Two grant funding opportunities are available to assist providers to support their workforce to get vaccinated.
First, Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) providers can access emergency funds for costs associated to support staff to get vaccinated.
This includes costs associated with staff taking leave to attend a vaccination clinic, or activities that encourage staff to get vaccinated, such as transport to and from a vaccination clinic.
CHSP providers can also access emergency funds for costs associated with collecting and reporting the vaccination status of their workers.
From October 5, 2021, it is mandatory for CHSP providers to report the vaccinations status of their workforce to MyAgedCare.
CHSP Providers do not have to apply for these funds in advance of undertaking these activities, they can apply for funding via GrantsConnect (GO3877) at grants.gov.au and applications close on June 30, 2022.
Secondly, the Department of Health will shortly announce a Home Care Packages Program COVID-19 Vaccination Support Grant Opportunity.
Anticipated funding to be made available is grants of $5000 and up to $48,000 per provider, scaled depending on the amount of care recipients receiving services with the provider (up to $20 million across all Home Care Package providers).
Applications are expected to open at the beginning of next month (November 2021).
Details about the grant opportunity and application process will be available prior to the grant opportunity opening.
It will be available on the GrantConnect website and providers are encouraged to register in advance.
First payments are expected to be made in late November 2021 and eligible grant activities will include:
- Facilitating and encouraging workforce COVID-19 vaccinations
- Coverage of costs for staff to take leave to get a COVID-19 vaccination or if they are sick after a COVID-19 vaccination
- Collecting and reporting workforce COVID-19 vaccination status data, and improving data quality
- ICT-related and professional advice costs to set-up processes and systems to track and report the COVID-19 vaccination status of their workforce.
How in-home and community workers can get priority COVID-19 vaccination
Workers can access the vaccine of their choice (Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca) through:
- Primary care – including GP clinics, pharmacies, Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics (GP respiratory clinic), and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services. (Workers are prioritised to receive a booking within 7 days of their request for an appointment at all primary care clinics.)
- State and territory vaccination clinics – In-home and community aged care workers can make an appointment to get vaccinated at a state or territory vaccination clinic.
- call the dedicated COVID-19 Helpline on 1800 020 080 (select option 4) for any questions about vaccination and for assistance on how to book an appointment.
- use the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder to book an appointment at a clinic nearby.
Workers can provide the following documents to confirm their eligibility for a priority vaccination:
- proof of identity (e.g. driver’s licence, passport, birth certificate)
- proof of employment (a letter from your employer confirming you have priority access or a current work ID card or payslip showing you are currently employed as an aged care worker)
- Medicare card if you have one. You are still eligible for vaccination even if you do not have a Medicare card.
A fact sheet provides further information on accessing a COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all providers to share the fact sheet with your workforce.
Providing evidence of vaccination
There are two ways workers can provide evidence of their vaccination status:
- Immunisation History Statement – this displays all vaccinations or medical contraindications and authorised exemptions, including COVID-19, that have been reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). All vaccine providers must upload vaccinations to the AIR.
- COVID-19 Digital Certificate – this is for individuals who have received all required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in Australia.
People can access their Immunisation History Statement:
- online, by setting up a myGov account and then accessing a Medicare online account; or
- through the Express Plus Medicare mobile app; or
- by calling the Australian Immunisation Register enquiries line on 1800 653 809 (8am-5pm, Monday to Friday AEST) and asking them to send a copy of the statement. Please allow up to 14 days to receive the statement in the post; or
- by asking a GP or vaccination provider to print a copy of your statement for you.
People do not need to have a Medicare card to be able to access their Immunisation History Statement.