The COVID-19 vaccination rollout to people with disability is progressing. Resources are available to help you to support them to understand the vaccination process and to provide informed consent.
- The Australian Government Department of Health (Department of Health) has issued a new Disability Provider Alert about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
- NDIS participants must provide informed consent (or be supported to provide informed consent) for any medical treatments or procedures, including the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Talk to the people with disability you support and their support networks – family, guardians and carers – about the vaccination process using factual and unbiased information.
- If you are unsure whether someone you support can have the vaccine, encourage them to talk to their GP early.
Department of Health provider alert (2 June 2021)
The Department of Health has issued a COVID-19 vaccination – Disability Provider Alert 2 June 2021.
The alert contains updated information about the continued rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine, including:
- response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria, with workers in residential disability prioritised at walk-in vaccination hubs around Victoria until Sunday 6 June
- information about how disability workers and carers can get the vaccine.
You can find this and other provider alerts issued by the Department of Health about the COVID-19 vaccination rollout on the Department of Health website.
You can find resources and information about the COVID-19 vaccine rollout from the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 vaccine webpages for disability service providers and people with disability. They have now created a dedicated vaccine information webpage for disability support workers.
Consent: Supporting NDIS participants
NDIS participants must provide informed consent for any medical treatments or procedures, including the COVID-19 vaccine.
It is important that they are ready to make an informed decision when they receive the vaccine.
To support you to get informed consent, a COVID-19 vaccination consent form has been developed by the Department of Health.
If you have already obtained consent from the participant using the Commonwealth COVID-19 vaccination consent form and they are scheduled to receive the Pfizer vaccine, then no further work is required. If the participant is scheduled to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine and consent was obtained before the recommendation that AstraZeneca is the preferred vaccine for people aged 50 and over, you will need to obtain new consent.
Our fact sheet called ‘COVID-19 Vaccines: Informed consent, preparing for the vaccine, and restrictive practices’ explains registered NDIS providers’ obligations when supporting people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. In particular, it explains why informed consent is important, and the processes you should have in place to facilitate informed consent from participants receiving the vaccine.
Additionally, the Department of Health has developed fact sheets, guides and posters to help you and the people you support to understand the vaccination process and prepare for it. It also includes a COVID-19 vaccination consent form.
An Easy Read resource on consent is also available.
We encourage you to review these resources and discuss consent with NDIS participants or their substitute decision makers.
Communicating with NDIS participants about the COVID-19 vaccines
We strongly recommend that you start and continue talking about the COVID-19 vaccination program to the people with disability you support, as well as their families, guardians, carers and workers.
Remember that, as a registered NDIS provider, you and your workers have obligations under the NDIS Code of Conduct and the NDIS Practice Standards, as well as your conditions of registration, to deliver safe, quality supports and services, and manage risks associated with the supports you provide to NDIS participants.
This extends to ensuring discussions you and your workers have with the people with disability you support is based on accurate, factual and unbiased information about the vaccines. Refrain from sharing your personal views, or the views of others, as this may unintentionally increase the person’s anxieties about the vaccine, or may influence whether or not they choose to receive it.
To assist with these discussions, the Department of Health has published a webpage for people with disability. It contains important information about COVID-19 vaccines and the vaccination rollout. A range of Easy Read and Auslan resources about COVID-19 vaccines is also available.
NDIS Commission COVID-19 information and resources
NDIS participants can also obtain information from the dedicated COVID-19 webpage for participants, which has been published by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).
Call: 1800 035 544 (free call from landlines). The contact centre is open 9.00am to 5.00pm (9.00am to 4.30pm in the NT) Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.