Over four months after COVID-19 vaccinations were made mandatory for residential care workers, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) has recommended a national framework be established for the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination requirement for in-home and community care, with just over two weeks until the deadline for an initial dose.
The AHPPC has recommended the first dose of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine be completed by 30 November 2021 and a second dose by 31 December 2021.
A number of States and Territories have already introduced requirements for home care workers to be vaccinated in recent weeks including NSW, Victoria, the Northern Territory and the ACT.
The AHPPC recommendation will apply to all Commonwealth funded aged care service providers delivering in-home and community aged care services, including:
- Home Care Packages
- Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)
- National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Flexible Aged Care Program home care services
- Short-Term Restorative Care
- Transition Care Program
- Multi-Purposes Services
The mandate also covers all full-time, part-time and casual staff employed or engaged by the provider, including sub-contractors and volunteers.
Medical exemptions will only be granted in limited situations be in line with the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) clinical guidance, with workers required to provide evidence to their employer that an exemption has been granted.