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Online training modules for Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination workforce have been launched ahead of the nation’s looming vaccine rollout.

The Australian Government has partnered with the Australian College of Nursing (ACN) to develop and deliver the free and accredited training modules for the wide-ranging health professionals who will administer the vaccines.

The training modules are available to all authorised COVID-19 vaccination providers, including:

  • Health professionals in hospitals
  • General practices
  • State and Commonwealth vaccination clinics
  • Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations
  • Pharmacies

The training is also available for non-clinical and administration staff, such as receptionists, cleaners and IT staff, who can access non-clinical modules, which cover topics such as handling, storage and administration.

Delivered through an e-learning platform, the COVID-19 vaccination training modules are split into two categories – core and additional.

The first modules are targeted at health professionals in hospitals who will be administering the Pfizer vaccine, with modules for the AstraZeneca vaccine to be released online shortly.

Core COVID-19 training modules cover:

  • COVID-19 introduction
  • Handling and storage
  • Multi-dose vial (MDV) training
  • Documentation and reporting
  • Safety and surveillance monitoring and reporting adverse events following immunisation

Additional COVID-19 training modules include specific training for the various vaccines, including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Novavax and possible new vaccines that will emerge.

Health professionals are being advised to seek confirmation from their employer that they will be a vaccination provider before accessing the training.

To enrol in the course, COVID-19 vaccination providers must have already undertaken routine immunisation training specific to their profession, and have the authority to administer vaccinations in their relevant state or territory.

Healthcare professionals and the vaccine workforce will not be able to administer any COVID-19 vaccines without having completed the training modules.

The overarching aim of the training modules is to build an additional vaccine workforce capable of meeting Australia’s vaccination strategy and public demand.

The first delivery of the Pfizer vaccine is due in late February, while AstraZeneca shipments are expected in early March.

At a doorstop interview on Monday, Australia’s Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer, Alison McMillan, said the training focuses on staff who will be administering the vaccine.

“As a health professional, we live a life of learning. We continuously have to update ourselves on whatever information is important to protecting all Australians,” she said.

“The training is online. It’s a set of module learning that people can process through over time, and it will produce a certificate at the end.”

Ms McMillan said the training was deliberately broad in order to cater for the wide-range of health professionals who will administer the vaccines. New areas for some will include multi-dose vials, which need special techniques in order to ensure patient safety, management and handling of the new vaccines, and managing adverse environments, she added.

“The training will continue to be updated as potentially more vaccines may be approved through the TGA, and that will remain contemporary information for all health professionals,” Ms McMillan said.

The training can be accessed here

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