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COVID-19 Vaccination Status Update

21 February 2022

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recently released a statement defining the “up-to-date” status for COVID-19 vaccination. Here is a summary of the changes and key recommendations for business owners to remain complaint.

The key changes are:

  • For individuals aged 16 years and over, an “up-to-date” status means two primary doses and a booster dose at a recommended interval of three months from the last primary dose. This is called the “due date”.
  • The term “up-to-date” replaces the term “fully vaccinated”.
  • Getting a booster more than six months after the last primary dose means that a person will be considered “overdue”.
  • Children under the age of 16 are still considered “up-to-date” following two vaccine doses. However, severely immune-compromised people aged five years and older will require a third primary dose to remain “up-to-date”.
  • The rationale behind the requirement of a booster shot is that the initial protection following the primary COVID-19 vaccination (usually two doses) is reduced, and increased waning is evident against the Omnicron variant. This warrants the inclusion of a booster dose to the “up-to date”-status.

Recommendations for business owners to remain compliant:

  • If you have a COVID policy in place, this is the time to review and update the terminology.
  • If you work in the Education, aged care, Health care, Transport and Quarantine industry where there is a requirement for team members to have an up-to-date vaccination status, you need to ensure the following:
    • Require employees to produce evidence of their vaccination booster for inspection.
    • Ensure you have a system to keep a record of employee vaccination status, in line with the direction set out in the relevant state or territory public health order and the Privacy Act.
    • Ensure you set up reminders to check booster vaccination status to ensure employees are not overdue.
    • As an employer, you must take all reasonable steps to ensure the vaccination requirements are complied with. Fines and penalties may apply to the employer for a breach in legislation. 

Please reach out to the Impact HR team if you need help or support in putting a vaccination process in place, or understanding how the current changes to the vaccination status impact you and your business.

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