Information for disability service providers about COVID-19 vaccines

Information and resources for disability service providers regarding COVID-19 vaccinations.

COVID-19 vaccination services

There are a number of services available to providers to help people with disability get their vaccinations.

Appointments for a COVID-19 vaccination can be booked using the Vaccine Clinic Finder.  The Vaccine Clinic Finder now also includes new information about which clinics are accessible for people with disability, including quiet spaces and wheelchair access.

For help booking a COVID-19 vaccination appointment, call the Disability Gateway on 1800 643 787. The Disability Gateway is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time).

GPs and community pharmacies also offer vaccination services.

If you are unsure of where to find local vaccination providers your local Primary Health Network can help you. They will connect you to available local GPs, pharmacies or other vaccine providers that deliver COVID-19 vaccinations.

Commonwealth in-reach also remains available to residential disability settings and to other home-bound people (more information on this is below).

COVID-19 booster doses

People with disability living in shared residential accommodation settings who have completed their primary course of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 3 months ago are eligible for a booster dose.

Booster doses are available through Commonwealth vaccination providers, either through in-reach or a dedicated disability hub, or through other channels such as a GP, pharmacy, or state or territory vaccination clinic.

If your residential service sites received in-reach for dose 2 at least 3 months ago from a Commonwealth vaccination provider, and you still require a booster visit, please contact the COVID-19 vaccine disability team.

If you have an enquiry, contact the COVID-19 vaccine disability team.

Learn more about booster doses for COVID-19.

Commonwealth vaccination providers will also continue to give direct in-reach support to disability specific hubs for dose 1 and dose 2 visits.

Third doses and boosters

It is also important to know that a booster vaccination is different to a third dose. ATAGI has recommended only people who are severely immunocompromised should receive a third dose as part of their primary course.

If you have residents or workers who are GP assessed as requiring a third primary course dose because they are severely immunocompromised, these people should receive a third dose as soon as possible.

For those who have received three primary doses, it is also recommended to have a booster dose in line with the timing for the general population. The interval is 3 months after their primary course (or any infection).

Fourth doses

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) have recommended a fourth COVID-19 dose (previously referred to as a winter dose) for people who are most at risk of severe illness. This includes:

  • adults aged 65 years and older
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the age of 50
  • people in disability and aged care accommodation settings
  • people aged 16 years and older who are severely immunocompromised (note this may be their fifth dose).

ATAGI recommends these groups receive their COVID-19 fourth dose from 3 months after their initial booster dose (or any COVID-19 infection).

ATAGI advises that COVID-19 can be administered at the same time as the annual flu vaccination. Co-administration of COVID-19 vaccines and influenza vaccines for residents is both clinically safe and administratively efficient. 

In planning your winter vaccine programs, providers are encouraged to:

  • identify and optimise opportunities for co-administration of COVID-19 fourth doses and flu vaccines where possible, but
  • not delay the administering of flu vaccines to residents if co-administration is not possible or is likely to delay flu vaccination.

For more information, please see ATAGI’s full statement.

In-reach services

On 12 December 2022, the Australian Government launched the National COVID-19 Health Management Plan. The National Plan recognises that health response measures are still required to protect those most at risk from COVID-19.

Throughout 2023, COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be principally administered by primary care providers, such as general practitioners and pharmacists. The Vaccine Administration Partners Program (VAPP) will provide additional help to access vaccination in disability accommodation settings. The VAPP will deliver COVID-19 in-reach clinics as a last resort option in circumstances where there is a shortfall in primary care availability to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.  This will also support people who are unable to engage with traditional primary care or attend primary care settings. 

Primary Health Networks (PHNs) will continue to receive funding under the Vulnerable Vaccination Program to develop and implement innovative, short-term COVID-19 vaccination activities.  PHNs will tailor these activities to the needs of priority populations in their regions, including disability accommodation settings. This will allow PHNs to partner with primary care vaccination providers, local organisations and service providers to protect those most at risk from COVID-19.

For more information, see the National COVID-19 Health Management Plan for 2023.  

If you have any questions, please email DisabilityCovidVaccineDelivery@Health.gov.au.

Consent

When arranging vaccinations, it is important that appropriate consent is obtained for your clients.

We have produced some resources to help with this:

Disability provider alerts

Our disability provider alerts keep the sector up to date with changes to the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.

You can circulate the alerts to your workforce to keep them informed about the latest changes. 

Email us to subscribe.

Disability sector vaccination statistics

Our COVID-19 vaccination daily rollout updates contain the latest statistics on the vaccination rate of people with disability and the disability workforce.

Accessible state and territory clinics

Some states and territories are offering services that make getting a vaccine easier for people with disability:

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