Clarity provided around COVID-19 vaccinations for Victorian educators
As part of the phased COVID-19 vaccination roll out, more staff working in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccination rollout is occurring in phases determined by the Australian Government on advice from health experts.
The Victorian Department of Education has issued an email providing important information about the COVID-19 vaccine including eligibility requirements and how to access the vaccine. A template letter for staff, a template letter of eligibility and Department of Health invitation to receive vaccination were included in the message.
“The Department is continuing to follow the advice of the Chief Health Officer and the Department of Health to support ECEC services in implementing appropriate health and safety measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission,” the email read.
All Victorians aged 40 years and over are now eligible for vaccination. The Department of Education has been working closely with the Department of Health to clarify eligibility requirements for early childhood education and care (ECEC) staff aged under 40 years.
Currently, Victorian early childhood workers who are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine include:
- people who are 40 years and older
- staff in Phase 1b Priority Group 1, being:
- Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) registered nurses and allied health workers in clinical and non-clinical roles in early childhood services.
- staff in Phase 1b Priority Group 2 (caregivers’ provision):
- workers in early childhood education and care services, directly working with children (within 1.5 m of children for over 15 minutes) living with a specified underlying medical condition or significant disability requiring frequent assistance with activities of daily living.
- A significant disability in the context of vaccination of ‘carers’ in ECECs would include, for example, staff working directly with a child who is in receipt of either National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), or other targeted inclusion supports (for example the Kindergarten Inclusion Support Program (KIS) or Commonwealth Inclusion Support Program (ISP)). It may include staff working with a group of children where one child in the group was living with a specified medical condition or significant disability.
Prioritised access to vaccination for staff specified above is in recognition of the vulnerability of children living with specified medical conditions or significant disability to becoming very unwell if they become infected with the coronavirus.
People in later phases are not eligible for vaccination at this time. The Department will provide further information about vaccine eligibility for ECEC staff aged under 40 years not included in Phase 1b when it is available.
To learn more about the Australian Government’s vaccine rollout, and to check your eligibility, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Checker.
How to book an appointment
Those educators who are eligible can now book or change a vaccination appointment at a vaccination centre through the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 vaccine online booking system.
The booking system is free and easy to use to help educators to book a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre. Eligible people can use the booking system to schedule their COVID-19 vaccination.
The booking system works best with Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Internet Explorer is not supported. Those who have questions about a pre-existing medical condition and getting a COVID-19 vaccine have been recommended by the Department of Health to get a COVID-19 vaccine through their general practitioner (GP).
Many staff may also be receiving or planning to receive a flu vaccination this year, it is recommended to leave a period of 14 days between receiving the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccination planning can be discussed with the immunisation provider.
What to bring to a vaccine appointment
For information on what to bring to a vaccine appointment refer Before you get vaccinated for COVID-19.
Individuals seeking vaccination based on their occupation as part of Phase 1b priority groups 1 and 2 must provide evidence of their eligibility.
Eligible staff should bring to their appointment:
- a letter from their employer (ECEC Directors are encouraged to supply a template letter to relevant staff) confirming they are currently employed at your service, in a Phase 1B role) and Department of Health invitation to receive vaccination.
- evidence of AHPRA registration (for nurses or allied health workers in early childhood services).
For more information, refer to:
For further enquiries, contact:
- the Department of Health Coronavirus hotline: 1800 675 398
- the National coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline: 1800 020 080.