The National Boards and Ahpra have published a joint statement to help registered health practitioners understand what is expected of them in giving, receiving and advising on and sharing information about COVID-19 vaccination.
Registered health practitioners have led the remarkable public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, and the joint statement commends this sustained public health response. As the national vaccination program gets underway, registered health practitioners and students remain critical to this success by:
being vaccinated against COVID-19 unless medically contraindicated
being appropriately qualified and trained to administer COVID-19 vaccinations if authorised, and
providing accurate information and advice about COVID-19 vaccination including in social media and advertising.
The codes of conduct for each of the registered health professions explain the public health obligations of registered health practitioners, including participating in efforts to promote the health of the community and meeting obligations on disease prevention. There is no place for anti-vaccination messages in professional health practice, and any promotion of anti-vaccination claims, including on social media and in advertising, may result in regulatory action. See the National Boards’ Social media guidance and Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service for more information.
As part of the national vaccination program, practitioners authorised to administer COVID-19 vaccinations must complete specific COVID-19 vaccination training, as required by Australian, state and territory governments. Training in the handling and administration of COVID-19 vaccinations protects the public by supporting the vaccination program to be rolled out safely.
All practitioners, including students on placement, must comply with local employer, health service or health department policies, procedures and guidelines on COVID-19 vaccinations.