COVID-19 vaccine information for disability service providers
Information and resources to help disability service providers plan for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Planning for COVID-19 vaccination
We encourage you to do preliminary planning about how you will manage the vaccination process at your site.
This can include beginning conversations with people with disability and workers about:
- the rollout of the vaccination program and the benefits of getting the vaccine
- getting consent and having the required conversations with family members, carers and/or substitute decision-makers if relevant.
You can also identify:
- an appropriate place for vaccinations to occur that includes an area where people can wait to have the vaccine
- an appropriate place for the vaccine team to be located where a private and confidential conversation can occur. This conversation should be between the person giving the vaccine and the person receiving the vaccine
- an appropriate place to monitor people who have received the vaccination for between 15 and 30 minutes
- how to maintain COVIDSafe practices on vaccination day including physical distancing, hand hygiene and cleaning
- what supports each person may need on vaccination day.
Resources and guidelines for providers
- disability service providers toolkit
- disability provider alerts
- Safe Work Australia advice on your obligations under the model WHS laws and how these relate to COVID-19 vaccines.
How residents will get their COVID-19 vaccination
We will contact you directly to arrange visits by our vaccination teams. These vaccination teams will provide the vaccine to people with disability and complex needs at your sites.
Disability residents who can access off-site services, as well as residential disability care workers, can get their vaccination at the following sites:
- general practices
- general practice-led respiratory clinics
- Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services
- state and territory operated AstraZeneca clinics
- state and territory operated Pfizer clinics
- other arrangements to be confirmed such as doctors visiting a residential service, government-operated pop up clinics, or teams organised by service providers.
They can make a booking using the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker.
Access to the AstraZeneca vaccine is being expanded to adults under 40, provided they give informed consent to their vaccination provider.
If you are aged 18 to 59 years of age, you can choose to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine:
- following an appropriate assessment of suitability by a qualified health professional, and
- if you provide verbal or written consent.
Consent for the vaccine
Vaccinations in Australia, including the COVID-19 vaccine are voluntary.
All Australians must give informed consent before having the COVID-19 vaccine.
It is important that people with disability understand what they are agreeing to, and that they understand:
- what the COVID-19 vaccine is and what it is for
- the benefits of the vaccine
- the risks of the vaccine.
Providers are not required to use the COVID-19 vaccine consent form. Usual consent processes can be adapted to obtain informed consent. Although, the vaccine providers contracted by the department may require forms to be completed prior to their attendance at the residence for administrative purposes.
An information sheet for disability providers is available and provides detail about other consent issues. This includes:
- verbal consent
- supporting people to make an informed decision
- consent for the second injection
- talking to a GP about the COVID-19 vaccine.
People who choose not to be vaccinated
Vaccinations in Australia, including the COVID-19 vaccine, are voluntary. However, choosing not to be vaccinated may have implications for disability providers, workers and for patients or clients.
Disability workers who choose not to be vaccinated
If a person with disability is concerned about a support person not being vaccinated for COVID-19, they may contact their service provider to talk to about other arrangements.
People with disability who choose not to be vaccinated
Withdrawal of supports that a person with a disability relies on to meet their daily living needs and maintain their health and safety, without consultation or alternative arrangements, could constitute a breach of the NDIS Code of Conduct (the Code) or conditions of registration.
Refusal of care to a person with disability who chooses not to get the vaccine, or who has received the vaccine, may also be a breach of the Code.
Vaccination and your workplace
Employers, including disability providers, have a duty as part of Work Health and Safety (WHS) laws to eliminate, or, minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.
Safe Work Australia has issued advice and information to assist employers with their obligation under WHS laws.
It will be important to continue COVIDSafe practices to keep you and your clients safe even after vaccination. You should continue to follow the guidelines to maintain good hygiene and a clean workplace.
Read more about how you can support care recipients.
Information for people with disability
We have created information about COVID-19 vaccines for people with disability in these formats:
Support and services
- State and territory health departments
- Disability Gateway Helpline: 1800 643 787
- Disability Gateway website: www.disabilitygateway.gov.au
- National Relay Service: 133 677
- National coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline: 1800 020 080
- Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National): call 131 450 and ask for the National coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline.