Requirement for in-home and community aged care workers to receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccination by 1 December 2021, and be fully vaccinated by 31 December 2021

On 20 October 2021, the WA State Government announced that a mandatory vaccination policy for a range of occupations and workforces in WA will be introduced in a phased approach.

Date published:
Type:
Subscriber announcement
Audience:
Health sector

The policy follows the existing mandates in place for workers in high-risk industries, including those interacting with people at an increased risk of being infected with COVID-19, or people who are vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19, or where it is necessary to avoid catastrophic risk to the safety of the community.

The policy’s phased approach is to apply mandatory vaccinations for more industries in WA, as well as a requirement for other critical workers to be vaccinated to attend work in the event of a lockdown or similar restrictions.

The Direction to give effect to this announcement is currently being drafted.

In the interim, the following advice is available from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s website:

Group 1 industries and occupations:
First dose by 1 December 2021 and fully vaccinated by 31 December 2021:

  • Industries determined to have high transmission risk, or are a vulnerability risk or are necessary or critical to the safety of the community. This includes, “Remaining residential and non-residential community care services not captured by previous mandates” including in relation to aged care workers.

For a full breakdown of each group, see Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination information (please note: while this webpage does not specifically list in-home and community aged care workers, they ARE classified as a Group 1 industry and workers must receive their first dose by 1 December 2021 and be fully vaccinated by 31 December 2021.

To download a one page summary, see the Mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations summary

For your reference, you can read the Chief Health Officer’s (CHO) advice to the Honourable Mark McGowan, Premier of Western Australia, in regard to this matter.

Once finalised and signed, the new Direction will be published on the Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s website.

How your workforce can get priority COVID-19 vaccination

Workers can access the vaccine of their choice (Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca) through:

  • Primary care – including GP clinics, pharmacies, Commonwealth Vaccination Clinics (GP respiratory clinic), and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Services. Workers are prioritised to receive a booking within 7 days of their request for an appointment at all primary care clinics.
  • WA vaccination clinics - In-home and community aged care workers can make an appointment to get vaccinated at a WA vaccination clinic.

Workers can also:

  • call the dedicated COVID-19 Helpline on 1800 020 080 (select option 4) for any questions about vaccination and for assistance on how to book an appointment.
  • use the COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Finder to book an appointment at a clinic nearby.

Workers can provide the following documents to confirm their eligibility for a priority vaccination:

  • proof of identity (e.g. driver's licence, passport, birth certificate)
  • proof of employment:
    • letter from your employer confirming you have priority access 
    • current work ID card or payslip showing you are currently employed as an aged care worker
  • Medicare card if you have one. You are still eligible for vaccination even if you do not have a Medicare card.

A fact sheet  for workers provides further information on accessing a COVID-19 vaccine. We encourage all providers to share the fact sheet with your workforce.

An information kit to assist providers to support their workers to get vaccinated will be available shortly on the department’s website at COVID-19 information for in-home and community aged care.

Providing evidence of vaccination

There are two ways workers can provide evidence of their vaccination status:

  1. Immunisation History Statement – this displays all vaccinations or medical contraindications and authorised exemptions, including COVID-19, that have been reported to the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR). All vaccine providers must upload vaccinations to the AIR.
  2. COVID-19 Digital Certificate – this is for individuals who have received all required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in Australia.

People can access their Immunisation History Statement:

  • online, by setting up a myGov account and then accessing a Medicare online account
  • through the Express Plus Medicare mobile app
  • by calling the Australian Immunisation Register enquiries line on 1800 653 809 (8am-5pm, Monday to Friday AEDT) and asking them to send a copy of the statement. Please allow up to 14 days to receive the statement in the post
  • by asking a GP or vaccination provider to print a copy of your statement for you.

People do not need to have a Medicare card to be able to access their Immunisation History Statement.

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