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Friday, December 1, 2023

Govt ramps up prioritising of residential aged care worker vaccinations

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The Commonwealth is rapidly increasing access points for residential aged care workers to get vaccinated as quickly and safely as possible.

All residential aged care workers can receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, irrespective of age, across all access points.

Workers can call the dedicated phone line for the National Coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline on 1800 020 080.

All residential aged care workers are a priority to be vaccinated.

Primary Health Networks (PHNs) continue to be the primary point of contact for residential aged care facilities on COVID-19 vaccination for residents and workers, including for organising vaccinations through clinics delivered by the Commonwealth vaccine providers.

These providers will be delivering a mix of in-reach, mobile and hub models for residential aged care workers and residents not yet vaccinated.

Each residential aged care facility in Australia can contact their PHN for advice on available access points for COVID-19 vaccination.

In addition, the vaccine providers will be communicating directly with facilities on the local clinics they are delivering – as was the case during the initial in-reach roll out in aged care.

To complement this, a forward schedule of dedicated COVID-19 vaccination clinics will also be made available to aged care provider peaks and unions for the purpose of providing local information on upcoming clinics to residential aged care facilities and workers.

This will further support awareness across the residential aged care workforce of all available options for COVID-19 vaccination.

Priority access through GPs and CVCs

Primary care vaccination clinics, including general practices and Commonwealth vaccination clinics (CVCs), are key channels for residential aged care workers to access a vaccine quickly.

More than 1300 general practices will be administering Pfizer vaccines from July 2021. In addition, participating pharmacies will be administering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.

All primary care clinics are expected to make a vaccination appointment for residential aged care workers within 14 days of a request to be vaccinated. From 1 August appointments should be made within 7 days.

Additional COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine doses for residential aged care workers have been allocated to all 31 Primary Health Networks across Australia. This allocation is available to general practices and CVCs to vaccinate residential aged care workers as a priority.

Primary care clinics, including GPs and CVCs, can access the dedicated Pfizer vaccine from their local PHN to provide:

  • additional vaccine services for residential aged care workers within existing practice/clinic arrangements
  • additional opportunities for workers to visit the clinic to receive a vaccine, and
  • in-reach vaccine services to residential aged care facilities, to vaccinate workers and residents.

Residential aged care facilities should contact the PHN to discuss this option for your workers. PHNs will connect aged care facilities with participating primary care vaccination services.

Access to Disability clinics

Workers from residential aged care facilities located in the same PHN as disability vaccination hubs can access a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at these hubs.

The Department will be contacting residential aged care facilities which will have the disability vaccination hubs as an option for their workforce.

Priority access at state and territory clinics

Residential aged care workers have priority access to a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at state and territory vaccination clinics.

The Commonwealth has requested all states and territories ensure priority access for residential aged care workers.

The COVID-19 eligibility checker provides details of available clinics in your state and  territory.

Provider-run vaccination clinics

Over 43,000 residential aged care workers will be offered a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine through provider-run on-site clinics.

It is recommended that workers ask their aged care facility if this an option for you.

The Government is strongly encouraging residential aged care providers to consider conducting on-site vaccination clinics.

The Request for Tender (RFT) process enabling providers to vaccinate their workforce is open until July 30.

Keep up to date on the COVID-19 vaccine roll out at here.

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