COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Posted on 18 February 2021
By Tegan Carrison, Executive Director, AAPi

Dear AAPi Community,

AAPi attended a briefing today regarding the COVID-19 Vaccination.

The government is preparing for the initial vaccine rollout in the coming week. Initially, doses will be made available for priority groups in 30 – 50 hospital hubs in urban and rural locations around Australia. Vaccination teams will go out to aged care and disability care facilities. These teams will be managed by the Australian Government.

As the roll out continues, other locations will also be made available at GP respiratory clinics, General Practices that meet specific requirements, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Services, and state-run vaccination clinics. When vaccines become broadly available, some workplace vaccination sites and community pharmacies that meet specific requirements will be added.

There has been a National Booking System developed that will allow you to monitor when your category group is being vaccinated and allow you to book. This will be accessed online, and will be launched soon. You will also be able to book your vaccination via any GP clinic that has been registered to provide COVID-19 Vaccinations.

All healthcare workers have been prioritised. For the purposes of the phases - frontline health care worker refers to workers who are directly facing people who are high risk ie. ICU, respiratory wards/clinics, labs doing COVID-19 testing, working in quarantine or with people who either have COVID-19 or may be suspected as having COVID-19. They have a higher level of routine exposure to potential infection. 

Most psychologists would be considered to be in Phase 1B if in general practice or 1A if working in Aged Care or Disability settings. Administrative support staff are covered under the same phase as the practitioners.

Phase 1B includes those with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status – considered a higher risk/priority population.  

Phase 1a

  • Quarantine and border workers

  •  Frontline health care worker sub-groups for prioritisation

  • Aged care and disability care staff

  • Aged care and disability care residents

  • Phase 1b 

  • Elderly adults aged 80 years and over

  • Elderly adults aged 70-79 years

  • Other health care workers

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people > 55

  • Younger adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability

  • Critical and high risk workers including defence, police, fire, emergency services and meat processing

  • It is not recommended to get the COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as the Influenza Vaccine - allow at least 14 days between the two. It is also advised that people who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19 should still receive the vaccine as long term immunity is not yet known. 

    Initially the Pfizer vaccine will be rolled out, then the AstraZeneca and Novovax vaccines. 

    Mass vaccinations are not needed at present in Australia (as is being done in US for example) due to our high functioning health care system, not already under stress from COVID-19, also geographic challenges, though it is likely that some regional areas may set up vaccination clinics.

    There is a great deal of batch testing occurring to ensure vaccine is as it should be (proportion of vaccine, stored correctly, other contaminants etc). There are discussions happening regarding other vaccine manufacturers and next generation vaccines. We will all be updated when more information is available.

    Please find the following useful links for more information:

    Next weeks webinar will focus on the Astra Zenica vaccine and phase 1B rollout.

    We will keep you informed of any further updates.