This article applies to those health service organisations that operate as vaccination providers.
Australian Immunisation Register Amendment (National Immunisation Program Vaccines) Rules 2021 (Cth)
On 1 July 2021, the Australian Immunisation Register Amendment (National Immunisation Program Vaccines) Rules 2021 (Cth) (the Amending Rules) amended the Australian Immunisation Register Rule 2015 (Cth) (the Rule).
Administration of National Immunisation Program vaccines to now be reported
Organisations that operate as recognised vaccination providers (being general practitioners, or an individual or body endorsed to administer vaccines in Australia (if the endorsement is for purposes that include the purposes of the Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) and is by the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory)), will be aware that they are currently required to report the administration of vaccinations for coronavirus known as COVID-19 and influenza to the AIR. In order to provide more accurate reporting (and to assist in a deeper understanding of any risks to public health due to vaccine preventable diseases), the Rule has been amended to now make it mandatory for all recognised vaccination providers to (from 1 July 2021), report the administration of National Immunisation Program (NIP) vaccines to the AIR.
More specifically, recognised vaccination providers who administer a specified NIP vaccine on or after 1 July 2021, are now required to report certain information to the AIR within (where it is reasonably practicable to do so) 24 hours after the relevant vaccination is administered, or otherwise, 10 business days after the relevant vaccination is administered. A specified NIP vaccine is a national immunisation program vaccine other than a vaccine for influenza or Q fever. (The most recent NIP Schedule is available at www.health.gov.au using the search term ‘National Immunisation Program’).
Recognised vaccination providers will be aware that currently (in relation to COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations), such vaccination providers are not required to report information to the AIR where they believe that such notification would put an individual’s health or safety at risk. We note that this existing exception also applies to the administration of specified NIP vaccines.
As is the case with the administration of COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations, we note that the information that must be provided by the recognised vaccination provider to the AIR in relation to the administration of a specified NIP vaccine is:
- the name, contact details, date of birth and gender of the individual to whom a relevant vaccination is administered;
- if that individual has a medicare number (within the meaning of Part VII of the National Health Act 1953 (Cth))—that number;
- if that individual has a healthcare identifier (within the meaning of the Healthcare Identifiers Act 2010 (Cth))—that identifier (if known);
- provider identification information for the recognised vaccination provider who administers a relevant vaccination;
- the day of the vaccination;
- the brand, dose number and batch number of the administered vaccine.
Finally, it is important to note that (as is the case with the administration of COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations), failure to comply with the mandatory AIR reporting requirement relating to the administration of specified NIP vaccines may result in a sanction of 30 penalty units (currently $6660.00) being incurred.
Those organisations operating as vaccination providers should ensure their recognised vaccination providers are made aware of the new mandatory notification requirement relating to the administration of a relevant vaccination of a person with a specified national immunisation program vaccine on or after 1 July 2021, as discussed above. To that end, organisations should update their policies and procedures to include this new reporting requirement.
For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:
Phone: 1300 862 667