Following discussions with the Federal Government’s COVID-19 Task Force we are able to provide advice for employers interested in hosting workplace-based vaccination programs.

The Vaccine Administration Partners Program will allow bulk workplace vaccinations similar to annual flu vaccinations, and assist in the effort to lift vaccination rates to allow the removal of economic and border restrictions.

In early to mid October, the Commonwealth will publish a list of providers approved to administer workplace vaccinations under the Program. Employers will then be able to contact a provider of their choice from the list and arrange a vaccination program either at the workplace or another convenient location.

At this stage, the program will only provide the Pfizer mRNA vaccine. Current health advice is to receive two doses of the same vaccine, so only unvaccinated people or those with one dose of Pfizer will have access. Your staff who have had one dose of Astra Zeneca will need to seek their second dose from other sources. Providers will be required to consult the Australian Immunisation Register before administering the vaccine and update the record immediately afterwards.

The basic cost of the vaccine will be met by the Commonwealth and must be free to those receiving it. Companies will be able to negotiate with providers to cover extra costs such as health staff travel to remote locations.

The program does not affect the legalities of mandating vaccines, which remain a case-by-case matter for each workplace with advice available through the Fair Work Ombudsman or through the Ai Group Workplace Advice Line (1300 556677) for member companies.

The Commonwealth has also announced an indemnity scheme that will provide compensation to any person who can prove they have suffered a loss over $5000 from adverse effects of a COVID vaccination since February 2021, including from a workplace-based COVID-19 vaccination program. However, providing indemnity is not the same as removing liability. Employers should be aware that employees may still be able to claim workers compensation for an adverse reaction to a vaccination in circumstances with sufficient connection to the workplace.

Ai Group will inform members when the list of providers is available


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