21 October 2021
To: All CALHN staff
To provide an update on:
- implementation within CALHN of the Emergency Management (Healthcare Setting Workers Vaccination) (COVID-19) Direction 2021
- 3rd dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
All CALHN staff are asked to:
- familiarise themselves with the below information
- cascade the below to colleagues, particularly if they do not have access to email.
COVID-19 Vaccination Direction
As you would be aware the Emergency Management (Healthcare Setting Workers Vaccination) (COVID-19) Direction 2021 issued under the Emergency Management Act 2004 came into effect from 7 October 2021.
This Emergency Management Direction outlines COVID-19 vaccination requirements for everyone working in a public hospital, private hospital or ambulance service, including patient transport service in South Australia (now known as Phase 1).
A public hospital includes all services provided by a Local Health Network, not just those physically located in a hospital and applies to all staff, consultants and/or contractors who work, volunteer or provide services across sites and services (including SA Pathology).
On 20 October 2021, this Direction was expanded to include the rest of the health care sector, including all other community and private health care settings (Phase 2).
As healthcare workers we have a responsibility to protect the patients in our care, and the best way to do this is by protecting ourselves with vaccination.
As per the Emergency Management Direction from 1 November 2021, anyone in phase 1 who has not received their first dose of TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine or not provided evidence of a booking to receive a second dose will be in breach of the Emergency Management Direction if they engage in work or perform duties of their role in a healthcare setting.
Today Lesley Dwyer our CEO sent staff who are yet to provide us with evidence of their vaccination status or of a booking for their second dose a reminder that this information is urgently required. She also sought confirmation that unless they comply with the Direction, that they will not engage in work or perform duties at a healthcare setting from 1 November 2021.
Staff who are unvaccinated by this date may apply to take any accrued annual leave and/or long service leave or apply for special leave without pay (once annual and long service leave entitlements have been exhausted). Leave will be approved in line with the existing policies and procedures and will not be indefinite.
Under the Emergency Management Direction, staff with an exemption endorsed by the Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) and a legally qualified medical practitioner can continue to work. The exemption application process is available here. The staff may be required to wear full personal protective equipment whilst at work from 1 November 2021.
We know there were issues with the recording of staff vaccinations given at the RAH and TQEH in our HR system. We’re working to address this, and we are sorry if this meant that our record for you was not correct. I thank everyone who has provided proof of their vaccination.
We have received many enquiries around the Direction and are responding to them as quickly as possible. We have developed some FAQ’s to help address the queries raised. This includes options for staff who are choosing not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Please direct any specific questions you may have to your manager or local Human Resources Business Partner.
Walk-in vaccinations at Wayville
To help make it easier for you to access the vaccine, all CALHN staff and household members, including children aged 12 years and over can use the walk-in service at the Wayville clinic.
This weekend Wayville is part of the state’s ‘Super Walk-in weekend’, and will have Royal Show passes to giveaway, live music and a sausage sizzle. Even more reason to #rollup!
To find out how you can get the vaccine or for more details click here.
Third dose of COVID-19 vaccine
ATAGI recommends that severely immunocompromised people should receive a 3rd dose within their primary course of COVID-19 vaccination.
This dose is recommended to be given 2-6 months after the person’s 2nd dose (or as soon as feasible beyond 6 months).
An mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) is recommended for the 3rd dose (regardless of which vaccine the person received for their 1st and 2nd doses) unless contraindicated.
CALHN COVID-19 vaccination services are now able to offer the 3rd dose for eligible people.
This dose can be obtained by walking into the Wayville Vaccination Clinic (Note: Commonwealth booking systems have not yet been updated to enable someone to select they are requiring a 3rd dose).
Evidence of eligibility may be provided via any of the following:
- A letter from a GP or other treating specialist confirming the individual is severely immunocompromised (as per ATAGI guidelines)
- Proof in the form of an alternative medical record that is dated within the last 5 years which shows the individual is severely immunocompromised (as per guidelines) including:
- a printout of the medical history (from clinical records or MyHealth Record – i.e. patient medical summary as printed out from treating GP’s practice)
- a printout of a chronic disease care plan from the treating GP
- a discharge summary from a hospital or other medical facility
- a named script for a medication that has been prescribed to treat one or more of the relevant conditions or procedures outlined in the guideline
I know many of you are interested in what a COVID-19 vaccine booster program might look like for healthcare workers and as soon as we have information we will share it with you.
CALHN COVID-19 Commander