COVID Vaccinations

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements by State - 26 November 2021

State

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements

Source of Information

Link(s)

IMPORTANT: Read the Association’s FAQ about Vaccination status that provides information about what members need to consider when developing policies and procedures about vaccination in your workplace.

Victoria

Mandatory vaccination for all health care workers, including speech pathologists (and ancillary staff) across all health care settings.

Telepractice and vaccination DHHS have advised:

  • A work premises includes businesses operated from a home or residential property and the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination (Specified Facilities) Directions (No 12) specifies health clinics such as allied health professional operated clinics as healthcare facilities that require all workers attending to be fully vaccinated by 15 December 2021 or an excepted person.
  • It is the intention of the directions that allied health practitioners working from a home-based clinic or otherwise must be vaccinated or an excepted person to work at that clinic. Healthcare facility means each of the following premises, including but not limited to:
    • health clinics, including medical specialist and allied health professional operated clinics;
    • premises at which mobile health services are provided.

The link with vaccination requirements is this the healthcare facility not the type/mode of service delivery.

Victoria Health and Acting Chief Health Officer

Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic) COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions (No 3)

Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (Vic) COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions (No 5)

Victorian government: Information for workers required to be vaccinated

Queensland

Mandatory vaccination for speech pathologists who attend and provide care to residents of a RACF and in some locations in hospitals.

Mandate extended to health workers in private health, aged care and disability sectors (including private allied health practices).

Telepractice and mandatory vaccination
The Association is trying to get clarification around the impact of this Direction on unvaccinated health workers, including speech pathologists, who are carrying out telepractice. The most recent advice is below. Any udpates to this information when we receive this from Queensland Health will be added here.

As it currently stands the Direction defines healthcare setting by the provision of healthcare without reference to whether that relates specifically to in person services. “Healthcare setting means a setting or premises where healthcare is provided”. So technically provision of healthcare (including telehealth) from a provider’s own home makes the premise a healthcare setting.

Queensland Health

Queensland health Residential Aged Care Direction (No. 9)

Queensland Health Designated COVID-19 Hospital Network Direction (No. 3)

Workers in a Healthcare Setting (COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements) Direction

Northern Territory

Mandatory vaccination for speech pathologists who are likely to work with or provide services to vulnerable people including:

  • children under 12,
  • anyone with a disability,
  • anyone in aged care,
  • anyone who is immune compromised.

NT Health

NT Health Freedoms and Restrictions

New South Wales

Mandatory vaccination for speech pathologists who work in or provide services to

  • public and private hospitals
  • aged care facilities (in-home or community services, or services provided in a RACF
  • schools and early childhood education and care facilities.
  • as well as anyone who provide a disability-related service, in person, to a person with a disability, irrespective of whether they are funded by the NDIS

NSW Health and Chief Allied Health Officer

COVID-19 vaccination: Information for clinicians in NSW

NSW Health - Mandatory Vaccination for Healthcare Workers: Frequently asked question

NSW Public Health Orders and restrictions

Public Health (COVID-19 Care Services) Order 2021

Public Health (COVID-19 Vaccination of Health Care Workers) Order 2021

Australian Capital Territory

Mandatory vaccination for speech pathologists providing services into aged care facilities, schools and early childhood education and health care facilities.

ACT Public Health

ACT Public Health (Aged Care Workers COVID-19 Vaccination) Emergency Direction 2021

Public Health (ACT School or Early Childhood Education and Care Workers COVID-19 Vaccination) Emergency Direction 2021

Public Health (Health Care and Support Workers COVID-19 Vaccination) Emergency Direction 2021

Western Australia

Mandatory vaccination for speech pathologists providing services into aged care facilities.

Speech pathologists who work in or provide services for public and private hospitals, as well as private healthcare facilities, must be vaccinated.

From 1 November, speech pathologists working in private practice will also will need to have had at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to access their workplace.

WA Government

WA Government- Directions for healthcare and health support workers

WA Government Directions for Residential Aged Care Facility workers

Health Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions (No 3)

Residential aged care facilities

Primary Health Care Worker (Restrictions on Access) Directions

South Australia

Mandatory vaccination for speech pathologists working across all sectors including aged care.

The Directions also apply to all people working in the healthcare setting e.g. cleaners, admin staff, students undertaking a placement.

SA Health

Emergency Management (Healthcare Setting Workers Vaccination No 2) (COVID-19) Direction 2021

Updated Healthcare Setting Workers Vaccination – 20 October 2021

Residential aged care facilities

Tasmania

Mandatory vaccination for speech pathologists (and ancillary staff) across all public and private health settings.

Tasmanian Government

Tasmanian Government Information for workers in health care settings

Tasmanian Government Workers in aged care facilities and organisations

Notes:

  1. Public Health Orders (PHOs) may also apply to speech pathology students, allied health assistants and ancillary staff.
  2. The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) have published the following statements: Mandatory vaccination of all workers in health care settings.
  3. Mandatory vaccination of aged care in-home and community aged care workers.

See Speech Pathology Australia Collaborative Speech Pathology after lockdown; Key ethical considerations. It is free for members.

This collaborative focuses on questions members are asking as they are coming out of lockdown and assessing what they can practically and ethically offer for service delivery models. It includes discussions about:

  • balancing client needs with staff needs and communicating this effectively;
  • identifying and planning for risks associated with in person sessions; and
  • factors that an infection control policy might support.

NASRHP policy statement on COVID-19 vaccinations for self-regulated health professions

Speech Pathology Australia is a member of the National Alliance of Self-Regulating Health Professions (NASRHP). In order to provide a consistent position for self-regulated allied health professionals on their expectations when abiding by public health orders/directions related to the vaccination NASRHP have released a policy statement on COVID-19 vaccinations for self-regulated health professions.

This statement aims to support the allied health professionals that sit within NASRHP to understand their obligations and expectations regarding COVID-19 vaccinations, including the actions that are required to adhere to public health orders/directions issued by the Commonwealth or a State or Territory Government.

COVID-19 booster vaccination advice

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have developed recommendations on the use of additional (booster) doses of COVID-19 vaccine. They recommend people working in a healthcare setting consider receiving a booster dose noting healthcare workers were prioritised early in the vaccination rollout, so many are due for their booster dose.

More details available online from the Department of Health.

COVID-19 vaccinations: legislation and public health orders (by state)

State and territory governments have made public health orders requiring certain workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in their state or territory. Employers and workers need to comply with any public health orders that apply to them.

For information on other requirements and restrictions in place in each state and territory, see the list of enforceable government directions during coronavirus.

Mandatory vaccination of Tasmanian workers in health care settings - updated

The Tasmanian Government announced the requirement for all health care workers, including speech pathologists to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The direction also requires non-health workers within these medical or health facilities to be sufficiently vaccinated, such as security personnel, cleaners, maintenance, catering and administration staff.

Vaccination requirements in Tasmania, include speech pathologists

Tasmania members should be alert to the recent Tasmanian Government announcement that vaccinations are now mandatory for all health care workers (including allied health professionals) in Tasmania. This applies to speech pathologists, with first dose vaccinations (or evidence of a booking or exemption) required by 31 October 2021. Further information available online.

Further information from the Association will follow.

Guidance on mandating COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace

This webisode was recorded by Speech Pathology Australia last week with the support of Anna Pannuzzo from WorkPlacePLUS and provides you with information to understand the current requirements around vaccinations.

It is free for SPA members.

Fair Work’s COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace: workplace rights and obligations and the Australian Chamber of Commerce Employer Guide to COVID -19 vaccinations and the workplace provide additional guidance and support.

The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has guidance on privacy and freedom of information in the context of COVId-19 including the following resources:

Addressing COVID-19 vaccination in the workplace

WorkPlacePlus have provided advice to the Association about Mandating COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace.

In addition, WorkPlacePLUS have provided the following information relating to COVID-19: Avoiding a fine: How can I prove my essential work travel?

COVID-19 vaccination is one factor among a range of practical COVID-19 control measures currently available to help mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. While there are currently no public health orders requiring mandatory COVID-19 vaccination, speech pathologists who are carrying out work within high-risk workplace settings, such as disability or aged care residential facilities, should expect at a minimum to be strongly encouraged by their employer to receive the vaccine. Read the Speak Out April 2021 This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF..

New vaccination requirements for visiting residential aged care facilities

Members working in or visiting residential aged care facilities should be aware of new restrictions that have been put in place by the Australian Government

From 17 September 2021, COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all residential aged care workers, including allied health providers. This will apply to all people working at a residential aged care facility, including volunteers, who are responsible for:

  • resident care
  • support and services for residents
  • maintenance and administration.

It will be a condition of working in a residential aged care facility, and workers must have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 17 September.

Members can find out more information regarding their obligations in this space on the Australian Government Department of Health website.

WA Department Health advice on vaccinations

The WA Department of Health has provided the following advice with regard to vaccinations in Western Australia. Reference should be made to the table referred to in the correspondence from the Chief Operating Officer, COVID-19 vaccinations (see below). Registration is via the VaccinateWA booking system.

Further information on the WA vaccination program is available online.

View correspondence from the Chief Operating Officer, COVID-19 vaccinations. This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF.

SA Health advice on COVID vaccinations

Members in one of the priority groups in Phase 1a and 1b are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Use the SA Health booking system to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Members under 50 can now book an appointment at the Wayville Vaccination Clinic at the Adelaide Showground. Members over 50, can get vaccinated now at participating GPs and Respiratory Clinics. SA Health is adding more clinics in the coming weeks, including in the north and south of Adelaide and in regional areas.

For information about an appointment, including clinic details and maps, visit the SA Health website. Visit the SA Health COVID website to stay up-to-date with the latest information.

NT Health advice regarding COVID vaccinations

NT Health is currently vaccinating those people identified in Phase 1A and Phase 1B, which includes critical workers, health care workers, emergency service workers, disability and aged care workers, and people over the age of 16 years with a medical condition. A full list of those people eligible under Phase 1A and Phase 1B is available on the Australian Government Department of Health website. The COVID-19 vaccine is free and voluntary.

Members eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as part of Phase 1A or 1B can book their appointment online through an NT Health Clinic. At this time, appointments through NT Health Clinics are only available in the townships of Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Darwin Region. NT Health is working to open community clinics in Katherine and Gove shortly.

Stay updated about NT Health vaccination clinic sites by visiting the Northern Territory COVID-19 website.

COVID-19 vaccination program – Victoria update

Healthcare workers and those over 50 are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Victoria.

Healthcare worker are part of Priority Group 1 identified for vaccination against COVID-19. View details about the eligibility for healthcare workers. This includes public/private and hospital/community based workers. Residential disability workers under 50 years will be vaccinated with Pfizer as part of the Commonwealth vaccination program across residential disability sites.

Further information is available from the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 website.

View Invitation to receive a COVID-19 vaccine – Information for Phase 1 healthcare workers This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF..

View the COVID-19 Vaccination Program Guide This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF..

COVID-19 vaccination program – ACT Government clinic (Garran Oval, Kitchener Street)

The Association has been advised that the ACT Government clinic is taking bookings for all health, aged care and disability workers under phase 1a and phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination program. View advice on how to book an appointment and important information on the recent program update This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF..

COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace

Fairwork have expanded our information on COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace. Visit COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace for information and guidance on common questions about coronavirus vaccinations and the workplace.

Access State and Territory-based vaccine roll-out information – 14 April

Safework Australia has provided information about what COVID-19 public health rules apply in each state or territory.

COVID-19 vaccine update – South Australia – 14 April

SA Health has provided the following information relating to COVID-19 vaccine in South Australia. Plans for the vaccination clinic at Adelaide Showgrounds are progressing and it is expected that the clinic will open by the end of the month. The vaccination clinic will solely be a Pfizer clinic and will vaccinate up to 3,000 people each week from Phase 1a and 1b. More information about eligibility and bookings will be made available in the coming weeks. To find out more information about the COVID-19 vaccine roll out, visit the SA Health website.

Joint statement on COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine advice from ATAGI – 8 April

Read a joint statement from Professor Brendan Murphy, Department of Health Secretary and Professor Paul Kelly, Australian Government Chief Medical Officer.

Information on AstraZeneca vaccine in response to new vaccine safety concerns - April

The Victorian Department of Health is disseminating information about the vaccine program and the pathways to vaccination services. It has asked for the following information to be drawn to the attention of relevant speech pathologists.

View Information on AstraZeneca vaccine in response to new vaccine safety concerns This graphic is associated with the hyperlink that precedes it and indicates the document is in PDF..

Department of Health COVID19 Vaccination in Aged Care Update: 26 March

The Department of Health provided an update today re vaccination for aged care staff which can be accessed via this video. The roll out of the vaccination program was acknowledged as an enormous logistical undertaking, and is still under development, which is why some information is not always known / available as yet. Key points are summarised below:

1. Are speech pathologists in aged care eligible to access the COVID vaccination now?

YES. "Allied health staff who visit residents as contractors to provide services" are included in definition of staff. Staff of residential aged care and disability accommodation (along with residents) were noted as priorities within Phase 1a. It was noted that vaccination of staff has largely not occurred/ commenced as yet with plans actively underway. Calls for patience were made.

2. How will I access the COVID vaccination if I am a private practitioner working in aged care?

Arrangements for staff of aged care to access vaccinations are still under development but included:

  • In the first instance, 'staff' were encouraged not to wait for roll out in RACFs, but access through GP clinics (as also eligible under 1b criteria) Note that you will be required to take some sort of evidence to prove why you meet criteria for vaccination.
  • 'Pop up Hubs' in certain RACFS will be set up in April / May
  • Certain RACFs will likely ultimately act as sites administering the vaccine.

It appeared it may be some months away until arrangements in RACFs are set up for vaccine administration, so access via GP was encouraged but it was also noted that there is no immediate urgency.

It is important to have both of your doses in the same location.

3. Will vaccination be mandatory to work in aged care?

It was noted that it is not yet known whether vaccination will be mandatory across a range of settings including aged care, air travel, event attendance etc.

4. Am I eligible if I provide services to older people at home i.e. CHSP or HCP services?

YES. Complete a declaration form as above, and access via GP bookings

5. Which vaccine am I likely to get? Can I choose which one?

It is most likely that the bulk of people vaccinated in the community will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine. (what GP clinics, RACF pop ups will administer). There won't generally be the opportunity to choose vaccines.

6. Are there any side effects from the vaccine?

A range of "mild flu-like" symptoms were acknowledged as common side effects post vaccination and may be important to note in terms of scheduling of vaccines. Staggering timing across staff cohorts to avoid mass sick leave and ensure staff coverage, and provision of information to vulnerable older people living alone to identify where they may get support as needed were suggested considerations.

7. Will I get a vaccination certificate at the end?

A record of vaccination should be entered into your AIR (Aust Immunisation Record) which will be transferred to your My Health Record. It was recommended to download those details onto your Medicare App on your phone, to be able to subsequently have ready access to an electronic record of your vaccination status. For people who don't have access to technology, it was suggested to request the provider to print off this information for them as their evidence.

8. Should I still get a flu shot?

YES. Staff were encouraged to still get flu shots early, noting to ensure 2 weeks in between a COVID vaccine shot and flu shot. 

Priority groups for COVID-19 Vaccination Program: Phase 1b

Members should view this Department of Health presentation (see slide 6) as it shows who will be vaccinated for COVID-19 under Phase 1b, based on recommendations by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation. View Department of Health presentation.

COVID-19 vaccination – Disability Provider Alert

The Department of Health has issued the next COVID-19 vaccination – Disability Provider Alert 11 March 2021. This alert is for all Department of Social Services (DSS) Disability Grant Recipients.

This provider alert along with other resources and information about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is now available from a dedicated web page for disability service providers on the Department of Health website. This page will be updated regularly.

The Department of Health will also continue to regularly update Information for people with disability about COVID-19 vaccines as more details become available.

Department of Health resources

Vaccine eligibility checker

The Department of Health has developed an online tool to assist people to understand the phased rollout. View the Vaccines Eligibility Checker.

Getting vaccinated

Learn about getting vaccinated for COVID-19. 

Helpline

Need information about COVID-19 COVID-19 vaccines or help with the COVIDSafe app? Visit the National COVID-19 vaccine helpline.

Aged Care Staff Eligibility Factsheet

The aged care staff eligibility fact sheet provides guidance of who should be considered ‘staff’ for the purposes of phase 1a of the COVID-19 vaccination program.

Members can subscribe to Department of Health updates.

Workplace resources

Visit the Safe Work Australia website to find work health and safety contact information in a specific jurisdiction.

Visit the Fairwork website for information about COVID vaccinations and the workplace.

Information for clients

The Department of Health has published ‘easy read’ resources that may be useful for clients:

Fact sheet: COVID-19 vaccination: COVID-19 vaccine overview (Easy Read)

Fact sheet: COVID-19 vaccination; What is it? Is it safe? (Easy Read)

Fact sheet:COVID-19 vaccination: Who will get the vaccine? (Easy Read)

Fact sheet:COVID-19 vaccination: Where can you get the vaccine? (Easy Read)

Fact sheet:COVID-19 vaccination: The Pfizer vaccine (Easy Read)

Fact sheet:COVID-19 vaccination: Getting ready for the vaccination (Easy Read)

Fact sheet: COVID-19 vaccination: What to expect when you have your vaccination (Easy Read)

Fact sheet: COVID-19 vaccination: Giving your consent (Easy Read)

Fact sheet: COVID-19 vaccination:– After your vaccination (Easy Read)

Fact sheet: COVID-19 vaccination: Other information (Easy Read)

COVID-19 vaccines for people with disability

The Australian Government has published information about COVID-19 vaccines for people with disability. The information covers many questions, including:

  • When will I get the vaccine?
  • Where can I get the vaccine?
  • Vaccinations for supports workers?

The information is online. This includes a number of Auslan videos.

Share these resources as widely as possible with people with disability, their families and carers. More information is available online.

Roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine in Australia for speech pathologists

Under 'Australia's Epidemiology and COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap', priority will be given to frontline (hospital) healthcare workers, residential aged care and disability care workers, and anyone working in quarantine facilities (Phase 1a). Speech pathologists working in these settings are likely to be included in Phase 1a. Allied health professionals working in primary care and community-based services will be vaccinated as part of Phase 1b (‘other healthcare workers’) or Phase 2a (‘other critical and high risk workers’) of the rollout. The vaccine roadmap is available from the Department of Health website. The Association will pass on any further information as it becomes available.