COVID-19 News

Letter to Residents, Families & Advocates - COVID-19 Vaccine Update
17 February, 2021

Dear valued Residents, Families and Advocates,

Update on Australia’s COVID-19 vaccines for residential aged care facilities

The COVID-19 vaccine is just one part of keeping our community safe and healthy. It is important for everyone to continue and maintain COVIDSafe practices such as hand hygiene, physical distancing and staying home if unwell, particularly in RACFs.

Residential aged care Residents and Workers will be among the first people who can choose to receive the vaccine in the first roll-out phase (Phase 1a).
Aged Care Residents are some of the most vulnerable people in our community and we appeal to you to continue to keep our residents safe and healthy. The COVID-19 vaccination is voluntary, but strongly encouraged.

Vaccine safety and effectiveness

The Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) rigorous assessment process of potential COVID-19 vaccines will ensure approved vaccines are safe and effective. All vaccines are thoroughly tested for safety before they are approved for use in Australia. This includes careful analysis of clinical trial data, ingredients, chemistry, manufacturing and other factors.

The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been provisionally approved by the TGA for people 16 years and older. The approval is subject to strict conditions, and Pfizer will be required to continue providing information to the TGA on the safety, efficacy and quality of the vaccine.

How the vaccine will be administered in the first phase

Administration of a COVID-19 vaccine to residential aged care workers and residents will be done by an in-reach Commonwealth vaccination workforce. This means an additional skilled vaccine workforce, separate to the RACF workers, will work in partnership with facilities and be trained to visit RACFs and administer the vaccine to workers and residents.

Consent requirements

The first phase of the vaccine roll-out (Phase 1a) for RACF residents and workers, is planned to commence from Monday 22 February 2021. In preparation for this, together with Families, Advocates and GPs, we will support Residents who choose to have the vaccine with obtaining their consent and registering them for Phase 1a of the roll out. We have included the Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine consent form with this letter for your consideration.

The Department of Health will continue to provide updates however you can find further information on the Tasmanian Government Coronavirus website and the Department of Health’s COVID-19 vaccines website or call the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738.

In the meantime, if there is anything more we can do to support you and your loved one, please reach out to one of our team members or your Facility Manager.

Look after yourself and stay safe.

Yours sincerely,

Khan Richardson
Acting Chief Executive Officer
Masonic Care Tasmania

on behalf of
Jackie Howard
Chief Executive Officer
Masonic Care Tasmania

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