Residential aged care providers will be required to report how many of their staff have been vaccinated against COVID-19 to provide greater health security for aged care residents.
The data will assist governments and aged care providers in understanding the current status of workforce vaccination, support public health measures on COVID-19 and inform any adjustments needed to support workers’ access to a COVID-19 vaccination.
Weekly data will be recorded through a new online reporting tool. The tool records de-identified data on the total number of aged care workers at each aged care service and, of those, the number of workers who have received a first dose or who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said this reporting mechanism will further strengthen COVID-19 preparedness and response. It will help us understand the level of risk each aged care facility faces in the event of an outbreak and how we can best support those facilities and workers.”
“Approved providers are now able to trial the reporting tool on a voluntary basis via My Aged Care. This will assist providers in familiarising themselves with the reporting format, prior to it becoming a formal requirement starting on 15 June.”
The vaccination of residents in aged care facilities is nearing completion.
First dose COVID-19 vaccination clinics have been completed in 2,558 of a total 2,564 facilities, covering 99 per cent of all facilities under the Commonwealth’s vaccine roll out in aged care. Of those, 2,120 facilities have received their second dose clinics.
According to data to 3 June, 128,788 from a total 185,916 residents are fully vaccinated and 28,471 residents have received a first dose. A further 28,657 residents have not yet received the vaccination for a number of reasons including consent, illness or due to their advanced care planning.
The focus is now on supporting providers to understand the level of protection against COVID-19 across the aged care workforce.
More than 75,300 doses have been administered to workers by the Commonwealth’s in-reach teams in aged care facilities, but many are also being vaccinated by their GP, or at the Commonwealth and State vaccination clinics. The detailed information of how many workers are vaccinated is not captured when they are vaccinated at these sites. The new reporting tool will provide this detail on the level of vaccinations.
Minister Hunt said, “Whilst facilities are required to report, it remains voluntary for workers to be vaccinated and to disclose if they have received a COVID-19 vaccination.”
“The choice to get vaccinated and to disclose this information is voluntary but we do hope the workforce gets behind this important initiative. They will be protecting themselves, their families and the people they care for.”
Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services, Richard Colbeck, said the steps for reporting workforce COVID-19 vaccinations are similar to those already in place for flu vaccinations.
“Residential aged care providers are very familiar with the process of recording staff vaccinations from their experience with mandatory record-keeping on flu vaccination. This will be an extension of that process.”
From 15 June 2021 all residential aged care approved providers will be required to report via My Aged Care on a weekly basis.
National Cabinet has also today reaffirmed the importance of Aged Care and Disability workers being vaccinated as soon as possible and has asked the AHHPC to provide advice on the mandating of aged care and disability workforce COVID vaccinations as soon as possible.