Thursday 7 April 2022
Dear sector colleagues,
Fourth booster COVID-19 vaccination
As advised in a previous update, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has recommended a fourth booster COVID-19 vaccination for people over the age of 65 who are immunocompromised, Indigenous Australians over the age of 50 and people living in aged and residential disability care to ensure they are kept safe and protected ahead of the winter virus season. The fourth booster shot (or winter dose) can be administered four months after your last vaccination (third shot) or last infection with COVID-19.
The roll-out of winter doses commenced this week in South Australia, along with the in-reach program in disability residential settings.
The National COVID Vaccine Taskforce has advised that the contact process for requesting in-reach services for the winter dose has been modified slightly.
The Commonwealth will continue to actively offer in-reach vaccinations to residential disability settings, including through GPs and pharmacies. In-reach clinics provided by the Commonwealth Vaccination Administration Provider Program providers continue to be available as a vaccination pathway where primary care channels, such as GPs and pharmacies, are not available.
Disability service providers may submit an expression of interest to the Department of Health for Commonwealth in-reach support, where this is still the most appropriate vaccination services. A link to the Expression of interest form can be found on the Department of Health website, along with further information on the winter dose, vaccination options and the in-reach program for people with disability.
Protocol to allow close contact disability support workers to return to work
In other news, the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer has updated the Protocol to allow close contact disability support workers to return to work in a high risk setting following quarantine or isolation (PDF 319 KB). The updates are in response to the recent change to the isolation period for people with COVID-19 from 10 to 7 days. Those who leave isolation after 7 days must not enter a high risk setting on days 8 to 10. To assist in managing the sector’s workforce, the updated Protocol provides for disability support workers, who no longer have symptoms, to return to work in a high risk setting from days 8 to 10, so long as they follow the requirements detailed in the Protocol.
The Protocol continues to also allow for close contacts to return to work in a high risk setting on days 8 to 14 after completing 7 days of quarantine.
Please note - this Protocol only applies to close contacts who are able to complete their quarantine away from the COVID-positive case. This means that household close contacts who are unable to quarantine away from the COVID-positive person in their home cannot return to work in a high risk setting until 7 days have elapsed since their last exposure date (or contact with the COVID positive case).
As we continue to live and work with COVID-19 in our community, you can keep on top of the latest SA Health advice for managing the virus.
Ngaityalya (Kaurna, thank you)