EOI – COVID-19 Vaccine Administration FAQs
Vaccine Funding Arrangements FAQs
Who will be allowed to administer the vaccine?ExpandClose
Health professionals are authorised to deliver the vaccine in accordance with jurisdictional legislation and requirements. In addition, all eligible vaccinators must also have completed the COVID-19 vaccine specific training. Further information on training requirements is outlined below.
What are my State or Territory requirements regarding vaccinations?ExpandClose
You will need to contact your relevant State /Territory Health Department for this information.
How will the pharmacy confirm whether a patient is considered to be a priority population (especially patients with ‘increased risk of severe COVID-19’ who are not usual patients)? What proof is required?ExpandClose
The public, clinicians and others can use the eligibility checker available on Healthdirect’s website to confirm if they fit within one of the identified priority populations during each stage of the roll-out.
In addition to this, the National COVID Helpline will be communicated as the patient/clinician hotline for all COVID vaccination related questions. Call handlers will be trained to answer questions about eligibility.
Further detail will be provided on the expectations for tests for eligibility at vaccination locations.
How will the pharmacy confirm a patient doesn’t have contraindications or allergies the patient isn’t aware of or forgets?ExpandClose
Further advice on specific contraindications to the vaccine will be available post Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approval. These are now available for the Pfizer vaccine and can be found in the Product Information on the TGA website (please note – this vaccine will not be used for administration in community pharmacy settings noting its specific storage and handling requirements and as such, this information is provided for the visibility of those who might be treating or advising those who have been vaccinated with this vaccine). Pharmacists should follow usual clinical protocols used in prescribing other treatments and vaccines to identify allergies or any other contraindications.
Systems such as My Health Record and the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) can help pharmacists view information such as allergies or contraindication, if this information has been entered by other health care providers.
How will I know if the patient has already received the vaccine elsewhere?ExpandClose
Administration records of all COVID-19 vaccines will be submitted to the AIR. Community pharmacies will be able to check whether a vaccine has already been administered through AIR and through the patient’s My Health Record.
As identified within the EOI documentation, patient vaccine administration data should be uploaded into AIR as soon as possible, within 24 hours to ensure the information contained within AIR is up to date.
Consumables: What consumables will be provided with the vaccine? What is the process for ordering consumables/PPE/vaccine specific equipment?ExpandClose
The Australian Government will provide further advice on consumables/PPE/vaccine specific equipment needs shortly.
We have an agreement in place to buy needles, syringes and sharps containers from company Becton Dickinson. This will ensure Australia has access to peripherals for vaccine delivery and will prevent us being affected by international shortages of these consumables.
How long is the monitoring/observation period?ExpandClose
The Australian Immunisation Handbook recommends that patients are kept under observation for at least for 15 minutes after the administration of a vaccine to ensure that they do not experience an immediate adverse event, and to provide rapid medical care if needed. As a minimum requirement, this currently applies to all approved vaccines, including immunisation for influenza.
The specific arrangements for the COVID-19 vaccines, including advice on immediate after care, will be determined as part of the approval process currently being undertaken by the TGA. Further details related to COVID-19 vaccines, including administration, observation periods, timeframe between doses, etc. will be available following TGA evaluation and registration.
What is the timeframe for the second dose?ExpandClose
The Pfizer vaccine has been approved with a minimum of 21 days between doses, consistent with the clinical recommendations.
The timeframe for the AstraZeneca vaccine will likewise be in accordance with the clinical recommendations following TGA evaluation/approval.
Will patients be required to be tested COVID negative prior to undergoing a vaccination for obvious reasons?ExpandClose
No, routine testing of asymptomatic people for COVID-19 will not be recommended prior to vaccination.
Are we able to use clinical judgement for eligibility?ExpandClose
Priority populations have been identified to ensure that limited supplies of vaccine are available to people at greatest risk first. Clinical judgement, within these guidelines, can be exercised.
Is written consent required for administration of the vaccine? Are consent forms available in simplified or other language versions?ExpandClose
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is currently developing advice and forms for use by those administering the vaccine. Providers will be supplied with access to these forms when they are available.
Who will answer clinical questions?ExpandClose
Health providers should use the current services provided by their local state/territory Public Health Units for clinical advice related to vaccination.
The Commonwealth will have phone and online support channels available for healthcare providers in relation to supply and storage and handling issues. Details for accessing these will be provided ahead of the Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine rollout.