COVID-19 vaccination for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in phase 1b and 2a

11 Mar 2021

The AMA has received advice from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander COVID-19 Advisory Group that for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people seeking vaccination in 1b and 2a roll-out, self-identification is sufficient proof of Indigenous status - no other documentation in required.  

The advisory group re-affirmed that no proof beyond self-identification is required and this is consistent with the RACGP standards. While there is the potential for non-indigenous people to take advantage of this system, it was thought the greater harm was in potential racism towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people seeking vaccination and of having to prove one’s identity.  

The specific recommendations from the Advisory Group are: 

  • Recommendation 1 - In line with AIHW Guidelines, all clients in a health care setting should be asked ‘Do you identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander’, the response should be recorded and accepted without question. 

  • Recommendation 2 – Self-identification should be sufficient as the proof of eligibility in the vaccination program. 

  • Recommendation 3 – This advice is shared with ATAGI and AHPPC to ensure it is developed in all relevant policies in ACCHOs, NACCHO and Commonwealth and State/Territory Jurisdictions. 

  • Recommendation 4 – Information that self-identification should be accepted, is distributed to all primary care peak bodies to facilitate information in all vaccination points.