Residential aged care facility staff COVID-19 vaccination
In Western Australia, more than 99 per cent of residential aged care staff have had their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination.
Residential aged care staff lead the nation for vaccination uptake.
All staff must be fully vaccinated by 17 November, 2021 according to the Residential Aged Care Facility Worker Access Directions.
If your facility needs assistance to reach this goal please contact WA Primary Health Alliance.
Medical exemptions must be reported on the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR)
There are certain criteria staff must meet to be granted an COVID-19 vaccine medical exemption.
All temporary and permanent medical exemptions must be authorised by a medical practitioner.
There are only limited exemptions to receiving a COVID?19 vaccination if you work in residential aged care. For more information visit your state or territory department of health website to understand what exemption documentation is required.
The Residential Aged Care Facility Worker Access Directions provides details on what exemptions may be considered. The public health order will also provide direction on the evidence workers must provide to their employer as proof of an authorised exemption to a COVID?19 vaccine.
Authorised Medical practitioners (including General Practitioners) can notify the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) of an individual who has a vaccine exemption due to medical contraindications on an individual’s Immunisation History Statement (IHS).
This includes permanent vaccine exemption or temporary vaccine exemption until a specified date.
Supporting ongoing vaccination of residents
The Australian Department of Health has provided a New resident entrance protocol flowchart to check if new residents have been vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.
The guide recommends facilities ask new residents if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19.
If they haven’t, staff can encourage the resident to book an appointment with their general practitioner to discuss COVID-19 vaccine.
These factsheets can help residents to inform their decision:
- Information on COVID-19 Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine
- Information on COVID-19 Spikevax (Moderna) vaccine
- Information on COVID-19 Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) vaccine
- COVID-19 vaccination – Giving your consent – Easy Read
- COVID-19 common questions for Aboriginal people
All people aged over 60 are now able to receive the Comirnaty (Pfizer) vaccine from their GP and the Spikevax (Moderna) vaccine from a pharmacist.
To find your nearest COVID-19 booking use the Vaccine Clinic Finder.
Reporting workforce COVID-19 vaccination status
Mandatory reporting started 15 June for all providers of residential aged care services to report and provide weekly updates every Tuesday on the COVID-19 vaccination status of aged care staff.
The Australian Department of Health has guidance for RACF providers on reporting of COVID-19 vaccinations of residents and workers.
Information about reporting of COVID-19 aged care workforce vaccinations including how to report, frequency of reporting and reasons for use of reported information are contained in the attached fact sheet
As a reminder, for providers with staff at multiple sites, workers are encouraged to be reported against their main sites.
Role of the Primary Health Networks (PHNs)
- WA Primary Health Alliance (WAPHA) operates WA’s three Primary Health Networks – Perth North, Perth South and Country WA.
- PHNs across Australia are assisting in the coordination, planning and delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
- WAPHA is assisting the Australian Government in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for people in residential aged care facilities
- Subscribe to our RACF newsletter here
- Contact WAPHA if you require any further information
Immunisation updates and useful links
Useful links for providers
- WAPHA has developed a contact list External RACF Rollout Reference Key Contacts List. This document should be read in conjunction with the triage process and scenario mapping for residential aged care facilities document.
- Information and resources for RACFs are available from the Australian Department of Health
Resources for families and carers
- If residents or family would like more information about the COVID-19 vaccines, they can phone the national helpline: 1800 020 080.
- There is information about the COVID-19 vaccines available on the Health Direct website.