COVID-19 booster shot information for residents of aged care facilities

Belvedere residents who received their second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in May 2021 are now eligible for their COVID-19 booster shot. Our first round of booster doses was administered to consenting residents on Thursday 2nd December. New residents or residents yet to receive their booster shots will be supported within our ongoing vaccination program.

The Australian Department of Health has provided additional information via a factsheet that informs residents, their loved ones and decision-makers who act on their behalf further information about the booster program. Excerpts of this factsheet are detailed below.

Please visit the Department of Health website for further information or speak with our Director of Nursing about how we support and prioritise our residents’ vaccinations needs.

When are you eligible to receive your booster vaccination

On 12 December 2021, the Government accepted ATAGI’s recommendation to reduce the interval between a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and a booster dose from six months to five months. Residents in aged care facilities who received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine at least five months ago are now eligible for a booster dose.

These residents will be offered a COVID-19 booster dose through Commonwealth in-reach clinics, like those that delivered the initial first and second dose clinics at your facility earlier this year.

Workers will also be offered a booster dose at the in-reach clinics if at least five months have passed since they received their second dose.

Your facility will notify you when the COVID-19 vaccine booster clinic is scheduled.

If you received your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccination less than five months ago, you will not be due for your booster yet. However, your facility will ensure you can receive a booster vaccination when at least five months has passed since you had your second dose.

If you have only received your first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, you can receive your second dose of a Pfizer COVId-19 vaccine at the facility’s booster clinic. Your facility will arrange for you to receive your booster dose within the recommended interval (at least five months) from a visiting GP or pharmacist.

If you have not yet been vaccinated, you can receive your first dose of a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the facility’s booster clinic. Your facility will arrange for you to receive your second dose and booster dose within the recommended intervals from a visiting GP or pharmacist.

Providing consent

All residents in aged care must provide valid consent before receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, including for a booster vaccine.

Your facility is responsible for obtaining your consent to vaccination.

Facilities will support residents to consent to a booster vaccination and they will make residents’ consent forms available to the Commonwealth vaccine provider on the day of clinic.

Aged care providers keep a record of residents’ consent to share with those who administer the vaccine for recording on the Australian Immunisation Register. 

Consent by a guardian or substitute decision-maker

In some cases, a guardian or substitute decision-maker will be responsible for consenting to vaccination on behalf of a resident in aged care.

Some jurisdictions have specific requirements relevant to guardians or substitute decision makes who are consenting on behalf of another person.

If consenting to COVID-19 vaccination on behalf of a resident living in an aged care facility, please refer to the enduring guardianship legislation in your state or territory.

Is a booster dose the same as a third dose, and should I get a booster if I’ve already had a third dose?

A booster vaccination is different to a third dose. ATAGI has recommended only people who are severely immunocompromised should receive a third dose as part of their primary course.

ATAGI has not yet issued advice on whether people who require a third dose will need a booster.

Safety of COVID-19 booster dose

Common, mild side effects following a booster dose may be like those some people may have experienced after their previous COVID-19 vaccinations. These include a headache or mild fever and generally do not last more than 24 hours.

If you have any concerns, please speak with your GP or other allied health professional.

Where can I get information to help me decide about getting a COVID-19 booster vaccination?

For more information visit the Department of Health website page for residents in aged care.

Information current as of 13 December 2021

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