The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has assessed the protection offered by COVID-19 vaccines given internationally that are not currently registered for use within Australia. This assessment assists with confirming the vaccination status of incoming travellers who have been immunised overseas. The assessment is based on an evaluation of the current available evidence and is subject to change as new information arises.

The advice provided by the TGA contains information on the level of protection offered by COVID-19 vaccines and recommendations based on this (ie. recognised/not recognised vaccine) and can be accessed here.

For TGA-approved or recognised vaccines, travellers are considered fully vaccinated if they have completed a primary course of vaccination with 14 days between dose 1 and 2 (if a 2 dose schedule) at least 7 days prior to arrival. This includes two doses of two different TGA-approved or recognised vaccines.

Table 1. TGA recognised/registered COVID-19 vaccines

Vaccine Registered Recognised
Coronavac (Sinovac) No Yes
Covishield (AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India) No Yes
BBIBP-CorV (Sinopharm China) No Yes
Covaxin (Bharat Biotech, India) No Yes
Sputnik V (Gamaleya Institute, Russian Federation) No No
Convidecia (Cansino) No No
Comirnaty (Pfizer) Yes Yes
Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) Yes Yes
Spikevax (Moderna) Yes Yes
COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen (Janssen-Cilag) Yes Yes
  • What is the purpose of determining the COVID-19 vaccination status of incoming travellers?

    It is important to identify the COVID-19 vaccination status of incoming travellers to limit COVID-19 transmission in Australia and to prevent the risk of incoming travellers becoming unwell with COVID-19 whilst in Australia and potentially requiring healthcare services.

  • How were the estimates of protection from the various COVID-19 vaccines determined?

    In general, the level of protection offered by COVID-19 vaccines is either directly measured in vaccine efficacy and effectiveness (VE) data from clinical trials or inferred from the protection against ‘severe infection’.  

    There can be difficulties making comparisons between different COVID-19 vaccines because there is often a variation in the vaccine efficacy and effectiveness measures amongst the different vaccines.

  • What is the recommendation for individuals who have received a COVID-19 vaccine(s) overseas that is not recognised in Australia?

    Individuals who have previously received a first dose or a course of COVID-19 vaccine/s using a brand that is not recognised in Australia should be re-vaccinated with a full course using a brand that is recognised by the TGA.

    The minimum interval between receiving the last dose of non-recognised vaccine and receiving the first dose of TGA recognised vaccine should be the same interval that is recommended between doses of the non-recognised vaccine course eg. Sputnik COVID-19 vaccine doses are administered 3 weeks apart, therefore there should be at least 4 weeks between the final dose of a Sputnik COVID-19 vaccine and the administration of a TGA recognised vaccine. A longer interval will be accepted if this is not possible. Once a TGA recognised COVID-19 vaccine course has been commenced the recommended intervals between these doses should be adhered to.

    For further information on COVID-19 vaccines recognised in Australia refer to COVID-19 vaccines not registered in Australia but in current international use – TGA advice on “recognition”.

  • What is the recommendation for individuals who have received dose 1 of a brand of COVID-19 vaccine that is not available in Australia?

    Individuals who have previously received a valid first dose of COVID-19 vaccine that is not available in Australia can receive any available COVID-19 vaccine brand to complete the course. This second dose can be administered 4-12 weeks following the first dose. A longer interval will be accepted if this is not possible.

    For further information refer to ATAGI clinical advice on the use of a different COVID-19 vaccine as the second dose.

Authors: Rachael McGuire (MVEC Education Nurse Coordinator), Francesca Machingaifa (MVEC Education Nurse Coordinator), Nigel Crawford (Director SAEFVIC, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute) and Angie Berkhout (MVEC Immunisation Fellow)

Date: November 30, 2021

Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Melbourne Vaccine Education Centre (MVEC) staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.

You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family’s personal health. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult a healthcare professional.