Protecting Older Australians – COVID-19 Update

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Media Release: 14 May 2021

In this edition


What’s New

COVID-19 vaccine aged care roll-out update

As at 14 May 2021, 287,792 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in 2,285 residential aged care and disability accommodation facilities across Australia. Of these, 1,495 have received second dose clinics.

The COVID-19 vaccines we have in Australia are the most effective way to protect against this infectious disease. For older Australians and others most at risk, getting vaccinated as quickly and safely as possible is critical.

This progress is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of aged care providers, staff, residents, vaccine providers and others throughout the roll-out.

The vaccine roll-out is being documented along the way and we invite you to watch and share a short video with residents and workers about the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out.

Reminder: COVID-19 Vaccine Deliveries

If a vaccine delivery arrives earlier than the day of the scheduled vaccination clinic, residential aged care facilities should direct the DHL driver to return on the appropriate day. If this occurs, residential aged care facilities should immediately call the Vaccine Operations Centre to report that the delivery attempt was made.

Residential aged care facilities are reminded they must not accept a COVID-19 vaccine delivery, and should never open the vaccine delivery. This is always the case, even if a vaccine delivery arrives earlier than 8am and a vaccine workforce provider in-reach team is not yet on-site.

Vaccine workforce providers are required to be on-site at residential aged care facilities to receive vaccine deliveries and assume responsibility for the vaccine from that point. This is a requirement under state and territory law.

If there are concerns on the integrity of the vaccine on delivery, vaccine workforce providers are responsible for notifying DHL and the Vaccine Operations Centre immediately.

Factsheet for residential aged care workers – now available in 19 languages

The Australian Government is making it easier for workers in residential aged care to get a COVID-19 vaccine. There are a range of options.

As is the case with all people living in Australia, people working in residential aged care will be offered a COVID-19 vaccine depending on their age:

  • People aged 50 years and over will receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
  • People aged under 50 years will receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

factsheet and posters explaining all of the options available for residential aged care workers are now available in 19 languages. The translated factsheets and posters can be accessed on the Department of Health website.

A reminder that workers and recipients of in-home and community aged care can learn more about their options for COVID-19 vaccination via the in-home aged care COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet. The factsheet will shortly be available in 19 languages.

The Department of Health has also produced an easy guide to vaccination pathways for workers and recipients in in-home and community aged care.

The COVID-19 eligibility checker continues to be updated with information on where to get a vaccination:

  • people aged 50 years and over will receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
  • people aged under 50 years will receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 Eligibility Checker

The COVID-19 Eligibility Checker on the Department of Health website is the best place to find information on how and where to access a COVID-19 vaccination in your local area.

State and territory vaccination clinics are coming on line progressively and all aged care workers can visit a clinic to receive the appropriate COVID-19 vaccination in line with the recent recommendations by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

Arrangements for different state and territory clinics are happening progressively. Refer to the eligibility checker for available clinics in your state and territory.

Aged care workers 50 years and over can also use the eligibility checker to find participating general practice clinics, Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services to access an AstraZeneca vaccine nearby.

If you can’t find details for nearby clinics check regularly as the listings will be updated as clinics become available.

Sonic Pfizer clinics for residential aged care workers aged under 50

Bookings can be made now by Sydney-based residential aged care workers aged under 50 to access a COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination at Macquarie Park in Sydney.

The Macquarie Park vaccination clinic will open on Monday 24 May, from 2pm to 10pm Monday – Friday and 8am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.

Bookings can be made now via the Sonic Healthcare vaccinations website or 1300 379 878, which opens on Monday 24 May for eligible residential aged care workers (aged under 50 years).

Appointments can also be made at two clinics in Blacktown and Campbelltown which opened earlier this month.

These clinics are dedicated to aged and disability care workers only in the Sydney area.

Facilities will be advised as further clinics become available in other parts of Australia.

Victorian Aged Care Infection Prevention and Control Webinars

From transmission-based precautions and epidemiology, to outbreak management, employee health and leadership, this IPC instructional information is useful to anyone working in a residential aged care facility in Australia.

Facilitated by experts from the Victorian Infection Prevention Control Advice and Response (IPCAR), the VICNISS Coordinating Centre, the Victorian Aged Care Response Centre (VACRC) and the Rural Infection Control Practice Group (RICPRAC), the content forms part of the Australasian College for Infection Prevention and Control (ACIPC) Foundations course.

Webinars and recorded online forums are available online, watch the VICNISS aged care videos and attend coming events.

Resources

Please share this newsletter with your colleagues and workforce, particularly your communications teams and encourage them to subscribe for future updates. You can view past editions of the Protecting Older Australians Newsletter.

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