Northern Queensland Primary Health Network (NQPHN)—helping northern Queenslanders live happier, healthier, longer lives  | 
31 MAY 2021

COVID-19 vaccination update for RACFs

In this update:

COVID-19 vaccination rollout in residential aged care – new advice from the Australian Government Department of Health

The Australian Government Department of Health has provided the following COVID-19 vaccination program update for RACFs:

Residential Aged Care COVID-19 vaccine rollout e-lert

This executive update provides information to assist managers and clinical leads of residential aged care facilities on the COVID-19 vaccine aged care rollout for residents and workers.

As at 29 May 2021, over 346,109 COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in 2,930 residential aged care and disability accommodation facilities. This includes 1,983 second dose clinics.

All first dose COVID-19 vaccination clinics are now complete for residential aged care facilities in Victoria under the Commonwealth Government’s national vaccine program. All remaining first dose clinics across Australia are expected to be completed this week. Nationally, the remaining second dose clinics are underway.

It is important to support your workforce to get vaccinated. The worker engagement kit can help facilitate discussion with your staff about their options for vaccination. Hard copies of the engagement kit and resources should now have been received at your facility.

Update on COVID-19 vaccine doses policy

The COVID-19 vaccine doses policy has been updated to reflect important changes to the use of Pfizer doses at residential aged care in-reach vaccination clinics.
Use of excess doses in Victoria
In recognition of the current community transmission risks in Victoria, excess doses at second dose clinics in Victoria can be administered to all residents and workers, regardless of age. 
First doses at second dose clinics (excluding Victoria)
Excess doses at a second dose in-reach clinic are now able to be used to provide a first dose Pfizer vaccine for residential aged care workers (who meet the 1a eligibility criteria) or visiting workers (who meet the 1b eligibility criteria) who:
  • are aged under 50; and
  • agree to take responsibility for obtaining their second dose from an alternative vaccine location, and have assured themselves that they are able to access a second Pfizer dose from an alternative location.
Factsheet to distribute to your workers
It is important that workers understand their personal responsibility in accessing a second dose.
A factsheet is available to assist aged care workers aged under 50 years to decide whether to get a first dose Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a second dose vaccination clinic, if excess doses are available.

REMINDER: Vaccinating residents who have not been vaccinated through an in-reach clinic

There may be instances where existing or new residents have not received a COVID-19 vaccination through the Commonwealth’s in-reach Pfizer vaccine clinics. This could be due to:
  • being unwell or absent for the first dose clinic
  • not giving consent to receive a vaccine at the first dose clinic
  • having moved into the facility after the first or second dose clinic. 
Residents requiring two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive an AstraZeneca vaccine through a: 
  • general practice
  • visiting GP
  • Commonwealth Vaccination Clinic (GP respiratory clinic)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Controlled Health Service.
As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout progresses, advice will be given if other options for vaccination become available.

REMINDER: What to do if a person missed their second Pfizer dose

Northern Queensland PHN (NQPHN) residential aged care facilities are reminded that you should contact NQPHN to report aged care residents and others who have missed their second Pfizer dose at a second dose in-reach vaccination clinic.

Primary Health Networks (PHNs) are coordinating local solutions for individuals who have missed their second Pfizer dose. Options may include:
  • attending another aged care facility
  • referral to a Pfizer hub
  • a roving in-reach team re-visiting the facility.
Local residential aged care facilities should work with NQPHN to ensure individuals can access a vaccination.  

Australian COVID-19 vaccine rollout – latest statistics

Learn how Australia's vaccine roll-out is tracking with new statistics published on the Australian Department of Health website

Total number of people vaccinated for COVID-19 in Australia (30 May 2021)

Information contained in this RACF update is current as at 2pm Monday 31 May 2021.

Please distribute to all staff in your facility.

Please note: This newsletter will increase or decrease in frequency in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Useful resources

NQPHN is committed to supporting you during the COVID-19 pandemic, so please be assured we will update you with the relevant information from the Australian Government Department of Health and Queensland Health as and when we receive it.
To help you receive timely and clear information regarding COVID-19, NQPHN uses a subject line starting with ‘COVID-19:’ in all our email correspondence to you, so please prioritise accordingly.
NQPHN also recommends the following COVID-19 websites, so you can track the latest clinical advice and keep informed about COVID-19:

If you have any queries, questions, or concerns please do not hesitate to contact NQPHN at
Northern Queensland Primary Health Network acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia's First Nation Peoples and the Traditional Custodians of this land. We respect their continued connection to land and sea, country, kin, and community. We also pay our respect to their Elders past, present, and emerging as the custodians of knowledge and lore.
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