19April2024

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COVID Vaccine Update

The Australian Government’s national COVID-19 vaccination rollout is underway, and we are pleased to confirm that CFA and SES volunteers are eligible for access to vaccination under phase 1B of the program that has commenced.

1B vaccinations are being made available to specific groups of people based on recommendations by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.

Eligibility

People eligible for vaccination under Phase 1b are:

Elderly people aged 70 and over
Healthcare workers currently employed and not included in Phase 1a
Household contacts of quarantine and border workers
Critical and high risk workers who are currently employed
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 55 years and over
Adults with an underlying medical condition or significant disability

CFA and SES volunteers are covered under the Critical and High Risk Workers category, and Fire and State Emergency Services (including volunteers) are specifically referenced.

CFA Guidance

Vaccinations under the 1B phase for emergency management personnel are limited due to supply and are being coordinated at a State level. Vaccinations are only available by appointment only, and you will need to confirm your eligibility when making an appointment.

The COVID-19 vaccine is not compulsory for members of CFA, or FRV staff seconded to CFA, and CFA will not have access to any information about who has or hasn’t received the vaccine.

The CFA Chief Officer has released a guidance note to guide members to help make an informed decision about preferred priority order, noting that vaccination is not mandatory.

Tier 1
EMR (Emergency Medical Response) and RAR (Road Accident Rescue) trained volunteers

Tier 2
All operational volunteers from Class 4 and 5 brigades (brigades with higher turnouts and located in higher density areas)
All Level 3 endorsed IMT personnel
Roles critical to business continuity

Tier 3
All remaining operational volunteers
All non-operational volunteers
All remaining staff

 

Process for Accessing

The Victorian Department of Health has established two high-volume vaccination centres for workers currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination.

The two sites are located at:

• Melbourne Exhibition & Convention Centre, 1 Convention Centre Pl, South Wharf VIC 3006. 8:30 am – 4 pm, 7 days Monday – Sunday
• Royal Exhibition Building 9 Nicholson St, Carlton VIC 3053. 8:30 am – 4 pm, 6 days Monday – Saturday

Members can book their vaccination by calling the vaccine booking hotline on 1800 675 398 (dial 3, 2, 2).

Members who live in areas where 1B vaccines are being offered through their local GP or a regional health hub can also book their appointment independently if they wish. 

It should be noted that the Australian Government is currently reviewing the COVID-19 vaccination program rollout as a result of advice around the AstraZeneca vaccine, so members under the age of 50 may be advised by their GP or vaccination centre that they cannot at this stage recieve the vacdcine until alternate stock can be delivered.

In accessing the vaccine, brigades and teams should consider the impact on their operational and business capacity, ensuring multiple members aren’t vaccinated at the same time.

There is potential for people to experience side effects including mild cold symptoms after receiving the vaccine, which may impact their ability to attend work or respond to incidents.

We encourage you to have these discussions with your teams as appropriate, including consideration of the priority in which they should receive the vaccine.

CFA District ACFOs are the point of contact for any brigade with operational response considerations during the vaccination program. 

 


 Full details on the Phase 1B program can be found here: COVID-19 vaccination program Phase 1b | Australian Government Department of Health

We also remind members that phases 2A and 2B which covers the balance of the adult population are projected to commence later this year from as early as May/June and ramping up significantly during Q3 of this year, so we urge members to review the CFA Chief Officer’s advice when conducting your own self-assessment on access.

 

Read 5854 times Last modified on Tuesday, 13 April 2021 15:04
CFA Volunteers are the unpaid professionals of our Emergency Services. VFBV is their united voice, and speaks on behalf of Victoria's 60,000 CFA Volunteers.

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