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RACF update for influenza and COVID-19 vaccines

7 April 2021

INFLUENZA VACCINATIONS IN RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE FACILITIES 

Guidance about RACF influenza vaccination and the COVID-19 vaccination program is now available on health.gov.au.

The timing of residential aged care facilities’ COVID-19 vaccination clinics and influenza clinics will need careful consideration to maintain the recommended minimum 14 day interval.

Flu vaccinations for residents should occur:

  • 14 or more days before their first Pfizer dose
  • 14 or more days after their second (and final) Pfizer dose

Residential aged care facilities need to consider the date of their COVID-19 vaccine in-reach clinic, and the minimum interval should be observed when scheduling influenza vaccinations for residents.

Facilities that have not yet been scheduled for a COVID-19 vaccine in-reach clinic

Email practicesupport@cesphn.com.au to find out the planned scheduled date for your facility’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

Watch the COVID-19 vaccine roll out in aged care webinar

The recording of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in aged care webinar is available to watch on the department’s website.

HOW TO MANAGE RESIDENTS WHO HAVE MISSED A DOSE OF COVID-19 VACCINE

The department has updated its RACF COVID-19 vaccine doses policy

The updated policy specifies that:

  • people should only be vaccinated if they expect to be at the facility to receive both doses.
  • Importantly, first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine should not be delivered at a second dose clinic
  • guidance on how to manage make up doses for people who miss a second COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Make up doseoptions

Individuals that received a first dose Pfizer vaccine at a residential aged care facility, and werenot able to receive a second dose in a facility, will be able to access a make-up dose. This will beaddressed on case by case basis.

Options include:

  • referral to a Pfizer hub in very limited circumstances, or
  • attending another RACF to receive a second dose

Contactimmunisation@cepshn.com.au to discuss options on how to manage catch up doses.

CESPHN will work with facilities and vaccine workforce providers to identify and enact local solutions to ensure these people receive their second dose.

Residential aged care facilities should contact their CESPHN if there are residents or staff in their facility that did not receive their second vaccine at a vaccination clinic.

COVID-19 VACCINE UPDATE FOR RESIDENTIAL AGED CARE STAFF

The department has published an update for residential aged care staff to inform them on when and how they can access a COVID-19 vaccination.

The delivery model enables aged care staff to access a COVID-19 vaccination through a mix of in-reach and out-reach options which provide flexibility and choice:

  • GP Respiratory Clinics. Aged care workers can book an appointment now at the nearest clinic.
  • GP clinics through the online Vaccine Information and Location Service or directly through a participating GP clinic. Bookings can be made now subject to availability.
  • Dedicated aged care worker clinics for residential aged care staff. Aged care workers will be able to book an appointment. Details on the first of the pop-up locations will be made available in early April 2021. More pop up locations will follow.
  • Dedicated and Government approved in-reach vaccination clinics at some residential aged care facilities. Your residential aged care facility will be able to let you know if an in-reach clinic will be available.

factsheet is available for all residential aged care workers.

COVID-19 VACCINE AGED CARE READINESS TOOLKIT

Information to assist residential aged care providers prepare for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

The COVID-19 vaccine aged care readiness toolkit covers:

  • Prepare your facility, workers and residents for vaccination day
  • Obtain and record resident consent
  • Provide information to your residents
  • COVID-19 vaccines administration
  • Monitor and report adverse events
  • Influenza (flu) and COVID-19 vaccine guidance for residential aged care