Immunisation: health professionals

COVID-19 vaccine

Notice for healthcare providers

29 March 2021

The COVID-19 vaccine protocols (CVAPs) for COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca and COMIRNATY COVID-19 vaccine Pfizer have been updated to reflect the advice provided by the Australian Technical Advisory Group for Immunisations. Out of an abundance of caution they are recommending that vaccination with any COVID-19 vaccine should be deferred for people who have a history of the following rare conditions:

  • People with a confirmed medical history of CVST, and/or
  • people with a confirmed medical history of heparin induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). HIT is an immune-mediated complication of treatment with heparin that affects platelet function. A HIT-like mechanism is being investigated as a potential, but unconfirmed, pathway to CVST post COVID-19 vaccination.

This is until further information from ongoing investigations in Europe is available and is only a precautionary measure.

As for all vaccines, including COVID-19 vaccines, health care providers should be alert for persistent, unexpected and/or severe adverse events following immunisation in their patients, particularly those that occur 1 to 2 weeks after vaccination.

AstraZeneca ChAdOx1-S protocol

Under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2012 Sections 254A, 254B and 254C the mandatory COVID-19 AstraZeneca Vaccination Administration Protocol (CVAP) must be followed when administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The CVAP explains the mandatory COVID-19 national training and AstraZeneca administration requirements that AHPRA Registered Nurses, Midwives, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Pharmacists who wish to be able to administer the vaccine must follow.

The CVAP includes that:

  • the training requires completion of all 6 modules of the national COVID-19 vaccination training, plus other training, and
  • the administration procedures that MUST be adhered to when administering the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

There is a strict liability offence with a penalty of up to $15,800 for not following the CVAP.

Pfizer Australia COMIRNATY BNT162b2 (mRNA) protocol

Under the Medicines, Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 2012 Sections 254A, 254B and 254C the mandatory COVID-19 COMIRNATY Vaccination Administration Protocol (CVAP) must be followed when administering the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine.

The CVAP explains the mandatory COVID-19 national training and Comirnaty administration requirements that AHPRA Registered Nurses, Midwives, Aboriginal Health Practitioners and Pharmacists who wish to be able to administer the vaccine must follow.

The CVAP includes that:

  • the training requires completion of all 6 modules of the national COVID-19 vaccination training, plus other training, and
  • the administration procedures that MUST be adhered to when administering the Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine.

There is a strict liability offence with a penalty of up to $15,800 for not following the CVAP.

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Last updated: 29 March 2021

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