Immunisation for Health Care Workers and Quarantine Workers Policy
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Health care workers (HCWs) have an increased risk of acquiring some vaccine preventable diseases and of transmitting these diseases to other health care workers, other employees, patients, family members and visitors in SA Health services. SA Health has a duty of care and a responsibility under the Work Health and Safety Act (SA) 2012 to minimise the transmission of vaccine preventable diseases in the workplace.
The Immunisation for Health Care Workers and Quarantine Workers in South Australia Policy Directive (PDF 401KB) applies to all health care workers in SA Health services who have direct or indirect contact with patients, or contact with blood or other body substances from patients, in a health care or laboratory setting as a result of their workplace or study activities. While the risk relates to work tasks, examples of roles include:
The Immunisation for Health Care Workers and Quarantine Workers in South Australia Policy Directive (PDF 401KB) (approved 18 February 2021) does not mandate vaccines against COVID-19 for those covered by the scope of the Policy, but strongly recommends health care workers be vaccinated against COVID-19 infection. This Policy is currently undergoing review prior to a period of consultation with key stakeholders.
On 26th July 2021 the Emergency Management (Supervised Quarantine, No.10 (COVID-19) Directive 2021 was issued under section 25 of the Emergency Management Act 2004 with an effective date of 4 August 2021. This Direction places COVID-19 vaccination requirements on health care workers (and other workers) in specified settings. Health care workers in these settings must not engage in the specified work unless they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with a TGA approved vaccine.
The Immunisation for Health Care Workers and Quarantine Workers Policy remains operational for SA Health workers as defined in this Policy. However, where a health care worker works in settings described in the Emergency Management (Supervised Quarantine, No.10 (COVID-19) Directive 2021 (or subsequently updated versions of this Direction) the health care worker must comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements in this Direction; date of Statement: 4 August 2021.
Please note: The Emergency Management (Supervised Quarantine No.10) Directive (or any subsequent update version of this Direction) overrides this policy document to the extent of any inconsistency whilst the Direction remains in force.
The Immunisation for Health Care Workers and Quarantine Workers in South Australia Policy Directive (PDF 401KB) defines the minimum standards, including documented evidence of immune status to selected vaccine preventable diseases.
SA Health services are required to implement these standards in the workplace to minimise the transmission of vaccine preventable diseases.
The Policy Directive requires all HCWs to know their immune status for selected vaccine preventable diseases. Documented evidence of immune status is required for some of the diseases covered by the Policy Directive.
All prospective employees applying for roles within SA Health are required to provide confirmation of immune status. Those who refuse to participate in screening and/or vaccination, or fail to provide confirmation of immune status, and whose prospective work activities are assessed as Category A or Category B, will not be considered for employment.
Current SA Health employees, who are seeking a new position within SA Health, are expected to be compliant with the immunisation requirements for that new position.
The Job Pack PDF available for the role you are applying for will detail whether the role is determined as requiring Category A or Category B immune status. Information about such requirements can be found within the Immunisation for Health Care Workers and Quarantine Workers in South Australia Policy Directive (PDF 401KB) and the frequently asked questions (PDF 301KB).
You will be required to submit the Prospective SA Health employees (Pre-employment) -HCW Immunisation Screening Form and Certificate of Compliance (PDF 500KB). You will have the opportunity to upload this information within the application form, or if you are short-listed for an interview you may submit the documents at the time of the interview.
The Immunisation Screening Form indicates whether documentation is required or not, and if required, the acceptable evidence of immunity for each vaccine preventable disease which may be:
Prospective employees currently working within SA Health are able to provide a copy of their HR21 Health Assessment record.
Prospective employees applying for roles within Category A or Category B who are unable to be vaccinated due to temporary or permanent medical contraindications to vaccination (as defined in the Australian Immunisation Handbook must provide documented evidence of their contraindications to the relevant Hiring Manager. Please confer with your treating practitioner to obtain this evidence.
You are encouraged to read and understand the Policy Directive to ensure you are aware of your requirements prior to applying.
The Policy Guideline outlines the responsibilities of all:
The Immunisation for Health Care Workers and Quarantine Workers in South Australia Policy Directive (PDF 401KB) is supported by the following model documents. These can be adapted by education providers and Local Health Networks in implementing the policy:
Frequently asked questions (PDF 295KB) regarding the Policy Directive