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Home > News > COVID-19 Vaccination Directions — "Relevant date" is tomorrow

COVID-19 Vaccination Directions — "Relevant date" is tomorrow

2021-10-14

This is a message to remind members that as per the public health order direction from the CHO (Chief Health Officer), from 15 October 2021, to work onsite at a work premises, workers must be able to provide evidence to their employer that they have either:

  • received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, or
  • have a booking to receive a first dose by 22 October 2021, or
  • have a medical exemption from an authorised medical practitioner.

Please note that individual providers may have been granted extensions. If your employer has been granted an extension, please refer to their communications to workers.

Click here to read the full Directions.

These are not HACSU's orders. Whilst HACSU supports vaccination, we haven’t called for the mandating of vaccinations at this point, due to key issues of lack of access, supply, leave provisions and workforce risk assessments not being completed. We are providing this information to ensure you are aware of the current directions, and how they may impact your work.

HACSU will continue to support its members throughout this process and those members who cannot get vaccinated due to access issues or medical exceptions as outlined in the Orders. If you have a specific issue in your workplace due to vaccination status, please contact HACSU Assist at assist@hacsu.asn.au

This email contains a number of resources for members who are vaccinated, who are not yet vaccinated, who cannot get vaccinated, and who do not want to get vaccinated.

Table of contents

  • Getting a vaccination
  • What will happen if I’m not vaccinated on October 15? 
  • Providing evidence of vaccination 
  • Information on the COVID-19 Vaccine 
  • Adverse Events and Compensation 
  • Information about pregnancy, breastfeeding & fertility 
  • Where should I go if I’m not sure if vaccination is right for me? 


Getting a vaccination

Victorian vaccination centres offering Moderna or Pfizer to people over 60

From Monday 11 October, all Victorian vaccination centres are offering Moderna and Pfizer vaccines to all people aged 12 and over. The online booking portal and Victorian Coronavirus hotline will reflect updated eligibility requirements.

People aged 60 and over who booked an appointment at a Victorian vaccination centre from 11 October onwards will be offered Moderna, Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, depending on the vaccines available at the site.

Click here for a list of vaccination centres.

Commonwealth Disability Vaccination Clinics

Disability vaccination hubs help people with disability, their family and carers, and the disability workforce get vaccinated in the fastest way possible specific to their circumstances.

The Australian Government Department of Health website  lists these clinics with booking information. Some clinics allow walk-ins, others are by appointment only

I do not have a Medicare card.

You do not need a Medicare card to get a COVID-19 vaccine. You will need an Individual Healthcare Identifier (IHI) to receive the proof of vaccination, which you can do via MyGov. You can also ask your vaccination provider to print a record for you.

Will I need a booster?

Currently, third shots are offered to severely immunocompromised people to boost their protection against COVID-19. The recommended interval for the third dose is two to six months after their second dose of vaccine. ATAGI’s advice is that an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is the preferred option for a third dose. Importantly, Australians who are mildly to moderately immunocompromised are not currently being recommended by ATAGI to have a third dose at this stage.

At this stage, ATAGI has not advised that additional booster doses are needed yet and the current focus is on first and second dose coverage.


What will happen if I’m not vaccinated on October 15?

Please note this information refers to the Direction covering all authorised workers. If your workplace has been granted an extension, then please refer to the dates they have provided you.

I have a booking for a vaccine, but it’s after 15 October 2021.

If you have a booking for your first dose before 22 October, you are still permitted to work on-site. If your appointment is after the 22nd of October, you will not be able to work onsite until you have provided proof of vaccination. If you have had trouble accessing a vaccine, please contact HACSU Assist as early as possible for assistance.

I have a medical exemption.

If you have a medical exemption, you are considered an “excepted person” under the orders for Authorised Workers. You will be permitted to work; however, your employer has a responsibility to provide a safe working environment and will assess your ability to continue to work onsite. If you have issues with this, please contact HACSU Assist.

You may receive a medical exemption if you are unable to be vaccinated because you:

  • have a medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccines, or
  • have an acute medical illness, including COVID-19 infection for up to 6 months (or earlier if the medical practitioner specifies an earlier date)

Please see the ATAGI clinical guidelines  on exemptions.

I do not want to be vaccinated, and do not have a medical exemption.

If you cannot provide your employer with evidence that you meet the vaccination requirements for your industry which are outlined above, then your employer cannot allow you to enter the work premises (i.e., come on-site) to work.

You will not be fined if you do not meet these requirements - but if you are unable to attend work, or you cause your workplace to incur a large fine, this may affect your employment, contract, or placement.

If you provide false or misleading information about your vaccination status you may be fined up to $10,904.40.


Providing evidence of vaccination

Do I need to show my vaccination proof every day at work

No, your employer will need to see proof of vaccination once — if you have more than one employer, each one will need to see it. They will then hold information on your vaccination status, but not the actual certificate. Your employer is required to hold this information, and they can be asked to produce proof they have been doing so and following health directions.

Do I need to always carry my vaccination certificate, like my authorised worker permit?

No, however you may be doing so already as most people will access their proof of vaccination via the Medicare Express or Service Victoria app. When venues (e.g., hospitality) re-open, this will likely be the easiest way to show proof of vaccination for entry.

I was vaccinated overseas, does that count?

Yes, please see the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) website for more information  on which specific vaccines are recognised.

 

Information on the COVID-19 Vaccine

Hear from a HACSU member

HACSU member & disability sector vaccine champion Peter Romer was interviewed by National Disability Services alongside two others about hesitancy around vaccination, what it's like to get vaccinated and how they made their choices.

Watch online here: https://youtu.be/RN6Sk7MMrg8

COVID-19 Vaccines - Your Questions Answered

Hear from Professor Ben Cowie, infectious diseases physician and epidemiologist, on the COVID-19 vaccine — addressing a lot of the questions we have around the vaccines, COVID-19, vaccine safety, risks and more.

Watch online here: https://vimeo.com/628571437

 

Adverse Events and Compensation

WorkSafe

An employee may be entitled to workers compensation if they sustain an injury due to the COVID vaccine and the injury occurred out of or in the course of employment.

The vaccine may be considered to have occurred out of or in the course of employment if they are a front line worker or work in an industry where their employer imposes the vaccine, and the employer has;

  • recommended or organised the vaccination onsite or at another location; or
  • subsidized the vaccination

Find out more at the WorkSafe website

COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme

The Australian Government is developing a claims scheme to reimburse people who suffer a moderate to significant impact following an adverse reaction to an approved COVID-19 vaccine. Learn more on their website .

 

Information about pregnancy, breastfeeding & fertility

Vaccination information

Pregnancy is a priority status for vaccination, so let your chosen provider know so they can help you get an appointment as soon as possible. You can learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and your pregnancy here .

Joint statement between RANZCOG and ATAGI about COVID-19 vaccination for pregnant women

Please note the following statement was issued before the Moderna vaccine was available in Australia, which is another safe option for any stage of pregnancy.

RANZCOG and ATAGI recommend that pregnant women are routinely offered Pfizer mRNA vaccine (Comirnarty) at any stage of pregnancy. This is because the risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19 is significantly higher for pregnant women and their unborn baby.

Global surveillance data from large numbers of pregnant women have not identified any significant safety concerns with mRNA COVID-19 vaccines given at any stage of pregnancy. Furthermore, there is also evidence of antibody in cord blood and breastmilk, which may offer protection to infants through passive immunity.

Pregnant women are encouraged to discuss the decision in relation to timing of vaccination with their health professional.

Women who are trying to become pregnant do not need to delay vaccination or avoid becoming pregnant after vaccination.

 

Where should I go if I’m not sure if vaccination is right for me?

The first place to go with any questions is your regular GP. If you don’t have a regular doctor, any trained GP will be able to talk through how vaccination works, what the benefits are, and help you make your own choice.

If you have questions about health and safety at work, include COVIDSafe workplaces and COVID-19 vaccines, Victorian Trades Hall Council’s OHS Team can answer questions at https://www.ohsrep.org.au/ask_renata