Immunisation

Immunisation

SUMMARY

The Immunisation Policy addresses the minimum standards of immunisation requirements for staff, students, contractors, and volunteers who undertake activities where there may be an increased risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases as part of the business of Macquarie University.

The Immunisation Procedure establishes how the University will meet the requirements of its Immunisation Policy.

POLICY

1     PURPOSE

To address the minimum standards of immunisation requirements for staff, students, contractors, and volunteers who undertake activities where there may be an increased risk of contracting vaccine-preventable diseases as part of the business of Macquarie University.

2     BACKGROUND

The immunisation process is a critical control to protect people from contracting vaccine-preventable diseases. The University acknowledges that the activities of some staff, students, contractors and volunteers may increase risk of contracting illnesses or disease.  This policy details the principles and legislative requirements the University will adopt to ensure the ongoing health and safety of staff, students, contractors and volunteers.

3     SCOPE

Immunisation requirements apply to all staff, students, contractors and volunteers who work in high risk areas of Macquarie University and/or on placement where potential exposure to vaccine preventable diseases exists and they pose a ‘significant risk’ of altering a person’s health status.

The identification of ‘significant risk’ is completed through robust risk assessment(s) led by the line manager/convenor/academic supervisor in consultation with those involved in the activity and the faculty/DVC portfolio health and safety adviser as required. The following areas require consideration and documentation of specific requirements for immunisation:  

1) Any area that provides a health service, including (but not limited to) Macquarie University Medical, Chiropractic and Human Sciences Clinics, particularly in areas which undertake Exposure Prone Procedures (EPPs).

2) University researchers working in environments, which includes contact with:

  • Live person(s) and/or animal(s)
  • Deceased person(s) and/or animal(s)
  • Human body or animal part(s)
  • Person or animal blood and other body or animal product(s)
  • Infectious material or surface(s)
  • Equipment that might contain infectious material e.g. instruments, trays, bed linen, sheets, syringes, etc.

3) Other work and research environments upon identification of a high risk exposure, one that poses significant risk to health status alteration.

4) Specific geographical environments:

  • Habitation in/or visitation to/or climates and/or conditions that increase the person’s exposure to illness and disease and the potential for contracting such illness or disease.

A staff member who is subject to an immunisation requirement and is not medically, physically or emotionally able to be immunised is required to report this to their line manager and the Health Monitoring Advisor (Risk and Assurance) as soon as practicable.

4     DEFINITIONS

Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purpose of this Policy:

Exposure Prone Procedures (EPPs): invasive procedures where there is potential for direct contact between the skin, usually finger or thumb of the worker, and sharp surgical instruments, needles, or sharp tissues (e.g. fractured bones), spicules of bone or teeth in body cavities or in poorly visualised or confined body sites, including the mouth.

General Practitioner (GP): medical officer working in general practice.

Immunisation: inducing immunity against infection by the use of antigen to stimulate the body to produce its own antibodies.

Significant risk of exposure: exposure to a work/study activity or work/study environment that may result in changes in the person’s health status.

Vaccine: a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease. A vaccine contains an agent that stimulates the body's immune system to fight off the disease.

Vaccination: the process of administering a vaccine to a person to improve immunity against infection.

Vaccine preventable diseases: diseases where a specific vaccine has been developed.

Volunteer:  a voluntary worker who works for the University for the benefit of the University without any financial gain.

5     POLICY STATEMENT

All persons conducting activities endorsed by Macquarie University where there is a significant risk of contracting a vaccine preventable disease must meet the University’s immunisation requirements and, where appropriate, conform to requirements outlined by the relevant regulatory bodies as a minimum.

In circumstances where there is a conscientious objection, a medical contraindication or other reason that impacts on participation in this process, the University will use risk management principles to address the matter on a case-by-case basis. This may include making reasonable adjustments to the activity where possible, transferring the relevant person to another area, or not endorsing a person’s participation in the specified activity. 

Requirements will be determined through robust risk assessment led by the line manager/convenor/academic supervisor in consultation with those involved in the activity and the faculty/DVC portfolio health and safety adviser as required.

NOTE:

Individuals testing positive for blood borne viruses must refer to the specific information sheet: Individuals infected by blood borne viruses (BBV). Case by case review and management will occur for individuals found to be infected with blood borne viruses (BBV).

Travel Vaccinations: For international travelers International SOS provides pre-departure information regarding required vaccinations for specific destinations. Staff and students travelling overseas can obtain information regarding International SOS from the work/study area departmental assistant. The Macquarie University Health Services GP clinic is available to assist with vaccinations.

This Policy is to be read in conjunction with the Immunisation Procedure (see tab above).

6     RELEVANT LEGISLATION

Work, Health and Safety Act 2011
Health Care Liability Act 2001 (NSW)
National Health Act 1953 (Cth)
Public Health Act 2010 (NSW)
Education and Training Reform Act 2006
Education and Training Reform Regulation 2007
Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008
Public Health and Wellbeing Regulation 2009

7     KEY RELATED DOCUMENTS

Supporting Immunisation Policy documents:
Immunisation Procedure (see tab above)

Individuals Infected by Blood Borne Viruses Form

Other related documents:
Australian Immunisation Handbook, 10th edition: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/Handbook10-home

National centre for immunisation research and surveillance - useful links document: http://www.ncirs.edu.au/provider-resources/links/

Australian Government (2012). Australian National Guidelines for the Management of Healthcare Workers known to be Infected with Blood-borne Viruses.  Canberra: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/36D4D796D31081EBCA257BF0001DE6B7/$File/Guidelines-BBV-feb12.pdf

Department of Health (2015). Immunise Australia Program. Pregnant Women. Australian Government. Available from:  http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/pregnant-women

NHMRC. (2010). Australian Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Infection in Healthcare (2010). Canberra; Australian Government. Available from: https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/book/australian-guidelines-prevention-and-control-infection-healthcare-2010/b5-3-exposure-prone-proc

NSW Ministry of Health (2017). HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C – Management  of Health Care Workers potentially exposed. NSW Government. Available from: http://www1.health.nsw.gov.au/pds/ActivePDSDocuments/PD2017_010.pdf

NSW Ministry of Health (2011). Occupational assessment, screening and vaccination against specified infectious diseases. NSW Government. Available from: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/immunisation/Documents/Occupational/student_kit.pdf  

Macquarie University Privacy Framework

Macquarie University Inherent Requirements Framework

8     NOTES

8.1

Contact Officer

Director, Risk and Assurance

8.2

Implementation Officers

Program Manager Education and Faculty Initiatives, Faculty of Medicine, and Health Sciences
Return to Work Coordinator, Risk and Assurance, COO and DVC
Faculty General Manager, Faculty of Human Sciences
Faculty General Manager, Faculty of Science, and Engineering
Service Quality and Improvement Manager, MQ Health

8.3

Approval Authority

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

8.4

Date Approved

15 August 2017

8.5

Date of Commencement

15 August 2017

8.6

Date for Review

August 2018

8.7

Documents Superseded by this Policy

N/A

8.8

Amendment History

Nil

PROCEDURE

1     PURPOSE

To set out the procedure under which the University will meet the requirements of its Immunisation Policy regarding vaccine preventable diseases for staff, students, contractors and volunteers who undertake activities as part of the business of Macquarie University.

2     SCOPE

Immunisation requirements apply to all staff, students, contractors and volunteers who work in high risk areas of Macquarie University and/or on placement where potential exposure to vaccine preventable diseases exists and they pose a significant risk to health status.

The identification of ‘significant risk’ is completed through robust risk assessment(s) led by the line manager/convenor/academic supervisor in consultation with those involved in the activity and the faculty/DVC portfolio health and safety adviser as required. The following areas require consideration and documentation of specific requirements for immunisation:

1) Any area that provides a health service, including (but not limited to) Macquarie University Medical, Chiropractic and Human Sciences Clinics, particularly in areas which undertake Exposure Prone Procedures (EPPs).

2) University researchers working in environments, which includes contact with:

  • Live person(s) and/or animal(s)
  • Deceased person(s) and/or animal(s)
  • Human body or animal part(s)
  • Person or animal blood and other body or animal product(s)
  • Infectious material or surface(s)
  • Equipment that might contain infectious material e.g. instruments, trays, bed linen, sheets, syringes, etc.

3) Other work and research environments upon identification of a high risk exposure, one that poses significant risk to health status alteration.

4) Specific geographical environments:

  • Habitation in/or visitation to/or climates and/or conditions that increase the person’s exposure to illness and disease and the potential for contracting such illness or disease.

A staff member who is subject to an immunisation requirement and is not medically, physically or emotionally able to be immunised is required to report this to their line manager and the Health Monitoring Advisor (Risk and Assurance) as soon as practicable.

3     DEFINITIONS

Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. Definitions specific to this Procedure are contained in the accompanying Policy.

4     RESPONSIBILITIES AND REQUIRED ACTIONS

These requirements are based on National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommendations.

STAFF:
Print version of Immunisation Procedure for Staff (PDF)

STUDENTS:
Print version of Immunisation Procedure for Students (PDF)

HDR STUDENTS:
Print version of Immunisation Procedure for HDR Students (PDF)