COVID-19 vaccination information
Resources to support community organisations
Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Toolkit
This toolkit provides a range of sharables that will help you to promote and communicate the vaccine to minimise service delivery disruptions and encourage people to protect their family, colleagues and the community from serious illness caused by COVID-19.
To support the toolkit you can download from the following Queensland Health asset libraries:
- COVID-19 Vaccination Public Assets (External Stakeholders)
- COVID-19 First Nations People – For communities
- COVID-19 First Nations People – For healthcare providers
Services Australia – Proof of vaccination resources for community groups
There are new resources available on the Services Australia website to help people obtain proof of their vaccination certificate. The resources for community group page includes information, such as:
- Easy read content which is published in 3 of the community ekits (General/CALD/Indigenous). These resources come in an accessible, easy to read format with step by step instructions and pictures.
- A Media and Social Media ekit which includes:
- Radio grabs in different formats
- Sample images for your stakeholders to use in their own messages
- A Video Resources folder, with videos which stakeholders can use for social media or in waiting rooms
- Flyers and posters in different languages including Indigenous languages (Walpiri now available, 11 other Indigenous languages will be available soon).
Culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD)
Plain English vaccination resources
Queensland Health have produced a Plain English COVID-19 Vaccination Information Deck aiming to answer many of the questions and concerns posed by members of our culturally and linguistically diverse communities.
The slides examine vaccine safety concerns, a definition of who the official health authorities are, how the vaccines work, who can and cannot receive the vaccine, how to book, and many more. Many helpful videos and links are included.
Australian Government – Multicultural Stakeholder Outreach Pack (October 2021)
The Department of Health is committed to making information about COVID-19 vaccines available to everyone in Australia, including culturally and linguistically diverse communities. This stakeholder pack includes translated resources on the latest COVID-19 vaccine information.
The Department encourages you to share the resources in this pack across your multicultural networks. Through your help and support, we can ensure the community stays informed about COVID-19 vaccine information through official sources. Download it here.
Services Australia resources for community groups
Services Australia has a range of resources for community groups to help people in your community who are affected by COVID-19. You can download a COVID-19 eKit with resources on how Services Australia is supporting people including an easy read guide, information on income support payments and a family and domestic violence checklist. There is also a range of audio content, including files in other languages, which you can access on the Services Australia playlist on the SoundCloud website.
To book a COVID-19 vaccination
- Queensland Health vaccine bookings
- Find a GP or Pharmacy – National Eligibility Checker
- Book with a GP
- Book at a pharmacy
- Book any available site – COVID-19 Near Me
You can also look for a pop-up vaccination clinic at a location near you.
Current vaccination recommendations
Three COVID-19 vaccines are currently available in Australia. Visit the links below to access the Australian Government’s Department of Health advice on:
Pfizer (Comirnaty) or Moderna (Spikevax) is preferred over AstraZeneca (Vaxzervia) in adults aged under 60 years, or aged 18 to 59 in outbreak areas if they do not have immediate access to Pfizer or Moderna.
The recommendation is revised due to a higher risk and observed severity of thrombosis and thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) related to the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine observed in Australia in people under the age of 60. Read more in this Department of Health fact sheet.
COVID-19 vaccine safety
The TGA monitors COVID-19 vaccine safety by:
- collecting and reporting data on side effects
- working with international regulators to share knowledge
- monitoring safety
- checking each batch meets quality standards
For more information on vaccine safety, vaccinating during pregnancy, side effects and when to seek help for a suspected adverse reaction, visit the Australian Government’s Department of Health website.
CSIA COVID-19 Vaccination Resources
The following three resources have been developed to use with clients or within your organisation:
The Building Confidence Fact Sheet provides the steps and communications activities you can undertake to help increase vaccination uptake in your workplace.
The Vaccination Fact Sheet for Workers which will encourage your team to look for vaccine information from trusted sources.
The Vaccine Fact Sheet for Clients which will help your community members make a decision and act on getting vaccinated.
Vaccine booster information
The Australian Government has started rolling out COVID-19 vaccine booster doses to people who have completed their two-dose primary vaccination course at least 6 months ago.
Getting a booster dose is not mandatory, but it is recommended to maintain immunity against COVID-19. Individuals can find out how to book their booster dose at www.australia.gov.au.
The Department of Health continues to develop more translated information resources, so please check the Department of Health’s in-language resource pages regularly.
Proof of vaccination
Services Australia has recently launched an online resource centre with information about how people can get proof of their COVID-19 vaccinations, including tailored guidance for Australians to set up their online accounts, and access and store their vaccination proof. Find out more.
Australian Government COVID-19 vaccine claims scheme
The Australian Government is developing a claims scheme to reimburse people who suffer a moderate to significant impact following an adverse reaction to an approved COVID-19 vaccine. The scheme will provide a simple, streamlined process to reimburse or compensate eligible people for their injuries without the need for complex legal proceedings.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) closely monitor adverse events for suspected side effects in vaccines used in Australia, often finding they are not caused by the vaccine itself. You can learn about the TGA’s COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring and reporting activities or report a suspected side effect.
This new federal scheme will cover the costs of injuries $5,000 and above due to administration of a TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine or due to an adverse event that is considered to be caused by a COVID-19 vaccination. Find out more at the Department of Health website.
Mandating vaccinations for employees or volunteers
As Australia rolls out the COVID-19 vaccine, some employers are thinking about whether they can require their workers to be vaccinated as a condition of employment. Organisations that work with vulnerable groups or have direct contact with the public might have a greater sense of urgency to vaccinate their staff.
Pro Bono Australia has examined the pressing ethical matters surrounding mandating COVID-19 vaccines in the workplace. The federal government says in the absense of specific health orders it’s up to business to decide. This article examines previous vaccine mandates in Australia, promoting choice, making it fair for employees, and summarises potential approaches. Read in full.
The following information has been adapted from Justice Connect. For the latest updates in this space please visit their website.
The Fair Work Commission has considered cases of unfair dismissal (non-COVID related) for refusal to be vaccinated. These decisions suggest that vaccination may be an inherent requirement of employment in some fields, depending on the nature of the role and workplace.
As state and federal governments roll out guidance on the issue of mandating vaccination, organisations should be cautious about requiring vaccination as a condition of employment. The safety benefits need to be balanced with other legal issues including:
- Unfair dismissal claims – Employers might have difficulties defending unfair dismissal claims in situations where their workplace can be reasonably regarded as COVID-safe by using other means such as social distancing, masks or even personal protective equipment.
- Discrimination claims – Employers need to consider whether vaccination should be an inherent requirement of the employment and what would be considered a reasonable basis for refusal; watch out for discrimination on the basis of medical or religious grounds.
- Workers compensation claims – Employers may face workers’ compensation claims from employees who experience harmful side effects from the COVID vaccine if the vaccine is taken as an employment directive in work environments where vaccination is not mandatory.
Fair Work Coronavirus Advice
The Fair Work Ombudsman publishes guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace. They have up to date information on:
- COVID-19 vaccinations and the workplace
- Shutting workplaces quickly because of lockdown
- Pay, leave and stand downs
- Returning to work
- Health and safety
- Alternative work arrangements
- Ending employment and redundancy
- Changes to workplace laws during coronavirus
- Tools and help during the pandemic
Access this page to get the most up-to-date information and advice.
Institute of Company Directors – Free vaccination policy samples
The Institute of Company Directors has released free resources for organisations looking to outline specific policies around vaccination as we move into a new stage of the pandemic. The purpose of these resources is to outline the strategies and actions that your organisation intends to take to prevent the transmission of infectious diseases through the use of vaccination.
You can modify the resources below for use in your organisation:
Vaccinations for children and young people in care
The Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs (Child Safety) considers childhood immunisation an essential part of a child’s health care needs and is committed to all children in care being immunised against vaccine preventable disease, unless a doctor advises there is a medical reason for not proceeding. The emergence of COVID-19 has prompted a review of the current policy and procedure to ensure they cover vaccines that are recommended for children in care from time to time, such as those for COVID-19, that are not part of the Queensland Immunisation Schedule.
The policy and the relevant procedure have recently been updated to:
- reflect the need for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
- move from a specific focus on scheduled vaccinations to a broader application.
- clarify the consent process, including when Child Safety staff may ask a health practitioner to vaccinate a child in the custody of the chief executive, using the authority of the Child Protection Act 1999, section 97. Please note, the consent requirements have not changed and vaccination remains a guardianship decision.
- reflect that young people are able to consent to their own vaccinations, where a health practitioner determines they have sufficient capacity to provide informed consent. Child Safety will respect a young persons’ decision to give or withhold consent in these circumstances.
It is up to a health practitioner to determine a young person’s capacity to provide informed consent to vaccination.Â For further information about the age of consent for vaccinations, please refer to Age of Consent for Vaccinations at the Queensland Health website. Child safety officers have been encouraged to have conversations with parents, carers and eligible young people about immunisation against COVID-19.
Vaccination information for people with disability
Some people with disability could have more serious complications if they were to become infected with COVID-19, depending on the nature of their disability and other medical history. Queensland Health has provided some video resources covering the following topics:
- Getting tested for COVID-19
- How to self-isolate during COVID-19
- Going to the hospital during COVID-19
- COVID-19 Essentials: Queenslanders with Disability Network
Other frequently asked questions are also available in plain English. Access these interactive resources.
Explaining the vaccination process to people with communication difficulties
Scope Australia has developed a new resource to help explain the vaccination process. A series of images that can be used to talk about what to expect before you go for a coronavirus vaccine is available on it’s Resources page. These resources have been developed to talk about the coronavirus with someone who has a communication difficulty.
Supported Independent Living (SIL) Vaccination Payments
SIL providers can submit a claim once an NDIS participant has received all required doses to become fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The invoice for the $150 payment to the NDIA has to be made within 28 days of the final vaccination appointment. The NDIA website has more information about how SIL providers can claim for this support.
Down Syndrome Australia resources
Down Syndrome Australia recently asked Australians with Down Syndrome why they got the COVID-19 vaccine, and why they think everyone else should too. Some of their reasons included: so they don’t get sick, so they don’t go to hospital, so they can see their friends again, and to keep their friends and family safe. It has developed a video on the COVID-19 vaccination, in partnership with the Commonwealth Department of Health.
You can watch the video on the Down Syndrome Australia webpage.
Vaccination information for disability and aged care providers
Disability provider vaccination toolkit
The Australian Government Department of Health has created a set of resources designed to help disability providers promote COVID-19 vaccination to their employees. Access the communication resources.
Auslan videos on COVID-19 vaccines
New Auslan videos are available on the Department of Health website. The videos include information on where to get vaccinated, information on thrombosis and (TTS), providing consent, the AstraZeneca vaccine, and the Pfizer vaccine.
Mandated vaccinations for residential aged care workers
On 28 June 2021 National Cabinet agreed to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for all residential aged care workers based on advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC). To apply this mandate, the Residential Aged Care Direction (No. 6) was introduced in Queensland and applies to all residential aged care workers working in both public and private facilities. “All staff” includes but is not limited to:
- employees, contractors and agency staff employed or engaged by or on behalf of a residential aged care facility to work in, perform duties or provide services at a residential aged care facility on a full time, part time or casual basis (this includes administration, direct care workers, ancillary, lifestyle, transport, and volunteers)
- medical practitioners and allied health professionals, including paramedics and emergency services staff, who regularly attend and provide care to residential aged care facility residents.
The Residential Aged Care Direction (No. 6) requires all workers in Queensland Health residential aged care facilities to have their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination by 16 September and their second dose by 31 October 2021, with proof of vaccination required. Find out more.
Mandatory vaccination for workers in Queensland Health locations
A mandate is now in place which requires all staff working in Queensland Health locations where care is provided to patients or clients to be fully vaccinated by 31 October 2021. This applies to all Queensland Health employees who work in or enter sites that provide care to patients or clients.
Healthcare workers will be prioritised for vaccination at Queensland Health Vaccination Locations.
In some circumstances staff may be unable to be vaccinated for a medical reason. In this case, your employer will work with you to explore alternative options to keep you and our workplaces safe. If you cannot or will not comply with the mandate, please speak with your line manager.
Pregnant staff are strongly encouraged to seek vaccination as soon as possible given the high rates of severe disease and complications of pregnancy seen in those with COVID-19.
Find out more at the Queensland Health website.
What if an employee is not able to be vaccinated and works in a high risk setting?
Any employer that employs, contracts or engages a worker who must be fully vaccinated should inform the worker of the COVID-19 vaccination requirements and must:
- take all reasonable steps to ensure that the worker does not work if they have not met the vaccination requirements (or the PPE and daily COVID-19 testing requirements if they are unable to be vaccinated)
- keep a record of COVID-19 vaccination information reported to them by their workers, and store it securely.
If you manage a setting where only vaccinated people may work, and are experiencing critical workforce shortages, you can permit a worker who is unvaccinated to enter, work in, or provide services in the facility for a short period, such as three months, if:
- you’ve assessed the risk to other staff and other people accessing the setting
- you reasonably believe it is necessary to respond to a critical workforce shortage
- personal protective equipment is used by the worker in compliance with the PPE guideline and any COVID safe plans for the setting
- a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result is provided by the unvaccinated worker before starting each work shift.
This allows you time to recruit or make alternative arrangements to ensure there are enough vaccinated workers to avoid ongoing worker shortages.
This page at the Queensland Health website describes who is included in each worker group and their vaccination requirements.