The Australian Government is currently working to secure a range of COVID-19 vaccines to begin their national rollout strategy. General practices will play a critical role in a successful vaccination program.

In the early stages of the rollout, practices will be required to set up designated 'vaccine clinics' to maximise efficiency and reduce wastage. To partake in the early stages of the program, practices will have to meet a set of criteria to demonstrate their ability to provide the vaccines effectively.

To help your practice team and patients best understand the rollout, we’ve compiled a range of resources and information to review and refer to.

COVID Vaccine Administration Criteria

Capability Accredited general practice
Willingness to undertake COVID-19 specific training
Capacity and volume Ability to administer, track, record, store, maintain manage vaccination services
Lead time Ability to accelerate the administration of vaccination services
Population coverage and access Practices servicing populations in low-access geographic areas with specific access needs

COVID-19 Vaccination Administration Advice for General Practice

1.1 Access to toilets for patients and staff.

Safe Work Australia - Managing the Work Environment and Facilities (Code of Practice)

This Code of Practice on managing the work environment and facilities is an approved code of practice under section 274 of the Work Health and Safety Act (the WHS Act). An approved code of practice is a practical guide to achieving the standards of health, safety and welfare required under the WHS Act and the Work Health and Safety Regulations (the WHS Regulations).

RACGP - General practice management toolkit

This resource is based on the experiences of Dr Neville Steer and Dr Belinda Guest in setting up their own medical practice. It has been developed to provide general practitioners with a practical example of starting up a practice.

 

1.2 Have adequate space for patients waiting to be vaccinated that observes physical distancing requirements, and is sheltered from weather elements. (So long as this meets these requirements this does not need to be separate from the usual waiting room).

Australian Government Department of Health - Physical distancing for COVID-19

This page contains resources on physical distancing. It also includes links to rules for gatherings between states and territories.

 

1.3 Have a private and sound-proof space for consultation with patients and vaccinator (including obtaining informed consent, answering patient questions and assessment of any conditions that may preclude vaccination or require further assessment and administration of vaccine).

 

1.4 Have a dedicated area, separate from areas that provide other clinical services at the same time, where vaccines from multi-dose vials may be drawn up, labelled, and prepared for administration.

Australian Immunisation Handbook

The Australian Immunisation Handbook provides clinical advice for health professionals on the safest and most effective use of vaccines in their practice.

 

1.5 Have a dedicated, clean, well-lit space for administration of the vaccine to patients, including a desk and chairs for patients, parents/carers and vaccinator(s).

RACGP - Principles of infection prevention and control

The Infection prevention and control standards for general practices are intended as a guide to assist health professionals and other staff implementing infection prevention and control procedures.

 

1.6 Have adequate space for patients to wait and be observed post-vaccination that observes physical distancing requirements (note this may be the same as the waiting area) and is in accordance with jurisdictional requirements and guidance.

 

1.7 Have safe and directed access in clinical areas to allow movement of staff between areas while minimising the risk of workplace incidents (e.g. moving doses from preparation area to patient administration area, accessing refrigerators or cool boxes, etc.).

 

1.8 Adequate handwashing facilities for staff, and antimicrobial hand sanitisers available.

Hand Hygiene Australia

Hand Hygiene Australia provide resources and services necessary for the implementation of hand hygiene improvement programs and support the education of health care workers in the importance of hand hygiene in the prevention of health care associated infections.

 

1.9 Have visual reminders and cues in place to reduce the risk of errors.

RACGP - Clinical risk management in general practice

A quality and safety improvement guide and educational resource for individual or group-based learning.

 

1.10 Have a process in place to safely dispose of unused vaccines, in accordance with TGA and other regulatory requirements.

Australian Government - Therapeutic Goods Administration - Health professionals

The information in this section is for health professionals, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and complementary healthcare practitioners. It is not presented as medical advice to health professionals or consumers.

 

1.11 Have adequate sharps disposal bins, appropriate for the volume of patients, and securely placed and spaced to mitigate the risk of needle stick injuries.

 

1.12 Appropriate security provisions to ensure no unauthorised access to vaccine doses.

 

1.13 Have ready access to appropriate emergency equipment, including adrenaline, oxygen and defibrillator.

RACGP - Managing emergencies in general practice

A guide for preparation, response and recovery.

Additional Resources

 

National Resources

Department of Health - COVID-19 Vaccines
News and information for Australians about the development, approval process and plans for COVID-19 vaccines.

Australian Government - Department of Health - COVID-19 weekly updates for GPs
This page allows you to subscribe to receive updates for GPs to stay up to date with the latest advice on COVID-19

Australian Government - COVID-19 Policy
This policy outlines how COVID-19 vaccines will be accessible on a rolling basis, dependent on vaccine delivery schedules and the identification of groups for most urgent vaccination. This Policy also describes the shared and separate responsibilities of the Australian, State and Territory governments, as well as other key stakeholders.

Australian Government - Department of Health - Australia's COVID-19 vaccine national roll-out strategy
This strategy outlines sites and priority populations for initial vaccinations, and the phases in which vaccine doses will be made available in Australia.

Australian Government - Department of Health - COVID-19 vaccine rollout: Expression of Interest for primary care participation in Phase 1b
Accredited general practices are invited to submit an expression of interest (EOI) to participate in Phase 1b of the national rollout strategy, planned to commence in March 2021.

Australian Government - Department of Health - Phase 1b COVID-19 vaccine rollout - General Practice EOI process - Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions for the Phase 1b COVID-19 vaccine rollout–General Practice EOI process.

Australia’s Epidemiology and COVID-19 Vaccine Roadmap
The Australian Government recently released the COVID-19 Vaccination Roadmap which outlines sites and priority populations for initial vaccinations and the phases in which vaccine doses will be made available in Australia

National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance - COVID-19 vaccines: Frequently asked questions
This page provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines. This page will be updated regularly by NCIRS.

Australian Government - Department of Health - Therapeutic Goods Administration - COVID-19 vaccines: News and updates
This page contains the latest COVID-19 vaccine news and other updates from the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)

RACGP COVID-19 vaccine information for GPs
This page contains information by the RACGP to support members during the COVID-19 vaccine roll out. This page is updated with the latest information and resources as they become available.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook
This project tracks behavioural science evidence and advice about COVID-19 vaccine uptake.

Australian Government - Department of Health - ATAGI – Preliminary advice on general principles to guide the prioritisation of target populations in a COVID-19 vaccination program in Australia
This advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) focuses on identifying priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination in Australia.

Infection prevention and control COVID-19 PPE - POSTER
Poster outlining recommended PPE for health workers in clinical units.

 

State Resources

 

Australian Capital Territory

ACT Government Health - COVID-19 Vaccination Program
This page contains the latest information on the COVID-19 Vaccination Program by ACT Government.

RACGP - Australian Capital Territory COVID-19 updates
This page contains the latest information as it becomes available for GPs in the ACT.

Capital Health Network - COVID-19 Vaccine Readiness in General Practice
Capital Health Network, the ACT’s Primary Health Network, is currently working with the Commonwealth and ACT Governments to prepare for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and have prepared a Survey to establish the preparedness of your practice to potentially to be involved in the COVID-19 vaccination program.

New South Wales

NSW Government Health - Immunisation services during COVID-19
This page contains specific advice on immunisation services during COVID-19. It includes advice provided by NSW Health to assist with planning and managing vaccination clinics which is coinciding with the COVID-19 response.

RACGP - New South Wales COVID-19 updates
This page contains the latest information as it becomes available for GPs in NSW.

NSW Government - Immunisation Toolkit for General Practices
This Toolkit has been developed to support general practices to implement the NSW Immunisation Program.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory Government - Coronavirus
This page contains news and alerts relating to Northern Territory specific information on COVID-19.

Northern Territory Primary Health Network - Support for health professionals
This page contains a collection of resources for health professionals, including GPs and allied health practitioners, about coronavirus (COVID-19).

Queensland

Queensland Government Queensland Health - COVID-19 information for Queensland clinicians
This page hosts the latest available information to assist Queensland clinicians to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation in Queensland.

Queensland Government Queensland Health - COVID-19 Advice for vaccine service providers
The following recommendations are provided by the Queensland Department of Health regarding the provision of immunization services during the COVID-19 pandemic response, including advice on social distancing.

Queensland Government Queensland Health - Order, store and manage vaccines - COVID-19: Changes to Immunisation Program contacts
Procedures and forms for registered vaccine service providers to order, store and manage vaccines.

AMA - COVID-19 Latest information and frontline advice
This page contains the latest information about COVID-19 for QLD.

Vaccine Uptake Research - Information Sheet, Consent Form and Screener
Ipsos is inviting you to participate in a study about COVID-19 vaccine uptake. Ipsos is conducting this study on behalf of Queensland Health. We want to understand the factors that influence vaccine uptake. This information will help Queensland Health to better support the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines if and when they become available.

South Australia

Government of South Australia - SA Health - COVID-19 vaccination program
This page contains information about the Australian Government COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy.

Immunisation Hub
The Immunisation Hub is working to improve vaccination coverage for all South Australians. The Hub is a joint program of Adelaide PHN and Country SA PHN. Our team works to support both immunisation providers as well as community across South Australia.

Country SA PHN - Latest COVID Updates
Find out the most up to date info on coronavirus.

RACGP South Australia COVID-19 updates
This page will be updated with the latest information as it becomes available for GPs in South Australia.

Tasmania

Tasmanian Government Department of Health - Information for Immunisation Providers
This page contains information for immunisation providers.

Tasmanian Government - Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - Vaccination
This page contains the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccine development.

Primary Health Tasmania - COVID-19 for health professionals
This page aims to link Tasmanian health professionals with the latest information on management of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Australia.

RACGP Tasmania COVID-19 updates
This page will be updated with the latest information as it becomes available for GPs in Tasmania.

Victoria

Victorian Government
Information about a vaccine for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Victorian State Government Health and Human Services - Vaccines and medications in patients with COVID-19
Advice for health workers on vaccines and medications in patients with coronavirus (COVID-19).

Victorian State Government - Immunisation
Find out more about vaccination for children, adolescents and adults, including the schedule, vaccine eligibility, reporting adverse events, ordering vaccines and accessing resources.

Victorian State Government - Cold Chain Management
This page contains resources to ensure effective cold chain management for vaccines. This includes strategies for maintaining cold chain during a power outage and monitoring cold chain during vaccine transport.

South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network - Webinar: COVID Vaccine Rollout Strategy
Register now for our COVID Vaccine webinar for Friday 5 February, 2021 at 12:00pm. GPs and Health Professionals come along to our COVID Vaccine Webinar.

RACGP Victoria COVID-19 updates
This page will be updated with the latest information as it becomes available for GPs in Victoria.

Western Australia

Government of Western Australia Department of Health - COVID-19
This page contains news and alerts relating to Western Australia specific information on COVID-19.

Government of Western Australia Department of Health - COVID-19 vaccination
This page contains information on the COVID-19 vaccines.

RACGP Western Australia COVID-19 updates
This page will be updated with the latest information as it becomes available for GPs in Western Australia.

WA Primary Health Alliance - COVID-19 Information and Support
WA Primary Health Alliance, as part of the Australian Government’s national Primary Health Networks program, is working to support general practices, pharmacies and funded service providers across Western Australia to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization and a State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency by the Government of Western Australia.

WA Primary Health Alliance - Rural Health West Practice Assist - Vaccine Rollout Information
This page aims to support GPs, general practice staff and other primary health care providers working on the frontline across Western Australia to support the COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy as part of the Australian COVID-19 vaccination policy. This page will be updated with the latest information as it becomes available.