Phase 1B for General Practice
Phase 1b COVID-19 Vaccine roll out is starting in March 2021.
The right preparation and training is essential to ensure accredited general practices have everything in place to efficiently manage patients and vaccines within their local area.
Expand each section below for further information
All COVID-19 vaccine rollout practices who were successful through the EOI process are Accredited Practices. Accredited General Practices play a critical role in delivering a successful vaccination program to their local community. COVID-19 Vaccine Administration focus areas in Accreditation standards include the following:
1.0 Physical Environment
2.0 Physical Location
4.0 Workforce Requirements
5.0 Cold Chain Management
6.0 Technology and Record Keeping
7.0 Waste Disposal
8.0 Personal Protective and Other Equipment
9.0 Accreditation and Other Regulatory Requirements
10.0 Accessibility and Cultural Safety
11.0 Management of the Clinic
12.0 Vaccine Administration Equipment Requirements for Each Patient Vaccination - the Commonwealth will provide majority of consumables required for the vaccine
Practice Support & Improvement Team are here to support you with your accreditation standards during COVID-19.
Useful resources and links:
Phase 1b COVID-19 vaccinations will be for the following people:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people 55 years and over. Self-identification should be accepted. No further documentation such as Proof of Aboriginality will be required to receive the COVID Vaccine.
- Elderly adults aged 80 years and over
- Elderly adults aged 70-79 years
- Other health care workers excluded from Phase 1a roll out
- Adults with an underlying medical condition, including those with a disability. People will need to provide proof of these conditions to demonstrate their eligibility for vaccination via My Health Record, a health professional referral if required or a declaration form.
- Critical and high-risk workers including police, fire, emergency services and meat processing. Workers will need to provide proof of occupation to demonstrate their eligibility.
Visit the Healthdirect Website for further eligibility information
It’s important to recognise that differences in physical infrastructure (including vaccine storage capacity), workforce, patient population and usual service commitments mean there will be substantial variation in vaccine delivery capacity between general practices.
Practices will need to account for their local context and develop models of vaccine delivery that are most suitable to their setting.
Models will need to take into account the anticipated increased clinical load.
- Refer to the EOI or RFI checklist
- Have you assessed space availability?
- Think about clinic workflow and standardise accordingly
- Have you discussed with all staff workforce and capacity?
- Ensure any extra and all ancillary staff are trained
Standard Operating Procedure for administration of COVID-19 vaccines in NSW clinics
Patient Readiness and Support
Each general practice will be responsible for ensuring qualified patients are correctly identified and that appropriate communications and a booking system is in place to manage appointments (booking of two appointments during initial request).
We also encourage all vaccinating clinics to update their patients’ Shared Health Summary in My Health Record as a form of communication to their regular GP
Online Booking Platforms
Online booking platforms are designed to support general practices and patients in managing COVID-19 vaccinations. Many well recognised online booking platforms have already introduced rapid functionality to assist with vaccine management. These include:
- Patient eligibility screening
- Multiple provider bookings
- Multiple patient bookings for one timeslot
- Digital consent forms
- AIR Integration
- Inventory management
- Directory of COVID-19 Vaccination Centres
- Pre and post-appointment communications
- Additional training materials and patient information
MBS Billing Items
16 new MBS items will be available from March 2021 to eligible GPs. Services rendered under the COVID-19 vaccine suitability assessment items will only attract a Medicare rebate where the service is billed in the name of the supervising GP, who must be present at the location at which the vaccine is undertaken and must accept full responsibility for service.
MBS COVID-19 Vaccine Suitability Assessment Service factsheet
This factsheet also contains reference to all new 16 MBS Item Numbers
Pay particular attention to the MBS Item numbers that correspond to your Modified Monash Area of operation. Visit the Modified Monash Model [link: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/modified-monash-model-mmm-suburb-and-locality-classification-home-care-subsidy] website to determine your number. All general practices in the Western NSW area fall within the 2-7 MMM range.
PRODA Accounts and Delegation
Practitioners need their own individual PRODA accounts and arrange delegation so that another individual may act on their behalf (e.g. practice nurse). Accessing a GP’s PRODA account without proper delegation is in breach of privacy legislation. Delegation only lasts for 12 months, so it’s essential GP’s log into their PRODA and HPOS accounts to check on delegation status. AIR can be accessed via HPOS and also the patient’s My Health Record.
PRODA Delegation and AIR Access guide
Cold Chain Management
- Astra Zeneca vaccine cold chain required: +2oC to +8oC
- May be stored for up to 6 months. Refer to ‘Strive for 5’ Guidelines
- Acceptance of all COVID-19 vaccines must be reported on an acceptance form. The Astra Zeneca acceptance form must be submitted as soon as possible after vaccine delivery and before 9pm local time on the day of delivery.
- The link to NSW Health cold chain module e-learning can be located on our website.
- Cold chain breaches must be reported to the National Vaccine Operation Centre (VOC) on 1800 318 208
- All clinical concerns should still be directed to local public health unit (PHU). National Immunisation Program CCM breach report to PHU: 1300 066 055
- An Australian Government Vaccine Stock Management Form must be submitted by 9.00pm each day; while any COVID-19 vaccine is stored.
- Cold chain breach – return to +2°C and +8°C, isolate, label ‘Do not use’ until further advice is received from the Department of Health.
- Do not discard vaccines unless instructed by Vaccine Operation Centre: 1800 318 208
- The Australian Government Vaccine Wastage Report must be completed where a wastage has occured that exceeds the threshold of 5 or more vials in one incident.
- All other wastage must be reported on the daily stock management form.
- More wastage is likely to occur when using MDVs - opened vials expire quickly - remaining doses must be discarded once expired.
Adverse Effects Following Immunisation (AEFI)
- TGA works with NSW Health, PHU and with NCIRS & AUSVAX Safety
- Non-serious / expected AEFI – if known to be associated with Astra Zeneca and do not pose a potential risk to patient; do not need to be reported to Public Health Unit for example low grade fever or injection site pain – unless worsening
- Serious / Unexpected AEFI – including severity or duration: report to PHU
- 1300 066 055 (BH) or via email: MOH Covid AEFI form.
- Mandated by Public Health Act to report uncommon, unexpected, serious or significant AEFI
- For AEFI investigation or management advice: NSW Immunisation Specialist Service (NSWISS) T: 1800 679 477 (BH) or Westmead Hospital T: 02 9845 000 (AH)
- Patients wishing to self-report their concern for non-serious AEFI may do so through AUSVAX Safety (if practice participates) or TGA
- Practices participating in NCIRS AusVaxSafety National vaccination surveillance system – patient receives automated text message (brief survey) through SmartVax or VaxTracker following vaccination to monitor AEFI
- General Practices can get involved in the COVID-19 vaccine safety surveillance by installing the SmartVax software program – free for many practices. Sign up through SmartVax at: https://www.smartvax.com.au/information-for-health-professionals/
All practices enrolled in PIP will automatically qualify for the COVID-19 Vaccine Incentive payment without further application with Services Australia. As per other PIP payments, this will be paid quarterly.
All QI PIP Registered Practices submitting data to the PHN have access to free Pen CS products. Our Practice Support & Improvement Team are available for further on-site training and education to staff for support with changes for COVID-19 vaccines and using Pen CS
Pen CS resources for COVID-19 for General Practice:
COVID-19 CATPlus Recipe Booklet
COVID-19 General Practice Pen CS Support
Note: WNSW PHN is monitoring the COVID-19 situation daily and update and develop our pathways and links accordingly.
If you identify any errors or inconsistencies or are aware of any new or emerging critical changes that are relevant, please email the Media & Communications Coordinator.