New Laws Make Vaccination Reporting Mandatory

In preparation for the COVID-19 vaccine, Federal Parliament has passed new laws requiring all Vaccination Providers to report all vaccines administered to the Australian Immunisation Register.

Australian Immunisation Register Amendment (Reporting) Bill 2020 (Cth)

This article applies to recognised vaccination providers.

Please be advised that the Australian Immunisation Register Amendment (Reporting) Bill 2020 (Cth) (the Bill) passed the Federal Parliament on 4 February 2021 and is currently awaiting Royal Assent. The relevant parts of the Bill will commence the day after the Bill receives Royal Assent. The Bill will amend the Australian Immunisation Register Act 2015 (Cth) (the Act).

Background

There is currently no statutory mechanism by which vaccination providers in Australia can be required to report vaccines that they administer. Vaccination providers are encouraged to report all vaccines administered, however, reporting is voluntary. The Bill will insert section 10A to require recognised vaccination providers to report information in relation to certain vaccinations that have been administered for inclusion in the Australian Immunisation Register (the AI Register).

Recognised vaccination provider means a general practitioner, or an individual or body endorsed to administer vaccines in Australia if the endorsement:

  • is for the purposes that include the purposes of the AI Register outlined under section 10 of the Act; and
  • is by the Commonwealth, a State or Territory.

Reporting Obligations

Under new section 10A, if a recognised vaccination provider administers a vaccination in Australia and it is of a kind and administered in the circumstances prescribed by the Australian Immunisation Register Rule 2015 (the Rules), the provider must report, within the period and in the manner prescribed by the Rules, the information prescribed by the Rules for inclusion in the AI Register. This requirement does not apply if the recognised vaccination provider reasonably believes that reporting the information is likely to pose a risk to the health or safety of an individual.

The Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill indicates that the mandatory reporting will apply in stages, with the initial requirements to be targeted at COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations from 1 March 2021 and expanded requirements to apply to all National Immunisation Program vaccinations from 1 July 2021.

The above requirements also apply if a recognised vaccination provider is given information about a such a vaccination that was administered outside Australia.

Organisations that breach the new reporting requirements will incur a civil penalty of 30 penalty units ($6,660).


Please click here to access the full Bill.

Contact

For further information please contact the Law Compliance team:

Phone: 1300 862 667

Email: info@lawcompliance.com.au

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