COVID-19 vaccination in residential aged care facilities

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People living in residential aged care are among the first people in Australia to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This is part of the first phase of the national COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy, which is referred to as Phase 1A.

The Australian Government has tasked Primary Health Networks around the country – including Primary Health Tasmania, for this state – with supporting local residential aged care facilities to prepare for the vaccinations.

At this stage, key points to know are:

  • the Australian Government identified a number of aged care facilities around the country to receive the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations, which began in the week commencing 22 February
  • if your facility hasn’t yet been contacted, you will receive the vaccination at a later date.

Want to find out more?

Ask us a question via the forum below, or check out the below links and resources:

People living in residential aged care are among the first people in Australia to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This is part of the first phase of the national COVID-19 vaccine rollout strategy, which is referred to as Phase 1A.

The Australian Government has tasked Primary Health Networks around the country – including Primary Health Tasmania, for this state – with supporting local residential aged care facilities to prepare for the vaccinations.

At this stage, key points to know are:

  • the Australian Government identified a number of aged care facilities around the country to receive the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations, which began in the week commencing 22 February
  • if your facility hasn’t yet been contacted, you will receive the vaccination at a later date.

Want to find out more?

Ask us a question via the forum below, or check out the below links and resources:

When responding to questions in this forum, Primary Health Tasmania will not identify the questioner. To help us correspond with you directly if needed, please include your best email contact in the body of your question.

Please note: this forum will be monitored during business hours, Monday to Friday. All submitted questions will be answered as quickly as possible.

Do you have a question about the vaccination rollout?

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    Doctors, some administrative staff, and some nurses, at my general medical practice, attend the local nursing home and provide 100% of medical services to the residents. Routine attendance is twice weekly for full working days. That is, they can be deemed to be employees of the nursing home for the purpose of COVID-19 immunisation. I would consider that these practice staff should receive Comirnaty vaccine at the same time as the employed nursing home staff. Will this happen and what will be the arrangements? Staff at my practice that do not attend the nursing home work in close proximity to those that do, including the doctors. I would consider that these staff should also be offered Comirnaty vaccine. When will this happen and what will be the arrangements?

    5 days ago
    Update:


    Primary Health Tasmania has received the following advice from the Australian Government around the definition of 'staff' for Phase 1A inclusion in residential aged and disability care facilities.

    The above response was provided at 10:30am on 24 February.

    Earlier response:

    Thank you for your question. 

    Primary Health Tasmania anticipates Australian Government guidance outlining the definition of residential aged care (RACF) “staff” for the purpose of Phase 1A vaccinations will be provided shortly.  

    When this guidance is received, Primary Health Tasmania will update this response.  

    In the interim, an Australian Government presentation issued on 18 February offers some detail about the plan for Phase 1A vaccinations for RACF residents and staff to be delivered “via in-reach at residential aged care and disability care facilities”. 

    The above response was provided at 2:20pm on 22 February. 


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    I work as a visiting allied health provider to a number of RACFs and disability supported accommodation residences. I am a sole trader. How will I access the vaccination in the early stages, as I am not technically 'employed' under an RACF/disability organisation, yet I provide services on a regular basis?

    8 days ago
    Update:


    Primary Health Tasmania has received the following advice from the Australian Government around the definition of 'staff' for Phase 1A inclusion in residential aged and disability care facilities.

    The above response was provided at 10:30am on 24 February.

    Earlier response:

    Thank you for your question.

    Primary Health Tasmania anticipates Australian Government guidance outlining the definition of residential aged care (RACF) “staff” for the purpose of Phase 1A vaccinations will be provided shortly. 

    When this guidance is received, Primary Health Tasmania will update this response. 

    In the interim, an Australian Government presentation issued on 18 February offers some detail about the plan for Phase 1A vaccinations for RACF residents and staff to be delivered “via in-reach at residential aged care and disability care facilities”. 

    The above response was provided at 1:50pm on 19 February.

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    My business employs dietitians who visit many aged care facilities in Tasmania. While we are not employed directly by the facilities we are contractors and have frequent close contact with residents and staff. Can you tell me if there is a plan in regard to contractors working in this space?

    8 days ago
    Update:


    Primary Health Tasmania has received the following advice from the Australian Government around the definition of 'staff' for Phase 1A inclusion in residential aged and disability care facilities.

    The above response was provided at 10:30am on 24 February.

    Earlier response:

    Thank you for your question. 

    The Australian Government has provided guidance to residential aged care facilities (RACFs) about notifying relevant allied health providers about the vaccination clinic date in the form of its COVID-19 vaccine aged care readiness toolkit, within the ‘Hints and Tips for Planning and Delivering RACF COVID Vaccination Clinics’ checklist. 

    At the base of the checklist, RACFs are instructed to: “Provide GPs and allied health workers with early notice of your scheduled date for vaccination clinic.” 

    Primary Health Tasmania also anticipates Australian Government guidance will be provided shortly, outlining the definition of residential aged care “staff” for the purpose of Phase 1A vaccinations. 

    When this guidance is received, Primary Health Tasmania will update this response. 

    The above response was provided at 4:20pm on 18 February. 

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    The advice is to leave 14 days between COVID and influenza vaccines – does this apply to other routine vaccinations?

    2 days ago

    ATAGI advice regarding timing of vaccines can be found here.

    Please work with your resident’s GPs to ensure routine vaccinations are delayed until 14 days after the second COVID vaccine dose.  

    ATAGI advice has also been released about the COVID-19 vaccine relative to influenza vaccine.  

    The above response was provided at 11:55am on 25 February.

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    What is the time frame between the first vaccination jab and the second? Do I have to do anything to organise that second on-site visit?

    2 days ago

    The time frame between the first vaccination jab and second is a period of three weeks. 

    When Aspen visits your facility to provide the first dose, you will be automatically scheduled in for the second dose in three weeks’ time. 

    The above response was provided at 11:55am on 25 February.

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    My facility hasn’t been contacted yet, regarding when vaccinations will be taking place on site. Have I missed something, or will the provider be in contact in due course?

    2 days ago

    Thank you for your question. 

    Aspen, the Vaccine Administration Provider who is delivering in-reach vaccinations in Tasmania, will be in direct contact with every residential aged care facility ahead of vaccination delivery.

    The above response was provided at 11:55am on 25 February.

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    What are the contraindications and side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine?

    8 days ago
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    At this stage, what can my facility do to prepare?

    10 days ago

    Aged care providers have an important role in the COVID-19 vaccine program. Facilities will need to:

        provide information to residents and workers

        facilitate resident consent

        prepare their facility for vaccination day

        monitor and report adverse events.

    The Australian Government Department of Health has published a readiness toolkit to help RACFs prepare for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines. RACFs should familiarise themselves with this information and start planning.

    The following resources are now available for RACFs: 

        planning checklist for vaccination day

        consent process flowchart

        site-readiness checklist

        clinical governance requirements

        consent in the aged care context.

    The following information is also available for facilities, workers, residents and their families, carers and loved ones:

        information on COVID-19 Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine

        preparing for COVID-19 vaccination 

        what to expect before, and on, the day of vaccination

        after your COVID-19 vaccination 

        consent form. 

    Information about reporting adverse events will be available soon, along with more resources for providers, workers and residents.

    The above response was provided at 11:00am on 17 February.

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    How soon after the resident vaccinations will the staff vaccinations be rolled out?

    2 days ago

    The Australian Government has provided some clarification regarding who are considered staff but have not yet advised when staff vaccines will be provided. 

    When that advice is received, we will update this response.

    The above response was provided at 11:55am on 25 February.