Priority focus on private aged care staff vaccination
Priority COVID-19 vaccination access continues for private aged care nurses, personal care workers at ten Victorian state vaccination centres.
Vaccination remains voluntary at this stage but is strongly encouraged to protect yourself, your residents, your family and the community – from severe COVID-19 related illness and death.
At a media conference on Friday 4 June, the Federal Government’s Chief Medical Officer Professor, Paul Kelly, said they would review the number of private aged care staff who had been vaccinated in mid-June prior to making any further decisions.
The Morrison Government acknowledged this week it did not have oversight over aged care staff vaccination numbers.
Prof Kelly said National Cabinet had asked the committee which advises the Federal Government on health emergencies – the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee – to continue to monitor the issues of mandatory vaccination. He said issues would include the ‘unintended consequences’ of making vaccination compulsory.
Prof Kelly said the current focus was on providing aged care staff information and access to the vaccine.
Private aged care members can walk in to one of the following state vaccination centres, between 9am and 4pm, until and including Sunday 6 June, and present evidence of their employment:
- Royal Exhibition Building
- Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC)
- Sandown Racecourse
- Melbourne Showgrounds
- Former Ford Factory – Geelong
- Bendigo Community Clinic
- Ballarat Mercure Hotel and Convention Centre
- Shepparton Showgrounds – McIntosh Centre
- Traralgon Racecourse
- Wodonga Vaccination Hub
Bring your Medicare care, photo ID and proof of occupation (such as your work ID card, letter from your employer or a completed Eligibility Declaration Form https://bit.ly/2SOShKe ) to any of the vaccination centres providing priority access.
Private aged care staff are still eligible to attend all other vaccination centres or their GP but if it is not one of the 10 centres named above, they will need to go through the general booking process.
Vaccination centre location information https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-centres
Read the Victorian Government media release ‘Vaccination blitz to keep vulnerable settings safe’ https://bit.ly/3z0sqzR
Eased restrictions confirmed for regional Victoria – now in effect
Restrictions have been extended in regional Victoria. The amended restrictions from 11.59pm, Thursday 3 June, include:
- regional Victorians are able to leave home for any reason
- face masks remain in place for indoors and outside if you cannot socially distance (note: we incorrectly stated there was no change in newsflash #43)
- public gatherings permitted for up to 10 people
- if you can work from home, continue to work from home. Capacity limits for workplace
- schools return to face-to-face learning for all year levels
- higher-education and training continue to study from home if you can
- funerals – no more than 50 people
- weddings – no more than 10 people
- outdoor physical recreation and sport – a maximum patron cap of 50 people per venue. Group sizes and density limits apply
- general retail: open, with some density limits. All retail required to use the Service Vic QR code app required to record attendance
- hairdressing, beauty, personal care: open for services where you can keep a mask on
- hospitality – food and drink facilities, food courts can open for seated service only with a 50-person cap
For the complete list of metropolitan and regional Victoria restrictions https://bit.ly/34G5J5L
Latest COVID-19 statistics
- Healthcare Worker COVID-19 data dashboard
- Victorian COVID-19 data dashboard
- Victorian Chief Health Officer daily update
- Victorian Chief Health Officer daily media release
- Victorian Government’s vaccination data dashboard – 557,794 doses
- Federal Government’s national and aged care vaccination data – 4,786,362 doses
Information about the vaccines
Free COVID-19 vaccine webinar for healthcare workers
‘COVID-19 vaccines – your questions answered’
Thursday 10 June, 11am—midday
Members are encouraged to attend this free webinar presented by Senior Medical Advisor, Executive Director, COVID-19 Immunisation Program, Department of Health, Professor Ben Cowie, Chair, Collaboration on Social Science and Immunisation, Associate Professor Margie Danchin and Nurse Unit Manager, Infectious diseases nurse, COVID-19 ward, Royal Melbourne Hospital Grace Carroll. Register https://bit.ly/3p4ZnGE
For more information about the vaccines, the following links are recommended:
- ‘Why we decided to put Pfizer vaccine ahead of AstraZeneca for under-50s’, by Professor Allen Cheng (The Age, 9 April 2021) https://bit.ly/3flBW8N
- Federal Government information about the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine https://bit.ly/3eAGztR
- Federal Government information about the Pfizer vaccine https://bit.ly/32Vry0w
- What happens after I am vaccinated? https://bit.ly/3hTYI9u
- Australian Academy of Science – COVID-19 facts hub https://bit.ly/3hXgI2C
- Therapeutic Goods Administration – https://bit.ly/3uli9up
- World Health Organisation – vaccines explained https://bit.ly/3vr6jjQ
- National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance https://bit.ly/2QT6nK7
- Australian Government translated information about COVID-19 vaccines https://bit.ly/3qRfEyc
Aged care Infection Prevention Control webinar
The Federal Department of Health’s webinar on infection prevention and control practices to protect aged care residents and staff and encouraging aged care workers to get vaccinated is now available on their website.
Presenters include: Professor Alison McMillian, Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Nigel McGothigan, Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) lead in Canberra and Dr Melanie Wroth, Chief Clinical Advisor, Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission.
View the webinar https://bit.ly/2RUGgmF
Where can I get tested for COVID-19?
Please get tested even with the slightest of symptoms. To find where to get tested, check the Department of Health Coronavirus website for a map of testing sites.
PPE – all Victorian health and aged care services remain on COVID ACTIVE (RED)
Continue to follow the COVID ACTIVE advice the sent in COVID-19 newsflash #42, sent to members 27 May 2021.
Personal protective equipment concern?
Members with concerns about PPE access, supply or level should:
- raise and submit OHS incident reports with your employer as well as speaking directly with your manager
- involve your Health and Safety Rep if you have one
- contact ANMF (include your report and response if applicable) for further support and advice if after you have raised your concerns they are not addressed by your employer.
How to access ANMF support
ANMF is here to support our members in aged care during this challenging period. Representation and advice are available.
For general inquiries members are encouraged to complete an online Member Assistance inquiry form.
If you feel that you are being disadvantaged by single-site employment direction, please contact ANMF via this form.
$450 test and isolation payment
The Victorian Government provides a $450 test and isolation payment to workers required to isolate after taking a COVID-19 test who don’t have access to paid leave. This is for private aged care workers too.
$1500 disaster leave payment
The Federal Government provides a $1500 disaster leave payment if you tested positive or were identified as a close contact and have to isolate for 14 days. Private aged care workers are eligible for the payment if you do not have access to paid leave during your isolation period.
Call 180 22 66 to make a claim.
Emergency accommodation for healthcare workers
The Victorian Government provides the ‘frontline accommodation program’ for health care workers if they need support to quarantine or isolate safely.
Private aged care nurses and personal care workers are eligible to access this program.
Vaccination adverse event response and special paid leave
Public sector nurses and midwives who experience an expected adverse event following the COVID-19 vaccination that impacts your ability to work are eligible for up to two days special paid leave following each dose.
ANMF is encouraging all other employers to follow the Victorian Health Department’s advice for special leave for these circumstances. ANMF is lobbying the Commonwealth Government to provide this leave to private aged care staff.
For more information see COVID-19 newsflash #40 via https://bit.ly/3wDtjwb
COVID-19 stressed? Take the self-care quiz
This is an uncertain time, and the re-introduction of restrictions will be of concern to many members. All nurses, midwives, personal care workers and nursing and midwifery students are encouraged to reflect on their current circumstances and wellbeing and fill out the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria’s self-care plan questionnaire. You will be emailed a self-care plan.
Don’t bring it home: guide to minimise the risk of infection
The ANMF (Vic Branch) ‘Don’t bring it home’ guide is designed to assist members 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].