Specific guidance available for ECEC employers about vaccination of employees

Specific guidance available for ECEC employers about vaccination of employees

by Freya Lucas

April 24, 2020

Specific guidance is available for early childhood education and care (ECEC) employers in relation to how best to protect those in their employ from vaccine preventable illness. 

 

The Australian Government Department of Health guidelines note that “employers should take all reasonable steps to encourage non-immune workers to receive the recommended vaccines.”

 

Employers of workers, including those employed in the ECEC sector, who have “a significant occupational risk of acquiring a vaccine-preventable disease” should note the following points, the Department said, which relate to the implementation of a comprehensive occupational vaccination program: 

 

  • a vaccination policy
  • current staff vaccination records
  • information about relevant vaccine-preventable diseases
  • a policy for managing vaccine refusal 

 

The Department defined the following people as being covered in the “working in ECEC” definition: 

 

  • staff and students working in early childhood education and care
  • correctional staff working where infants and children live with mothers
  • school teachers (including student teachers)
  • outside-school-hours carers
  • child counselling services workers
  • youth services workers

 

Those who work directly with children, the Department said, should be up to date with the routinely recommended vaccines for adults, such as dT-containing and MMR vaccines. All people who work with children are recommended to receive vaccines against:

 

  • influenza
  • MMR (if non-immune — see Measles)
  • pertussis (dTpa)
  • varicella (if non-immune — see Varicella)

 

In addition to the vaccines for all people who work with children, hepatitis A vaccine is recommended for staff working in early childhood education and care.

 

An infographic about vaccination has been prepared by the Department, and further information is available here

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