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COVID-19 newsflash #33: COVID-19 vaccination workforce

With the Pfizer vaccine arriving and TGA approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine announced today (16 February) hospital hubs are on track to commence the Federal Government’s national COVID-19 vaccination roll-out strategy.

The Victorian public sector health workforce, including Victorian Government-funded aged care staff, are part of the so-called Phase 1a priority population, and will have their vaccinations administered via one of the nine vaccination hubs. Some of the Phase1a workforce will receive the Pfizer vaccine, with priority given to workers at hotel quarantine and port of entry sites. These vaccinations are expected to commence in late February.

It is now more than likely that a majority of Phase1a workers will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine, due to Pfizer supply issues and the Federal Government allocation of supply being split between state governments and private aged care facilities. The Federal Government is responsible for the vaccination of staff working in private aged care, as well as the remainder of the population. The AstraZeneca vaccination rollout is expected to commence in March.

Immunisation workforce

With a large workforce required to vaccinate the populace, ANMF (Vic Branch) is assisting the Victorian Department of Health with extra workforce capacity.

In order to build this extra workforce capacity, registered nurses, midwives, and enrolled nurses without notation who don’t ordinarily administer vaccinations would be authorised to do so under supervision of a nurse immuniser or other relevant authorised immuniser, after completion of online education.

Don’t administer vaccines but interested in extra work?

If you are a registered nurses, midwife or enrolled nurse without notation and don’t ordinarily administer vaccines, you must apply directly to health services or via Torrens Health. This is even if you provided your details to us within our vaccination workforce survey that was sent to members on 16 February 2021. The survey was to inform ANMF’s discussions with the Victorian Department of Health about available workforce. The department would prefer candidates to apply directly.

Are you a nurse immuniser or administer vaccines as part of your role and ready to work?

If you’re available to work as a nurse immuniser or can administer vaccines, the anticipated start date is from 22 February, with the vaccination period being March – October 2021.

There are two ways to apply for roles:

Education and training

Required education for nurse immunisers and nurse practitioners

You must complete the National COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program

  • Core modules (six modules)
  • Additional modules specific to individual vaccines.

CVMS (vaccine database) training. Relevant in-system modules

Required education for registered nurses (who are not nurse immunisers or nurse practitioners), midwives and enrolled nurses (emergency authorised workforce)

Those registered nurses, midwives and enrolled nurses who don’t ordinarily administer vaccines must complete in order:

  1. Victorian COVID-19 e-Learning Competency
    • Online eLearning (three modules) (includes videos on multidose vials)
    • Local or Victorian practical new immuniser simulation
  2. National COVID-19 Vaccination Training Program
    • Core modules (six modules)
    • Additional modules specific to individual vaccines.

3.CVMS (vaccine database) training – relevant in-system modules.

4.Emergency authorised workforce (who are to administer vaccines) are to complete a minimum of five supervised vaccination procedures.

General requirements

Health services must ensure staff meet clinical competencies.

All COVID-19 vaccine providers must demonstrate skills in:

  • Interpersonal skills (including consent and communication)
  • Preparation and handling (including multi-dose vial handling)
  • Adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) procedures

Health services must ensure staff abide by occupational health and safety requirements, as well as fulfill reporting requirements (through CVMS).

Healthcare Infection Prevention and Wellbeing Taskforce documents

  1. COVID-19 Best practice approaches for safe staff amenities for health services
  2. Victoria’s respiratory protection program
  3. Victoria’s respiratory protection program guidelines
  4. Daily attestations: frequently asked questions
  5. Protecting our healthcare workers action plan

Victorian Department of Health infection prevent and control resources

Don’t bring it home: guide to minimise the risk of infection

ANMF (Vic Branch) has developed a guide to assist you in relation to returning home from work after a shift. Job Reps and HSRs are encouraged to print the poster which is part of this PDF newsflash. You can also download the ‘Protocols for entering your home and minimising the risk of infection’ A4 poster [PDF].