The Commonwealth Department of Health and the Western Australian Department of Health have advised that it will be mandatory for residential aged care workers to have a COVID-19 vaccination from 17 September 2021, this includes students undertaking work placements.
If you are undertaking an aged care work placement you must prepare now to receive a minimum first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 17 September.
If you have not received your first dose by 17 September 2021, you will be unable to attend an aged care placement arranged by South Metropolitan TAFE. This means you may not be able to complete some units of competency and you may not be able to complete your qualification.
Step 1 – Book your vaccine
Healthcare students preparing for work placement are eligible to access vaccinations under Phase 1b of the vaccination program. Go to VaccinateWA and complete the registration and consent process.
When you come to the eligibility questions you should choose the following:
Do you work in a critical or high risk industry > Yes
Priority population > Non-WA Health Healthcare Worker
Once you have chosen these options (and any other eligibility criteria that might apply to you) the system will advise you are eligible and will give you the option to book in for an appointment.
GP clinics are now providing some vaccines, and appointments for these can also be booked through the Commonwealth eligibility checker.
Step 2 – Monitor your email and BlackBoard for updates
We will keep you updated with any changes or advice via email, BlackBoard and/or teaching departments as soon as information becomes available.
Step 3 – Questions?
We know you may have questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at email@example.com
Your lecturers will also discuss this requirement with you in classes over the next couple of weeks.
Frequently asked questions
1. Where can I find a copy of the updated guidelines?
Updated guidelines can be found on the Commonwealth Department of Health website Mandatory Vaccination of Aged Care Workers and the wa.gov.au website.
2. What is the definition of a student on placement?
The definition of a student on placement is
“A person who is a student and is on a placement at a residential aged care facility as a formal part of their education.”
3. Are there other student groups for which vaccinations would be highly recommended but not mandatory? For example:
- Allied Health
- Hospital pharmacy
- Anaesthetic technology
- Health Service Assistant
- Dental Assisting
- Enrolled Nursing
- Community services – where placement is undertaken in aged/disability care.
The current guidelines apply to students on work placement in residential aged care facilities.
4. Would the academic staff who undertake supervision of students on work placements in aged care and health facilities also come into scope for mandatory vaccination?
At this stage, academic staff are not required to be vaccinated to supervise students on work placement in residential aged care facilities.
5. What are the reporting obligations to ensure compliance with the new requirements?
A student on a work placement at a residential aged care facility must produce evidence in the form approved by the Chief Health Officer that they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 if:
- directed to do so by an emergency officer; or
- required to do so by their employer or by the owner, occupier or person apparently in charge of a residential aged care facility.
6. Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to your lecturer.