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COVID-19 vaccine rollout in residential aged care facilities
COVID-19 and vaccine rollout information and resources for residential aged care workers, and those working in community care.

The COVID-19 vaccination program has commenced in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) in North Queensland

Administration of the COVID-19 vaccine to RACF residents and staff is through an in-reach Commonwealth vaccination workforce. This means an additional skilled vaccine workforce, separate to the RACF workers, will work in partnership with facilities to administer the vaccine to residents in their facility.

Facilities will be contacted as they approach the time of their scheduled visit for the vaccination program.

Residential aged care facilities have an important role in preparing for their COVID-19 vaccination day and there are a number of actions you can take now to ensure you are well prepared. While awaiting notification of your scheduled vaccination day, RACFs should be gaining resident consent and ensuring site readiness. To support residential aged care facilities in preparing, the Australian Government Department of Health has provided a readiness toolkit.

Northern Queensland PHN is here to support RACFs in the region during the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. Please contact us at preparednessandresponse@nqphn.com.au if we can be of assistance.

Useful COVID-19 vaccine resources for aged care staff

The Department of Health has published vaccine information for RACFs – the COVID-19 vaccine aged care readiness toolkit.

This toolkit is designed to help RACFs prepare for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines, and obtaining and recording consent for residents.

Information in the toolkit includes:

  • a planning checklist for vaccination day
  • a consent process flow-chart
  • a site readiness checklist
  • clinical governance requirements
  • advice about consent in the aged care context.

The following information is also available for facilities, workers, residents and their families, carers and loved ones:

  • information on COVID-19 Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine
  • preparing for COVID-19 vaccination
  • what to expect before, and on, the day of vaccination
  • after your COVID-19 vaccination
  • consent form.

The Department of Health (DoH) produces a daily COVID-19 newsletter ‘Protecting Older Australians’. Subscribe to DoH aged care sector announcements and newsletters here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for the health and aged care sector is available here. Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources for health professionals, including aged care providers, pathology providers and healthcare managers, are also available here.

A pandemic preparation checklist for Residential Aged Care Facilities has been developed by Queensland Health and is available to download. The Industry Code for Visiting Residential Aged Care Facilities has also been made available on COTA Australia’s website.

Emergency PPE supply from the National Medical Stockpile

The Australian Government is prioritising Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) distribution from the National Medical Stockpile to aged care services that are most in need.

The National Medical Stockpile is not intended to be a general supply line for PPE, it is for emergency purposes. Aged care providers are asked to use their own supply of PPE first and to request extra supply as and when needed.

If you urgently need PPE and cannot source it, please submit an online application.

Visit the Queensland Government website to see the latest RACF updates, including:

  • what’s changed
  • local area restrictions
  • visitors
  • residents
  • staffing
  • questions and answers.
COVID-19 advice for RACFs
Useful resources

Aged & Community Services Australia (ACSA) is the leading national peak body supporting not-for-profit church, charitable and for-purpose providers of retirement living, community, home and residential care. You can find the latest news and a range of links to relevant information on their website.

This direction from the Chief Health Officer provides guidance regarding access and visitor restrictions to residential aged care facilities. The purpose of this direction is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by changing how we visit our loved ones in residential aged care facilities.

PallConsult is an initiative of Queensland Health that aims to reach out and build capacity across Queensland for community-based clinicians, particularly in rural and remote areas, to provide quality care for people approaching end-of-life who wish to remain at home.

Importantly for GPs, other doctors and nurse practitioners, there is a 24/7 palliative care advice hotline: 1300 PALLDR (1300 725 537). This number provides direct access to a specialist palliative care medical practitioner.

Nurses and allied health professionals also have access to state-wide 24/7 palliative care advice hotline: 1300 PALLCR (1300 725 527). This number provides direct access to a specialist palliative care nurse.

30 March 2021