Department of Human Services

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Thursday 27 January 2022

This is an archived Newsletter. The information may be outdated.

For the latest COVID-19 information, please refer to the SA Government COVID-19 website.

Dear sector colleagues,

Further to our update on Monday, please see the latest COVID-19 information below.

NDIS participants can use plan funds to claim for rapid antigen tests

The Commonwealth Government has announced that eligible NDIS participants can purchase RATs with funding from their NDIS plan, to ensure safe access to their supports in current COVID-19 outbreaks.

Information about how to claim RATs (NDIS website).

Disability in-reach booster program

Disability service providers that received in-reach support for primary course doses of a COVID-19 vaccination are eligible for the booster in-reach program and will be contacted directly by a Commonwealth vaccination provider to organise booster doses. Providers should respond to vaccination providers promptly when contacted to agree a date for the booster dose clinic or to advise if an alternative arrangement has been made.

If appropriate, alternative arrangements are available sooner, providers should also consider these options rather than waiting for a Commonwealth vaccination provider to schedule an in-reach clinic.

Providers will need to obtain new consent from residents and support workers participating in the booster in-reach program.

Disability support workers in your organisation will also be able to receive their booster dose in the same visit. This will need to be discussed with the Commonwealth vaccination provider at the time of scheduling the clinic.

Providers are strongly encouraged to engage with the booster in-reach rollout program and take the necessary steps to prepare. Providers are strongly encouraged to book a date with vaccination providers for an in-reach clinic as soon as possible. Acknowledging some preparation work may be needed, providers are encouraged to still book a date while allowing for time for the preparation work to be completed.

We also recognise that some providers and residents may have made alternative arrangements to access boosters through other locally available channels. Providers are encouraged to take all necessary steps to ensure residents are supported to access a COVID-19 booster vaccine through the in-reach program or alternate pathways.

If providers received primary course doses through another channel but require in-reach for the booster or any remaining initial doses, request support by:

  1. Emailing DisabilityCovidVaccineDelivery@health.gov.au
  2. Include the subject line: 'Request for in-reach vaccination for disability residential setting'
  3. Provide details for a nominated contact point at the residential care setting for Health to contact.

Vaccine mandate directions relating to booster vaccination timings

DHS has sought clarification from SA Health regarding vaccine mandate directions as they relate to timing of boosters, given the large number of staff who have recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Currently, under the directions, staff are required to have either had a booster or show evidence of having a booking to receive a booster within four weeks of becoming eligible in accordance with ATAGI guidelines (currently three months) – meaning that this must be done by 29 January 2022.

We have been advised that this matter is still being considered, and SA Health is therefore unable to provide definitive advice on when staff should have their booster. As the current mandate requires staff to have either had a booster or a booking for a booster by 29 January 2022, the advice is that staff who have recently tested positive for COVID-19, and who have recovered, should book a booster in line with the mandate pending further advice. Once we have clear advice we shall advise you of the options the staff have.

We will continue to update you on COVID-19 information as it comes to hand.

Ngaityalya (Kaurna, thank you)

Joe Young
Executive Director Disability

Read the NGO Newsletter online - 27 January 2022

Page last updated : 27 Jan 2022

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