Mandatory vaccination of residential aged care workers
The Director of Public Health has signed two Directions under Section 16 of the Public Health Act 1997:
- Mandatory Vaccination of Certain Workers requires workers or volunteers at a residential aged care facility and in-home and community aged care workers to receive two doses (or primary course) of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Additional vaccination requirements for workers in certain settings requires workers or volunteers at a residential aged care facility and in-home and community aged care workers to receive a booster dose of a vaccine within four weeks of becoming eligible to receive it.
Mandatory vaccination of in-home and community aged care workers
From 23 April 2022, a worker or volunteer at a residential aged care facility or delivering in-home and community aged care services must:
- have received the primary course of the COVID-19 vaccine (usually two doses); and
- have received a booster dose of the vaccine for the disease and receive a booster dose of the vaccine for the disease within 4 weeks of becoming eligible; or
- have a vaccination exemption due to a medical contraindication.
You are eligible for a booster dose if you are 16 years and older and three months after your second dose (or last primary dose) of a COVID-19 vaccine.
For more information about vaccination, including how to book an appointment, go to COVID-19 Vaccination.
The scope of the Direction covers 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
Without evidence of vaccination or a valid exemption, aged care workers (residential or in-home and community care) as outlined within the Directions will not be permitted to enter, or remain on, the premises of a residential aged care facility or deliver care to clients at their home or community settings.
The Directions cover the direct workforce, volunteers providing services on a regular basis and students are doing placements but excludes the in-reach services workforce, who are not employed or engaged by the facility but are requested by a resident to provide services to that resident.
The Directions require the operator of a residential aged care facility (RACF) and in-home and community aged care services to, as soon as is practicable, notify each person, to whom the direction applies, of the obligation to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by the outlined deadlines.
The RACF or the provider of in-home and community aged care service must keep records of all persons vaccinated and those who are exempt. The provider must make available these records to authorised officers upon request.
Vaccination FAQs for residential,
in-home and community aged care workers
The Public Health Directions Vaccination requirements for certain workers and Additional vaccination requirement for workers in certain settings require all staff who work in aged care settings to be vaccinated against COVID‑19.
The Tasmanian Government has agreed to align with national cabinet and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) recommendations for mandatory vaccination of workers who provide care to vulnerable people to protect both workers and the people they look after.
- If you are eligible for a booster dose before 26 March, you need to have your booster dose by 23 April.
- If you are eligible after 26 March, you need to get booster dose within 4 weeks of becoming eligible.
- You need to provide evidence of your vaccination status or medical exemption to your supervisor by 23 April 2022.