The first group of Australians will receive a COVID-19 vaccine in February 2021.
The Government’s priority is to protect the most vulnerable Australians first and frontline workers, including aged care workers and residents, and frontline health care workers.
COVID-19 vaccinations will be rolled out in 5 phases over coming months.
|Frontline health care workers, aged care and disability staff, aged care and disability residents, quarantine and border force workers|
|Adults aged 70 years and over, other healthcare workers, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people aged 55 years and over, younger adults with a disability or underlying medical condition, critical and high risk workers such as emergency forces|
|Phase 2a||Adults aged 50 years and over, Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander people aged 18 years and over, other critical and high risk workers|
|Phase 2b||The remainder of the adult population, any people not vaccinated in the previous phases|
|Phase 3||Phase 3 People aged under 16 years of age if recommended|
Staff and residents of Residential Aged Care homes are eligible to have the vaccination in Phase 1a of the rollout. This begins in February, however we have no further details on when each aged care home is scheduled for their roll out.
Staff and customers of Home Care Services are eligible to have the vaccination in Phase 1b or Phase 2a of the rollout. Timing has not yet been advised to BaptistCare.
BaptistCare strongly supports the Federal Government’s vaccination program. We encourage you to speak with your loved one, and their doctor/GP when it comes to making the decision to receive the vaccination. The vaccination is voluntary.
The TGA has provisionally approved Pfizer's vaccine for patients aged 16 years and older, but there is limited clinical trial data on its use in frail, elderly people — those over 85 years of age.
However, people over 85 are extremely likely to experience the impacts of COVID-19 if infected. The benefits of vaccination for this age group are considered to outweigh the risks, but vaccination should be carefully considered in each case.
The possibility of experiencing mild side effects after vaccination isn’t expected to be significant in most people who receive the Pfizer vaccine.
For Residential Aged Care residents and staff, the vaccination will be administered in their home by a Federal Health team member. Details will be provided once we have more information.
Vaccination locations will be established across metropolitan, regional, rural and remote Australia in Hospital Hubs.
As the rollout continues, Pfizer vaccination hubs will continue and doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine will be made available at GP respiratory clinics, General Practices that meet specific requirements, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services, and state-run vaccination clinics.
From Phase 2, some workplace vaccination sites will be added and the vaccination will also be available at community pharmacies that meet specific requirements.
Yes, you will still be able to visit your loved one even if you choose not to have the vaccination.
However we strongly encourage you to consider having the vaccination if you are medically able to do so, as we believe this is one tool in addition to COVIDSafe practices that will help keep the residents and staff safe.
COVIDSafe procedures will still continue in all Residential Aged Care homes regardless of staff, residents and family members having the vaccination. At this time, these measures include wearing a face mask, signing in when you enter the home, social distancing when appropriate and good hand hygiene.
The Federal Government has not mandated that aged care workers must receive the vaccination.
BaptistCare has also not made the COVID-19 vaccination compulsory for staff or volunteers. However, we strongly support the Federal Government’s vaccination program for all of us to receive the COVID-19 vaccination once it is available, provided our staff and volunteers are medically able to do so.
We are communicating with our staff to encourage them to receive the vaccination, and sharing updates with them as information becomes available from the Government.
At this stage, the Federal Government has not mandated the COVID-19 vaccine for anyone, and BaptistCare follows all advice from the Federal Department of Health with regard to the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination program.
It is positive to see the Government has recognised the vital role aged care workers have in providing care to elderly and vulnerable Australians, and as a result they will be prioritised as the first group of people in Australia to receive the vaccine.
Regardless of whether or not a staff member has had the vaccination, BaptistCare staff are committed to keeping residents, volunteers and other staff members safe. Our staff will continue to abide by all COVIDSafe procedures in the home to ensure your loved one is not put at risk.
The COVID-19 vaccine will be voluntary, universal and free. The Government aims to have as many Australians as possible choose to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Like other medicines, all vaccines can cause side effects. Most side effects are mild and temporary. The TGA carefully assesses all vaccines to ensure that the expected benefits outweigh the potential risks before allowing them to be registered in Australia.
We encourage you to visit reputable websites such as Government websites or the TGA website for further information on any side effects
We encourage you to speak with your loved one, and their/your doctor/GP when it comes to making the decision to receive the vaccination.
We have also provided below a range of reputable sources and agencies you might like to review:
If you have concerns about the vaccine itself, visit https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines
If you have concerns about how the vaccine pertains to your loved one, please contact the Residential Manager of your home.
All information in these FAQ’s has been drawn from https://www.health.gov.au/initiatives-and-programs/covid-19-vaccines unless another website source is cited.