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COVID vaccine: government releases training, reveals proof of vaccination certificates

The government has announced the release of training modules for staff who will administer the COVID-19 vaccines to the Australian public.

Developed in partnership with the Australian College of Nursing, the free training covers multi-dose vials, handling and storage of vaccines, safety and surveillance monitoring, and reporting for adverse events following immunisation.

At a doorstop interview yesterday, the chief nursing and midwifery officer, Professor Alison McMillan, said: “As a health professional, we live a life of learning. We continuously have to update ourselves on whatever information is important to protecting all Australians.

“The training will continue to be updated as potentially more vaccines may be approved through the TGA, and that will remain contemporary information for all health professionals.”

The first modules cover the Pfizer vaccine, with training for the AstraZeneca vaccine to come online "shortly".

Government confirms vaccination certificates

The Federal Government has confirmed plans for Australians to have access to proof of vaccination through their devices.

Government Services Minister Stuart Robert said anyone who received a coronavirus vaccine would have it recorded on the Australian Immunisation Register, with the information available via the Express Plus Medicare app through myGov and on hard copy through the vaccination provider or Services Australia.

When asked on ABC Radio what impact the certificates would have across state borders or access to venues or facilities like hospitals and aged care homes, Robert said: “The states and territories are responsible for workplace laws, and of course, their public health orders make those determinations.

“You've got instances where you have to have a flu shot to work or visit some facilities. So, it's not without the realm of possibility, but of course, they're all matters for the states and territories.”

UK nurses waiting for a jab

Thousands of nurses in the UK are reporting that they are yet to receive the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, prompting its nursing union to question whether the country will be able to stick to its vaccination schedule.

The UK government promised to administer vaccines to 15 million people in four priority groups by mid-February.

The Guardian reported that a Royal College of Nursing (RCN) survey of 24,370 nurses found that 15 per cent remained unvaccinated.

RCN’s chief executive and general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said: “It is extremely worrying that, as our survey suggests, many thousands of nursing staff have yet to be given their COVID-19 vaccine less than a week before the government’s deadline.

“With only days to go, every effort must be made to reach all nursing staff to ensure their protection and that of the patients and vulnerable people they care for.”

But the government remained confident it was on track to deliver on the plan.

The survey also gave insight into the reasons nurses decided not to get a COVID-19 jab. The college said 902 (4 per cent) of respondents indicated they were declining the vaccine. Common reasons were concerns about safety or testing, fear of side effects and belief that it may not prove effective in the long term against all strains of the virus.

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