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Flu vaccine requirement

Benetas follows national recommendations in ensuring that all people who enter one of our residential aged care homes have a current flu vaccination. Here’s what you need to know.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) recommends that people who have not been vaccinated against influenza should not be permitted to enter residential aged care homes. While the Victorian Government no longer mandates this, Benetas has chosen to remain in line with AHPPC recommendations and with requirements in most other states and territories.

The flu (influenza) poses a heightened risk for our residents in aged care, and in a COVID-19 climate, we are working hard to limit risks to our residents wherever possible. Please view the Department of Health's fact sheet for further information.

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Compliance among all employees

Benetas’ Influenza Monitoring Working Group ensures that all of our employees and volunteers comply with this internal policy. We provide a free flu vaccine program each autumn to support this process.

 

Impact on contractors and visitors

This internal policy also applies to any visitor or contractor who visit our homes, and as a result they too will need to provide proof of a current flu vaccination upon entry.

Appropriate evidence includes:

  • a statement or record from a health practitioner; or
  • an immunisation history statement available from Medicare online or Express Plus Medicare mobile app.

 

Exceptions

Exceptions for visitors will only be accepted on medical grounds and must be supported by evidence from a medical practitioner. Please not that we strongly encourage residents to be vaccinated and support their access to this, however we do not require it as mandatory.

 

Further information.

View the Australian Department of Health’s FAQs on this matter for further guidance. If you have questions before entering a Benetas aged care home, please contact the Residential Manager at the home, or alternatively email at wellbeing@benetas.com.au.

Thank you for your understanding as we work hard to protect the health and wellbeing of those in our care.

 

FAQs about the Flu Vaccine

Does everyone entering a residential aged care facility need to be vaccinated?

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Yes, this applies to all employees, family and friend visitors, health practitioners, volunteers, suppliers and contractors including catering, cleaning and maintenance.

Does this apply to residents?

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We strongly encourage residents to be vaccinated and support their access to this, however it is not mandatory for residents.

What is appropriate evidence of having received a current flu vaccination?

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You will need to provide proof of a formal immunisation record. This could be:

  1. A statement or record from a health practitioner; or
  2. An immunisation history statement from Medicare online or Express Plus Medicare mobile app.

What exceptions are provided?

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Exceptions for visitors will only be accepted on medical grounds and must be supported by evidence from a medical practitioner. If this applies to you, certain precautions may be taken upon visit.

How will this be administered at Benetas aged care homes?

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A visitor will need to provide reception at a Benetas aged care home with proof of their current flu vaccination upon entry. They can then keep a record of this on file to provide ease going forward.

Why does Benetas still require this when the Victorian Government removed this requirement in July?

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In most states and territories, entry to a residential aged care home is restricted by the Government to people who have had a current flu vaccination. This is because the transmission of influenza can cause severe outcomes, particularly so for people in residential aged care homes. Given the Covid-19 climate where the risk of contagious viruses is significantly heightened, Benetas’ Influenza Monitoring Working Group deem this to be an important internal policy.

Will this requirement continue after the COVID-19 pandemic?

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This hasn’t been confirmed however, we’re preparing for this to be a continuing Benetas policy to reduce the risk of flu transmission in our homes and protect the safety of those in our care.

Where do I get further information?

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You can review the Department of Health’s fact sheet on this matter. Alternatively, please contact the Residential Manager of the aged care home in the first instance or alternatively a member of the People, Culture and Diversity team on (03) 8803 9484, or via email at wellbeing@benetas.com.au.