COVID-19 Vaccines Update

The Prime Minister has outlined plans to deliver Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program this year. The COVID-19 vaccines will be available, free and voluntary for all Australians.

About COVID-19 vaccines

Australia has invested heavily in potential vaccine development and currently has four separate agreements for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, including:

  • University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine
  • Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine (currently available)
  • Novavax vaccine and
  • Vaccine through the global COVAX Facility

There are a number of COVID-19 vaccines currently in use in various global regions. Following a thorough and independent review, on 25 January 2021 the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) provisionally approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for 2 years.

To help our residents, their families and our staff to understand the vaccine, TJG has put together the following table to demonstrate some of the key facts about currently approved vaccines that are in use across the globe.

Most common side effects:

Where to get vaccinated

There are 30-50 hospital hubs in urban and rural locations around Australia. So far, vaccination hubs are set to be located at Royal Prince Alfred, Westmead and Liverpool hospitals, followed by Hornsby, St George, Nepean, Newcastle, Wollongong, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga hospitals. For us, there will be vaccination teams come out to our facilities.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) is finalising advice for healthcare providers on the use of COVID-19 vaccines, including advice in relation to frail people, the elderly and others. Advice will be finalised once specific consideration of the vaccine candidate is accessed by the TGA. TJG will provide updates accordingly when more information becomes available, particularly about the rollout in our residential Aged Care facilities.

Getting vaccinated for COVID-19

As outlined in the national COVID-19 Vaccination Program, there are 3 phases of the rollout plan. Aged Care and disability care residents and staff are in the priority groups. As part of the rollout and safety measures, the TGA will monitor the safety and effectiveness of any vaccines available in Australia. They will investigate and respond to any emerging safety issues identified for COVID-19 vaccines.

The intended steps for vaccination is displayed in the following picture.

Residential Aged Care residents:

  1. Advise facilities of priority groups, locations and roll-out plans
  2. Patient consent coordinated
  3. Vaccination date(s) scheduled
  4. Vaccination doses received for use.

Residential Aged Care workers:

  1. Facility staff to advise of priority groups, locations and roll-out plans
  2. Schedule first and second doses by facility
  3. Checklist including staff numbers on vaccination date(s) to inform dose requirements
  4. Vaccination date(s) scheduled
  5. Vaccination doses received for use.
Where to find further information

TJG is committed to our residents, staff and our community. We will continue to keep everyone fully informed and up to date about the rollout plan including when, how and where to get vaccinated.

For the latest official coronavirus news, updates and advice form the Australian Government visit www.health.gov.au/covid19-vaccines