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COVID-19 newsflash: Single-site employment ending and vaccination booster

COVID-19 newsflash: Single-site employment ending and vaccination booster

Single-site employment – public sector residential aged care

Single-site employment in public sector residential aged care services is no longer in effect as restrictions ease across Victoria.

Single-site employment – private and not-for-profit residential aged care

The Federal Department of Health has announced single-site employment in private aged care will end on 3 December 2021.

Members should begin preparing for a return to working with more than one provider.
If you have taken leave without pay from your secondary employer/s to work with your primary employer you should contact your secondary employers to confirm your intention to return to those roles, and notify your primary employer of a return to your pre single site employment shifts.

If there is any dispute, and you need ANMF support, please send through a completed Member Assistance query confirming the name of your employers and their position regarding your return.

Members will be aware ANMF wrote to Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Greg Hunt on 15 November seeking clarification on single-site arrangements and advocating that rapid antigen testing and PPE donning and doffing occurred in paid time. At the time of print Minister Hunt had not responded.

Remaining restrictions – both private and public sectors

Safeguards are still in place. The Victorian Chief Health Officer’s Workplace (Additional Industry Obligations) Directions (No 57) states the following must occur:

  1. if you work at multiple sites, you must declare these workplaces to your employer
  2. the employer must keep a record of this
  3. if you have worked at a facility where a confirmed contact has also been present, you must isolate according to the directions of the Victorian Department of Health (taking into account your vaccination status).

More information on ‘additional industry obligations’.

ATAGI recommends COVID-19 vaccination booster

The expert immunisation group advising the Federal Government has recommended a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine for people aged 18 years and over. This is important advice for aged care residents, nurses and personal care workers who received their vaccination in early 2021.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) advises people are eligible for a booster vaccination if they completed their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine more than six months ago.

Pfizer is recommended as a single booster dose, irrespective of the primary COVID-19 vaccine used.

You can also receive the AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) vaccine as your booster if you:

  1. can’t have the Pfizer vaccine for medical reasons, or
  2. had two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine previously and prefer to receive this vaccine as your booster.
  3. if a significant adverse reaction has occurred after a previous mRNA vaccine dose which contraindicates further doses of mRNA vaccine (for example, anaphylaxis, myocarditis).

ATAGI says it is acceptable to co-administer a COVID-19 booster vaccine dose with an influenza vaccine.

ATAGI advice (28 October 2021)

Federal Department of Health’s vaccine booster information and vaccine booster information for aged care staff.

Book your booster appointment

Victoria’s state vaccination hubs now offer the vaccine booster. Book your appointment.

It is also available at participating chemists and medical clinics. Find a clinic

The booster dose will appear on your Australian Immunisation Record.

Be informed about the vaccine booster

For aged care booster vaccination program information watch the Federal Department of Health’s webinar.

The webinar, recorded on 3 November 2021, provides information including: what you need to know about booster vaccinations, how the in-reach booster clinics will be delivered, roles and responsibilities of vaccine providers and facilities, how to prepare for an in-reach clinic, including consent, what to do if it has been less than six months since the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, how providers can support and engage with residents and workers.

What if I need further advice or support from ANMF (Vic Branch)?

In the first instance, contact Member Assistance.

Got a colleague not receiving ANMF emails?

If you have an ANMF colleague who is not receiving these newsflash emails, please pass this on and let them know they can re-subscribe.

Encourage your colleagues to join ANMF

Please invite your aged care nursing and personal care worker colleagues to join their union so they have access to support, advice and information about their employment. Let them know they can join.