Date published: 
10 June 2022
Type: 
Subscriber announcement
Intended audience: 
Health sector

Eligibility:

  • from 4 months after receiving an initial booster dose, or
  • from 3 months after a COVID-19 infection if this occurred after the initial booster dose.

This also applies to any vulnerable workers at your facility who are eligible as being at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

The additional winter dose provides optimal protection for residents and eligible workers against serious disease, hospitalisation or death from COVID-19.

To arrange winter dose vaccination, residential aged care facilities are advised:

  • Do not wait for your winter dose vaccine clinic to administer winter doses to residents and vulnerable workers. If a facility has residents and workers who are eligible to receive their winter dose before a scheduled clinic, they are strongly encouraged to organise vaccination now through a primary care provider.
  • Facilities can run a multi-faceted approach to vaccination, combining Commonwealth in-reach and primary care clinics.
  • Facilities can request multiple Commonwealth in-reach clinics to vaccinate residents as they become eligible. They are not required to have a minimum number of residents and vulnerable workers eligible before scheduling an in-reach clinic.
  • Residents in aged care facilities can be vaccinated at a shorter interval (from 3 months after an initial booster dose), where some flexibility of the minimum interval may facilitate vaccination of a larger proportion of individuals.
  • There is no requirement for an interval between flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. Co-administration of COVID-19 winter doses and influenza vaccines for residents is both clinically safe and administratively efficient.

For facilities currently experiencing, or recently experienced, a COVID-19 outbreak:

  • Arrange COVID-19 winter dose vaccination for those residents and eligible workers who are not COVID-19 positive as soon as possible.
  • COVID-19 positive residents and eligible workers can receive their winter dose 3 months after COVID-19 infection.

Ensure COVID-19 Winter dose reporting is up to date

It is mandatory for providers to report on residents' winter doses as part of weekly reporting via the aged care provider portal.

This reporting assists in COVID-19 preparation and response and the scheduling of vaccination clinics, and ensures facilities are offered assistance to vaccinate their residents as soon as they become eligible.

The Department is monitoring weekly reporting by all providers. If providers are not updating your data at a minimum each Tuesday, compliance action will be taken by the Department.

Read more information on reporting winter doses:

Support residents and workers to understand the importance of a COVID-19 winter dose

All facilities are encouraged to ensure the fact sheet for residents on the COVID-19 winter dose is issued to residents, their families and friends to support informed decision-making on getting a winter dose. This fact sheet is available in 20 languages.

Facilities are also encouraged to ensure the fact sheet for workers on the COVID-19 winter dose is issued to workers. This fact sheet is also available in 20 languages.

Residents and workers with any concerns should be assisted to talk to their doctor or other health professional about the benefits and risks of vaccination.

Winter dose eligibility

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommends residents in aged care facilities receive an additional winter booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to increase protection over winter.

The winter dose is also recommended for people for the following vulnerable groups which may include workers at residential aged care facilities:

  • aged 65 years or older
  • severely immunocompromised
  • Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and aged 50 years and older
  • aged 16 to 64 and with a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness
  • aged 16 to 64 with disability with significant or complex health needs or multiple comorbidities which increase risk of poor outcome.