What you need to know one week out from mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in residential aged care

COVID-19 vaccination is mandatory for residential aged care workers from 17 September 2021.

Date published:
Subscriber announcement
Health sector

It is 1 week until the commencement of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirements in residential aged care.

The extraordinary commitment and support you have shown to your workforce has achieved a current vaccination rate of 90% first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Today, 70% of workers are fully vaccinated.

The high vaccination rate of workers demonstrates their strong commitment and care for residents who call their workplace their home.

Where we are

The current outbreaks highlight the very real difference vaccination makes in preventing hospitalisation and death due to COVID-19. Protecting residents and those who care for them is of paramount importance.

We must focus all efforts on supporting the remaining workers who are yet to be vaccinated and who must do so before 17 September.

The Department continues to work with, and provide support where needed, to each facility to ensure all workers have every opportunity to be vaccinated. If you have any concerns about workers not having access to a vaccine contact your local Primary Health Network or Commonwealth State Office immediately for assistance.

All providers must ensure their data as reported via My Aged Care is kept up to date on a daily basis as the deadline approaches. Please refer to the updated User Guide. A simple one page guide has also been sent to all facilities.

What you need to know

  1. All residential aged care workers should provide evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination, or authorised exemption to a vaccination, to their employer before 17 September 2021.
  2. Residential aged care providers should keep a record of workers’ vaccination status, in line with the direction set out in the state or territory public health order.
  3. Residential aged care providers are required to report on the number of workers with an authorised exemption as part of their weekly workforce COVID-19 vaccination reporting via the My Aged Care provider portal.

What you need to do

  1. All providers and workers are encouraged to review their state or territory public health order to understand the scope of mandatory vaccination and limited exemptions that may apply.
  2. All providers should now be confirming with their workforce whether they have received their minimum first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  3. All workers should now be providing evidence to their employer of their vaccination status.

What providers need to see

Workers should provide evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination status, or of an authorised exemption to vaccination, to their employer before 17 September.

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; or
  • through the Express Plus Medicare mobile app; or
  • by calling the Australian Immunisation Register enquiries line on 1800 653 809 (8am-5pm, Monday to Friday AEST) and asking them to send a copy of the statement. Please allow up to 14 days to receive the statement in the post; or
  • 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.

A fact sheet is available for all residential aged care workers on how to prove their COVID-19 vaccination status, including step-by-step guides on how to create a myGov account.

If a worker’s vaccination status is not appearing on their Immunisation History Statement

If your workforce was vaccinated on site by a Commonwealth vaccine provider, and a worker’s vaccination status is not yet appearing on their Immunisation History Statement, please contact with the vaccine provider.

You will need to provide the individual’s full name, Medicare number and date of vaccination at your facility. The contacts are:

If a worker was vaccinated at an alternate site, such as a GP or state and territory-run clinic, providers should help their workers contact the vaccine provider and request the vaccination record be uploaded to their Immunisation History Statement.

If a worker cannot receive the COVID-19 vaccine because the worker has a medical contraindication to the COVID-19 vaccine, and this is not appearing on their Immunisation History Statement, the provider may wish to seek other forms of evidence from the worker, such as a medical certificate.

If a worker is vaccinated but can’t provide their Immunisation History Statement by 17 September

Providers should record the worker as being vaccinated but is responsible for following up to ensure the worker provides the required proof of vaccination.

If a worker is unable to get a copy of their Immunisation History Statement prior to 17 September, they should:

  • advise their employer where and when they received their first dose
    COVID-19 vaccination, and
  • provide alternate evidence such as proof of their vaccination appointment or a signed declaration that they have received a minimum first dose.

Workers should then provide a copy of their Immunisation History Statement or show their COVID-19 Digital Certificate as soon as possible.

Resources to share with your workers

Resources for you