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COVID-19 vaccination information for healthcare workers

Healthcare workers face a higher risk of COVID infection and illness compared to the general population. We might also, unwittingly, be responsible for transmitting the virus to the vulnerable population in our care.

This is why healthcare workers have been prioritised to get a COVID vaccine when it becomes available in Australia. Your support and uptake of the vaccine, while vital to your own protection, will also support higher uptake in the community.

Information for primary care can be found on the COVID-19 vaccination information for primary care workers webpage and the Australian Government website.

Latest AstraZeneca information for healthcare workers

Current vaccine recommendations are as follows:

  • COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer (Comirnaty) is preferred over COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca in adults aged under 60 years. The recommendation is revised due to a higher risk and observed severity of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) related to the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine observed in Australia in the 50-59 year old age group than reported internationally and initially estimated in Australia.
  • For those aged 60 years and above, the individual benefits of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine are greater than in younger people. The risks of severe outcomes with COVID-19 increase with age and are particularly high in older unvaccinated individuals. The benefit of vaccination in preventing COVID-19 with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca outweighs the risk of TTS in this age group and underpins its ongoing use in this age group.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca can be used in adults aged under 60 years where the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks for that individual and the person has made an informed decision based on an understanding of the risks and benefits.
  • Anyone who has had their first dose of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca without any serious adverse effects can be given the second dose, including adults under 60 years

Thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) or vaccine induced prothrombotic immune thrombocytopenia (VIPIT) or Vaccine Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT)

This fact sheet (PDF 765 kB) is designed to provide healthcare workers in Queensland with an understanding of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) also known as Vaccine Induced Prothrombotic Immune Thrombocytopenia (VIPIT), Vaccine Associated Thrombosis Thrombocytopenia (VATT) and Vaccine Induced Immune Thrombotic Thrombocytopenia (VITT). It is intended as a guide only and does not replace sound clinical judgement. As our accepted understanding of this syndrome is rapidly evolving, please return to this page for the latest information and do not print this fact sheet. Further information can be found on the Thrombosis and Haemostasis Society Australia and New Zealand (THANZ) website here.

Vaccine information sessions for Queensland healthcare workers

The Queensland Clinical Senate hosted its fifth virtual information session on 7 June 2021.

Note: Information provided and discussed during each information session is relevant and accurate at the time of publication. For the latest advice, please refer to the FAQs below.

Vaccine information session for Queensland healthcare workers 7 June 2021

Vaccine rollout

Note: This information is current at 27 July 2021. It will be updated as more information becomes available.

The rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines in Queensland is ongoing.

The Australian Government is providing in-reach vaccination services to individuals who live and work in disability and aged care facilities. Individuals who work in these facilities can get vaccinated by the in-reach provider, or they can access COVID-19 vaccines at primary care sites, state and territory sites or via other arrangements made by the Australian Government.

A list of those currently eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination can be found online. Those in Phase 1a and 1b and those aged 40-59 can register their interest in getting vaccinated via the Queensland Health vaccine bookings website.

As national supply of Pfizer vaccine remains limited (though it is expected to increase substantially from October) Queensland Health currently needs to prioritise vaccination for people who have a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19 and those who are due for their second dose. Therefore, our current priority groups are:
  • Residential aged care and disability care workers
  • Healthcare workers including students on clinical placement
  • Any person needing a second dose (regardless of vaccine brand) who received their first dose at a Queensland Health Vaccination Location
  • Hotel quarantine workers
  • Workers at airports that receive international and domestic flights
  • Queensland-based international and interstate aircrew workers
  • Border workers
  • Queensland Police Service workers
  • Freight workers who cross domestic borders
  • Other workers identified by the Queensland Chief Health Officer.

If you are a person listed above and have not been able to make a booking online, you are invited to call 134COVID (134 268) or walk in to one of the Queensland Health Vaccination Locations. Please bring your employee ID with you. There is limited vaccine supply available at sites for walk-ins and wait times could be long, so making a booking is the best way to get a timely appointment.

Alternatively, you can use National Eligibility Checker to find an appointment at a GP clinic or other immunisation provider..

If you are not one of the people listed above:

  • As the Commonwealth Government has started to provide greater access to COVID-19 vaccines across the state you can check the National Eligibility Checker to see if appointments at a GP clinic are available near you.
  • You can wait for a booking to become available at a Queensland Health Vaccination Location.  Queensland Health will soon open bookings for October and beyond which is when you will receive your invitation to book. You will also be notified if a booking becomes available sooner.

Those aged 60 years and over, are encouraged to use the Australian Government’s National Eligibility Checker to find and book an appointment to get vaccinated.

On 28 June 2021, the Australian Government announced indemnity cover for GPs to counsel patients under 60 years wishing to be vaccinated with COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca. Please refer to the latest ATAGI advice including this statement regarding the use of COVID-19 vaccines in an outbreak setting.

The Australian Government is also extending free access to COVID-19 vaccines to all visa-holders in Australia.

For more information please refer to the below frequently asked questions. If your question is not listed, please email us at FrontlineCOVIDAdvice@health.qld.gov.au.

Vaccine advice and guidance documents

Vaccine PPE advice

PPE advice for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout have been identified through review of clinical guidelines to identify the types of PPE required for different levels of risk for community transmission of COVID-19. Engagement with clinical stakeholders has also identified where PPE usage in practice may diverge from clinical guidelines.

COVID-19 Clinical vaccination advice for cancer patients 1 April 2021

Patients with cancer are at higher risk of morbidity and mortality following COVID-19 infection than patients with no comorbid conditions. This information from the Statewide Cancer Clinical Network will help guide vaccination decisions for clinicians and their patients.

Low Dead Space Needle Clinical Guidance

The Pfizer ComirnatyTM vaccine is in short supply globally and vaccine resources are scarce. Each vial contains at least 5 doses however, when low dead-space (LDS) syringes and/or needles are used, a 6th full dose may be extracted for administration.  The Commonwealth have procured VernacareTM single use LDS needles (25G, 25mm) for use in those sites administering the Pfizer ComirnatyTM vaccine. Clinical guidance has been developed regarding the use of low dead space needles.

Vaccine protocols and management templates

Vaccine protocol

These Protocol documents have been developed by Queensland Health for all Queensland Health employees and contractors providing vaccination services in relation to the provision of the Queensland Covid-19 Vaccination program.

Vaccine Management Protocol Templates

The Vaccine Management Protocol Templates are designed to assist sites in developing a vaccine management protocol for each COVID-19 vaccine.  The template is based on the Strive for 5 recommendations and outlines the management of the COVID-19 vaccines to ensure appropriate storage conditions and integrity of the vaccine. Appendix 1 of these documents describe how to correctly pack a cooler for transport and temperature monitoring requirements.

Vaccination in-clinic forms and resources

Pre-Vaccination Screening Questions

The Pre-Vaccination Screening Questions form and the Additional and Temporary Pre-Vaccination Screening Questions form are to be completed by a person booked to receive a vaccination or by a person assisting them. These questions are to be completed on arrival at the clinic to assess if the vaccination should proceed on the day.

If any of the questions in the completed form indicate yes, a relevant health worker is to review and determine if the vaccination should proceed. A pre-vaccination screening guide is also available below as a supporting guide.

Consent

Consent is to be completed by the person booked to have a vaccination or their substitute decision maker either prior to attending or at the clinic. The patient information sheet is to be provided with the consent form to assist the person in making an informed decision.

Vaccination downtime forms

The following forms are to be used during system downtime, along with the two in-clinic forms above (Pre-Vaccination Screening Questions and Vaccination Consent). These forms align with QCVMS Information System.

Covid-19 Vaccination Enrolment

This downtime form is to be completed by a person booked to receive a vaccination or by a person assisting them when they arrive at clinic. Not all fields are required to be completed or entered into the QCVMS. Mandatory fields are denoted with a *.

Covid-19 Vaccination Administration

This downtime form is to be completed by the healthcare worker assessing the person to be vaccinated, administering the vaccination and/or monitoring the vaccinated person (all three roles may be the same healthcare worker). Not all fields are required to be completed or entered into the QCVMS. Mandatory fields are denoted with a *.

Frequently asked questions

How does the Pfizer vaccine work?

How does the AstraZeneca vaccine work?

How does the Moderna vaccine work?

When and how will healthcare workers know when they are eligible to be vaccinated?

Which COVID-19 vaccine will healthcare workers receive?

What if I have had my first dose of AstraZeneca but don’t want the second dose – can I have Pfizer?

How effective are the COVID-19 vaccines?

How do I know the vaccine is safe?

Will the vaccine protect healthcare workers from COVID-19?

Will healthcare workers being vaccinated protect patients from COVID-19?

Will I need to follow COVID-19 infection control advice after getting vaccinated?

What PPE do I need to wear at a vaccination location?

What are the side effects of COVID-19 vaccines?

I’m a healthcare worker with an underlying condition – is it safe for me to get vaccinated?

What if I suffer from allergies or anaphylaxis – can I still get vaccinated?

What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

How long will the COVID-19 vaccine protect healthcare workers?

Is the vaccine mandatory if I want to keep my job?

I live in Queensland but work in a healthcare facility or service in a different state, where can I get vaccinated?

Who is administering the vaccines – can I be a vaccinator?

How will the cold chain be managed?

Where can I find vaccine information for my patients?

What other COVID-19 vaccines are available?

How will this relate to having the annual flu vaccination?

Will we be given a vaccination record with the name of the vaccine and the date it was given?

What is the Queensland COVID vaccine management solution and who is it for?

Do we have enough clinical consumables to be able to give everyone a vaccination?

Why aren’t COVID-19 vaccines being given to children under 16 years of age?

What is an AEFI?

What is Vaxtracker?

If I have received a Covid-19 Vaccine and am suffering from an Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI), do I need to report it?

If I am a health professional and a patient I’m caring for has an Adverse Event Following Immunisation, do I need to report it?

Last updated: 27 July 2021