Immunisation - RACFs


RACF testing guidelines

Protocol for RAT and PCR testing in residential aged care

Bulk distribution of RATs to exposure/outbreak RACFs

A bulk dispatch of RATs is underway for all residential aged care facilities with an active COVID-19 outbreak or exposure. Deliveries are expected to occur over the period from 19 January to 27 January 2022. The majority of kits being distributed are CTK Biotech On-Site Self-Tests Other RAT brands may also be distributed.

RAT allocations are based on your My Aged Care Portal reported staff and resident figures and assume daily testing for staff and twice weekly testing for residents. Tests can also be used for partners in care and regular visitors where needed.

If you have reported an outbreak or exposure to the Department of Health on or after 16 January please complete the outbreak or exposure online form to request RATs and personal protective equipment (PPE)

PPE ordering

The National Medical Stockpile is prioritising the immediate distribution of PPE to residential aged care facilities that currently have a COVID-19 outbreak or exposure. Providers should contact their usual suppliers in the first instance, rather than make a request through the National Medical Stockpile (NMS), if the need for PPE supplies is not urgent or critical.

Place orders at least 5 working days ahead of that date that you will require the additional PPE or RATs.

To place your order, please complete the online form. Orders placed through the online form can be processed more quickly. Please do not submit orders via email to your Commonwealth Case Manager.

Reimbursement of PPE and RAT costs

The COVID-19 Aged Care Support Program Extension Grant (Grant Opportunity – GO4863) reimburses providers for additional eligible costs including:

  • increased staffing costs in a facility with residents/clients who are infected or isolated due to COVID-19
  • increased costs to replace existing staff who are infected or isolated due to COVID-19
  • the purchase of additional PPE and RATs
  • the purchase of additional products and services to manage cleaning and infection control, equipment and resources, waste removal costs.
COVID-19 booster dose in RACF

From 8 November 2021, the Australian Government will roll out a national COVID-19 vaccine booster program for residential aged care.

Facilities can choose to:

  • request a GP to conduct an on-site booster clinic
  • use their own qualified nursing staff, or a third party, to self-manage an onsite booster clinic
  • accept the offer from the Australian Government to deliver an in-reach booster clinic. 

Resources are available on the Department of Health website to help plan and prepare for COVID-19 booster clinics

Residential aged care facilities are responsible for:

  • preparing your facility and residents for vaccination clinics
  • obtaining and recording residents' consent
  • monitoring and reporting adverse side effects
  • providing information to your residents and workers.

Pharmacists administering COVID vaccine boosters in RACF

From 8 November 2021 until 30 June 2022, community pharmacies can claim two types of vaccination incentive payments as follows:

  • A Site Visit payment (flag fall) of $57.25 for pharmacies who visit vulnerable patients and workers to administer COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • A Residential Care Incentive payment to vaccinate workers and residents at residential aged care and residential disability care facilities. Pharmacies that provide a vaccination to 50 eligible workers (across any number of facilities) will receive a $1,000 payment
Proof of vaccination

Residential aged care workers should provide evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination status to their employer before 17 September 2021.

This fact sheet: How residential aged care workers can prove your COVID-19 vaccination status to your employer  is available to explain how workers can obtain their Immunisation History Statement or COVID-19 digital certificate as proof of their vaccination.

If a worker urgently needs help getting proof of their COVID-19 vaccinations prior to 17 September, they can contact the AIR on 1800 653 809 – even if it’s within 10 days of them receiving their vaccination. Services Australia will work with the vaccination provider to confirm the individual’s vaccination details and manually update their immunisation history statement.

Exemptions to mandatory vaccination

FAQs: exemptions to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination in aged care

Factsheet for residential aged care providers on reporting COVID-19 vaccinations and exemptions

Aged care and disability COVID-19 vaccination clinics

There are now COVID-19 vaccination clinics distributing Pfizer vaccination to aged care and disability. 

Book both your second and first dose appointments at: or alternatively scan below QR code. 

For more information contact: HealthCare Australia, 1300 542 444.

QR code to access booking link for aged care and disability COVID-19 vaccination hubs

Rapid antigen testing kits

The Government is making rapid antigen testing (RAT) kits available from the National Medical Stockpile to aged care providers operating in  high-risk local government areas (LGA) in Greater Sydney and Western NSW.

Authority to store COVID vaccine in NSW RACFs

The amended licence to on-supply the COVID-19 vaccine at will allow a general practitioner (GP), in a GP clinic engaged in the Commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination program, to supply their stock of COVID-19 vaccine to the responsible person in a residential care facility for storage and use in vaccination of residents. 

Incentive payments for in-reach clinics

Incentive payments of $1,000 are now available for administering in-reach COVID-19 vaccination clinics to residential aged care and disability support workers.Only practices participating in the Practice Incentives Program (PIP) or which operate as a CVC are eligible to participate

Mandatory reporting COVID-19 vaccination status - Aged care residents & workforce 

From 15 June 2021, it is a formal requirement for residential aged care providers to report weekly on the COVID-19 vaccination status of workforce through the online My Aged Care provider portal. See key information and guidance collection 

From 27 July 2021, it will become a formal requirement for residential aged care providers to report weekly on the COVID-19 vaccination status of residents through the online My Aged Care provider portal

New Residents

New resident entrance protocol flow chart outlines the process for residential aged care providers to check whether new residents have been vaccinated for COVID-19.

What to do if you have a confirmed COVID case

Residential Aged Care Facility
If you have a confirmed case in your facility please visit the DOH website for information and resources to assist in preparing and managing a COVID-19 outbreak, including what to do in the first 24 hours of an outbreak in a residential aged care facility.

The first 24 hours in the management of a confirmed COVID-19 case in a residential aged care facility (RACF) is critical to minimise the spread of the virus. Following the identification of a COVID-19 positive case in either a resident or a staff member RACFs should follow the steps in the checklist in conjunction with your COVID Outbreak Management Plan to minimise the spread of the virus

Who to notify if you have a confirmed case

You must contact your public health unit immediately to report positive COVID-19 cases in either staff members or care recipients.

  • NSW - 1300 066 055

All aged care providers should also immediately notify positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test results by email to the Australian Department of Health:

Ordering vaccines

How to order vaccines

How to set up a new Vaccine Account Number (VAN):

Vaccine storage

Minimum requirements 

Influenza vaccine 
 CESPHN communications
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