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:

Do you work in aged care? Do you have a question about the vaccination rollout?

Please note: This forum is for people working in aged care. Questions from members of the public should be directed to the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

This forum is monitored during business hours, Monday to Friday. All submitted questions will be answered as quickly as possible.

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.

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    We have staff who have have received their 1st dose at our facility when residents were receiving their 2nd. One staff member has contacted the LGH today to book an appointment and they have been told that the employer has to make the booking. Can you please clarify the process?

    8 months ago

    Thank you for your question. 

    Staff who receive their first dose of vaccine at a second dose visit will have their details passed onto the Pfizer Hub (currently the Royal Hobart Hospital, Launceston General Hospital and North West Regional Hospital). The Pfizer Hub will then make contact with the staff member to arrange an appointment time. 

    Further information can be found in the document entitled 'Aged Care Vaccine Policy - Dose 1 at a Dose 2 visit' under the useful documents tab.

    The above response was provided at  9:50am on 30 March.

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    Is there a formal document that RACFs are required to complete to ensure the vaccinator team have consent from residents (or their representative) for the second dose of the vaccine?

    8 months ago

    Thank you for your question. No, there is no formal documentation required. During the initial consent process, ensure you have informed consent for both doses. However, people can change their minds, so it would be prudent to check with residents in between doses to ensure they still want the second dose, particularly if there was a side effect or their condition has changed etc. 

    The above response was provided at 10:00am on 25 March. 

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    I work in a Tasmanian residential aged care facility. Am I required to get the influenza vaccine this year?

    9 months ago

    Thank you for your question.

    The Tasmanian Government advises that, while getting the yearly influenza vaccination is important, it is no longer essential for staff and visitors to residential aged care services because:

    • it is not currently available
    • when this year’s influenza vaccine does become available, it will be important to time vaccination carefully to ensure its effectiveness doesn’t wane before the height of the influenza season in August to September, and around COVID-19 vaccinations.

    The above response was provided at 11:15am on 4 March.

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    What does the vaccine packaging look like?

    9 months ago

    Please find below an example image of the Cool Green Box in which the vaccines are delivered.

    It is advised that if a box is delivered in error, or without an Aspen Medical representative in attendance, that RACF staff do not open the box. An unopened box maintains cold chain integrity.

    RACFs may also wish to view the Australian Government's Scenario Mapping for Residential Aged Care Facilities resource.

    The above response was provided at 11:20am on 4 March.

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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?

    10 months ago
    Second Update:

    The Australian Government has issued an updated information outlining the definition of 'staff' for Phase 1A inclusion in residential aged care.

    The above response was provided at 9:30am on 3 March.

    First 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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    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?

    10 months ago
    Second Update:

    The Australian Government has issued an updated information outlining the definition of 'staff' for Phase 1A inclusion in residential aged care.

    The above response was provided at 9:30am on 3 March.

    First 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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    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?

    9 months ago
    Second Update:

    The Australian Government has issued an updated information outlining the definition of 'staff' for Phase 1A inclusion in residential aged care.

    The above response was provided at 9:30am on 3 March.

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

    9 months 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?

    9 months 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?

    9 months 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.

Page last updated: 26 August 2021, 17:11