Published 20 January 2021, revised 17 February 2021
The Australian Government has recently announced Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine national rollout strategy. In this strategy, priority will be given to frontline healthcare workers (those working directly with COVID positive patients or potential patients in hospitals and respiratory clinics), residential aged care and disability care workers, and anyone working in quarantine facilities (Phase 1a). Allied health professionals working in these settings will be included in Phase 1a.
Residential aged and disability care facilities are required to provide staff numbers (permanent, casual, temporary, visiting, volunteers) to the Department of Health to ensure that sufficient numbers of vaccine doses are allocated to facilities as part of the vaccine rollout.
Allied health professionals working in primary care and community-based services will be vaccinated as part of Phase 1b, along with ‘other healthcare workers’ which also includes GPs and dentists. Other allied health professionals will receive the vaccine in Phase 2a of the rollout (‘other critical and high-risk workers’).
AHPA is working closely with the Department of Health to clarify how vaccination of allied health professionals will occur in each stage. We will inform our members of any further information as becomes available.
With cases of community transmission of COVID-19 occurring in several states already in 2021, it is likely that we will continue to see ‘hotspots’ declared, with temporary or partial lockdowns and temporary state/territory border closures.
AHPA will continue to work with the relevant state governments to keep our members and allied health practitioners informed of any changes to restrictions and requirements.
While planning and implementation of the vaccination rollout is underway, compliance with state-based business requirements and infection control principles will be important to minimise any risk of infection. The latest advice on current COVID-19 restrictions and specific information for health professionals in each jurisdiction can be found via the links below.
- Victorian Government
- Victorian Department of Health
- Easing of restrictions following 5-day circuit-breaker lockdown (in effect from 11:59pm 17th February 2021)