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COVID-19 Newsflash #70 – New deadline for required third vaccination

The third vaccination deadline for many healthcare and aged care workers has been extended to 12 March 2022, rather than the previously announced 12 February 2022.

Victorian nurses, midwives and personal care workers must have their third dose by 12 March 2022 if you had your second dose on or before 12 September 2021.

A timely third dose is an important protection against severe illness, hospitalisation and death.

So, what is my new required third dose vaccination deadline?

Your vaccination deadline depends on when you had your second dose:

12 March 2022 deadline – nurses, midwives and carers who had their second dose on or before 12 September 2021 however you will need to demonstrate a booking date before 12 March 2022.

1 March 2022 deadline – residential aged care nurses and personal care workers who had their second dose after 12 September 2021 must have their third dose by 1 March 2022. ANMF is currently seeking clarity on this given the extension above and will confirm with members as soon as we are able.

29 March 2022 deadline – nurses and midwives working in hospitals and healthcare services who had their second dose after 12 September 2021 must have their third dose by 29 March 2022.

How do I book my third dose?

What are the medical exemptions?

You may be exempt if you had a medical contraindication to a previous dose. These are listed in the pandemic order (note that these orders are currently under review and may not be accessible until that review is complete) [PDF].

As previously if you are unable to be vaccinated due to medical issues you will be required to provide evidence to your employer from an authorised medical practitioner who must also register the exemption with the Australian Immunisation Register. This evidence must be from one of the following:

  • a general practice registrar on an approved 3GA training placement
  • a public health physician
  • an infectious disease physician
  • a clinical immunologist
  • a gynaecologist
  • an obstetrician
  • a GP who is vocationally registered
  • a GP who is a fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
  • a GP who is a fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine.

Your GP will be able to advise you if they meet one of the above criteria.

Can I have the vaccination if I have had COVID-19?

If you have had COVID-19, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) says there is no requirement to delay your vaccination.

ATAGI says having a job that requires vaccination is a reason to have your third dose.

ATAGI does advise vaccination should be delayed until you have recovered from acute illness.

Read the ATAGI advice.

If you have contracted COVID-19 since your second vaccination, and are still having acute COVID-19 symptoms, are yet to receive your third dose, and your employer is demanding that you have your third vaccination by 12 February, contact our Member Assistance team via our online form.

Can I access leave to have the vaccine?

Public sector members can access:

  • four hours special paid leave to have the vaccine (including travel time)
  • two days special paid leave if you are unwell following the vaccine.

The Victorian Department of Health’s guidance states employers should give consideration to extending these entitlements to public sector casual employees.

These entitlements are included in the Victorian Department of Health’s ‘Coronavirus Guidance Note on Employment-Related Matters’ – provides advice on leave, including special paid leave, vaccination leave and redeployment.

This guidance (updated 1 January 2022) is available.

ANMF strongly encourages local government, private and not-for-profit employers to follow the Victorian Department of Health’s special paid leave guidance, but it is not enforceable.

What if I am not able to meet the deadline?

Contact Member Assistance via our online form.

Important COVID-19 links for nurses, midwives and personal care workers

ANMF continues to collate the important links all in one place, so you don’t have to go looking. Please bookmark and check this page regularly.

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