Staff vaccination programs
Healthcare workforce vaccination programs
Vaccination is important for the healthcare workforce: it helps to protect patients and staff.
The Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare's National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards requires all hospitals to develop, implement and monitor a risk-based workforce vaccination program
Vaccination program requirements
Follow the advice and direction in these documents when implementing the program:
- The Australian Immunisation Handbook details recommendations for vaccines and the requirements for vaccine administration.
- Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare:Part C2
- Queensland Health policy framework documents for vaccinations as a condition of engagement
- The National Vaccine Storage Guidelines – Strive for 5 – 2nd edition on vaccine cold chain management.
Standing Drug Orders
A Standing Drug Order (SDO) enables Registered Nurses who practice under section 175(1) of the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996, but are otherwise not endorsed to administer vaccines, to administer vaccines to Queensland Government staff. Hospital and Health Service (HHS) vaccination coordinators require their Executive Director of Medical Services (or equivalent) to approve and sign the SDO.
Planning annual vaccination programs
Annual workforce influenza vaccination programs (and any larger scale vaccination programs) require careful planning. Vaccination coordinators should commence planning months in advance of the vaccination program.
This can include:
- Engaging with executive leaders and managers early to ensure their support for the program
- Liaising with pharmacy contacts to ensure adequate vaccine is ordered in advance
- Booking rooms or other venues for vaccination clinics and launch days
- Ordering consumables and other clinical items such as sharps containers
- Booking or order items such as privacy screens, tables and chairs for clinics if required
- Creating promotional material such - as posters, brochures, and other promotional materials may not be available from the vaccine manufacturer (see the list of resources below)
Strategies to increase vaccine uptake
These strategies can be used for annual influenza vaccination programs, or other vaccination programs as needed.
Educate staff about the benefits of vaccination
- Run all staff educational sessions that address misconceptions about vaccine preventable diseases, vaccines, healthcare workers’ role in transmission and the importance of vaccination
- Use of technology to provide more information, such as educational group emails or SMSs, or link educational materials from your facility’s intranet homepage
- Display posters and distribute brochures or flyers
Promote the program
- Promote a target coverage level, and encourage a helpful element of friendly competition between work areas
- Use leadership modelling by asking the local executive and other leaders to actively promote and support the program. This could be through verbal or written communication to the workforce, involvement in promotional activities, or being vaccinated publicly at the program launch day
- Hand out “I’m vaccinated” badges or stickers
- Place posters, brochures or flyers in areas that staff frequent such as tea rooms, staff lifts and nurses’ stations
- Use other promotional communication such as pay advice notices, staff newsletter and screen savers
- Ask local media and communications staff to assist with promotions
Make it easy to access the program
- Provide the vaccine for free, where possible
- Make sure clinic times are accessible to all shifts
- Use mobile vaccination trolleys
- Visit clinical and other work areas
- If possible, visit clinical areas after-hours to visit shift workers
- Consider vaccination stations at entrances
- Offer group or department bookings in the workplace
- Offer vaccines opportunistically, for example at grand rounds, staff meetings and staff barbeques
Send reminder messages
Reminders can be very effective, particularly for vaccines that require multiple doses.
- Send a SMS reminder for due dose or appointment (check with your email provider for instructions)
- Make targeted phone call reminders
- In the initial appointment, prompt the staff member to add a reminder in their diary or calendar for the next appointment
Download promotional materials
- Education for clinicians (PPT, 6779KB)
- Line managers: evidence and certification (PPT, 3112KB)
- General vaccination advice and clinic promotion (PPT, 2972KB)
Posters and brochures:
- General promotional health care worker vaccination (DOC, 5381KB)
- Leader modelling (DOC, 4785KB)
- Promotional clinic information (DOC, 608KB)
Text for group emails, newsletters, and pay advice (DOC, 308KB)
For additional information and resources for healthcare workforce vaccination programs please go to the Immunisation Contacts page.