Are vaccinations covered by health insurance?

While COVID-19 vaccinations are free in Australia, other vaccines with out-of-pocket costs can be covered by private health insurance with some Extras policies.

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What you need to know

  • There's no charge to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia.
  • The cost of other vaccinations can be lowered if you hold the right Extras policy.
  • A vaccine costing more than $41.30 can be claimed on private health cover.

Are COVID-19 vaccines covered by Medicare?

Everyone can get their COVID-19 vaccines for free in Australia. You don't need a Medicare card and it doesn't matter whether or not you're eligible for Medicare.

You can book an appointment via the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker. You can get your free vaccinations at:

  • A Commonwealth vaccination clinic
  • State or territory vaccination clinics
  • Community pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccines

If you don't hold a valid Medicare card, you'll want to get proof that you've had your COVID-19 vaccination. Simply ask your vaccination provider to print a copy of your Immunisation History Statement.

Private health insurance and vaccinations

Any government-approved vaccines that aren't included on the pharmaceutical benefits list (PBS) can be claimed for through some Extras cover plans. The medicine will need to cost more than $41.30. Otherwise, you may need to fund the vaccine privately and you should talk to your GP about this. You can use the tool below to compare Extras plans that might suit you, but you'll need to check on the provider's website to see if the policy covers vaccines.

Which routine vaccinations are covered by Medicare?

The government's National Immunisation Program (NIP) Schedule lists the immunisations given at specific times in life. Routine vaccinations are typically available for free from providers that bulk bill. The eligibility for free vaccines is linked to eligibility for Medicare benefits.

Here are the key vaccines listed under the NIP:

Routine vaccineWhen is it administered under the NIP Schedule?
Hepatitis A2 dose schedule at 18 months and 4 years of age
DiphtheriaCan be given from 6 weeks of age
TetanusCan be given from 6 weeks of age
Whooping CoughCan be given from 6 weeks of age
Hepatitis BTypically first offered in the hospital post-birth; then at 6 weeks; 4 and 6 months
PolioCan be given from 6 weeks of age
Haemophilus Influenzae Type BCan be given from 6 weeks of age
RotavirusCan be given from 6 weeks of age
PneumococcalCan be given from 6 weeks of age
Varicella (chickenpox)Given to children at 18 months
Meningococcal meningitisOffered at 12 months and again in school programs at age of 14-16
Measles, Mumps and RubellaRoutinely offered at 12 months
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)Offered via school programs at age of 12-13
ShinglesOffered to those between 70-79
Annual InfluenzaOffered free-of-charge to the following:

  • Children 6 months to 5 years
  • Those who are 6 months and older with specified medical risk conditions
  • People 65 and older
  • Pregnant women

How much are travel vaccines?

Here are some common costs of travel vaccinations:

Travel vaccineCost*Unit
Cholera$50-$70Sachet
Hepatitis A$60-$90Dose
Hepatitis B$20-$35Dose
Hepatitis A + B$75-$100Combined dose
Japanese encephalitis$275-$325Combined dose
Meningococcal meningitis$60-$70Dose
Rabies$110-$130Dose
Typhoid$50-$70Dose
Typhoid/Hepatitis A$125-$150Combined dose
Yellow fever$90-$130Dose

*Use these figures as a general guide. Prices can vary significantly.

Which countries require travel vaccines?

Vaccine requirements can change at any time – check Smart Traveller and Travel Doctor for the latest information. Here are some typical vaccinations in 4 regions:

AreaRecommended travel vaccines
Southeast Asia
  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid
  • Influenza
  • Rabies
  • Japanese Encephalitis
  • Cholera
  • Yellow Fever
South America
  • Yellow Fever (mandatory)
  • Tetanus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies
  • Meningitis
Africa
  • Hepatitis A
  • Yellow Fever (mandatory)
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies
  • Meningitis
Pacific Islands
  • Hepatitis A
  • Typhoid

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