date has been given for the vaccinated financial system.

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews would not commit to how long the technology would be in use, saying Victorians should expect it at least in the coming summer.

“It’s about how widespread there has been in society.”

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Casey Briggs looks at national vaccination rates

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