COVID-19 vaccination information for health providers

Health provider training

The below training modules are available to all vaccination providers for the COVID-19 vaccination program in WA.

All participants should complete the training modules prior to commencing their role in the vaccination clinic.

All participants must print out the certificate at successful completion of each module as evidence of completion to provide to their employer.

1) Australian Government COVID-19 vaccination training program

This national COVID-19 vaccination training program is developed by the Australian College of Nursing and includes the following modules:

  • COVID-19 introduction
  • handling and storage
  • communication and purpose
  • multi-dose vial (MDV) training
  • documentation and reporting
  • safety and surveillance monitoring and reporting for adverse events following immunisation.
  • COVID-19 vaccine specific information

For more information and to access the course, please visit the Australian Department of Health website (external site).

For technical issues relating to access to the program, try changing your browser or contact your local IT support. There is a live chat support function on the program website accessible between business hours.

2) WA Supplementary module for health professionals

The WA Supplementary Information for Health Professionals module (external site) should take approximately 20 minutes to complete and is to be read in conjunction with relevant area service developed standard operating procedures to deliver vaccination services.

NOTE: The COVID-19 modules in Part 1 and Part 2 above meet the approved training requirements of the WA COVID-19 SASA Please be advised that under this SASA, the provider is authorised to administer the COVID-19 vaccines only.

3) VaccinateWA training module

The VaccinateWA education module provides an overview of the system used to support the end to end delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination program. Access to the VaccinateWA application, training module and user guides are available through VaccinateWA (WA Health staff only).

COVID-19 vaccine safety surveillance

Safety of COVID-19 vaccines

In clinical trials of tens of thousands of patients, the vaccines appear to be safe. Tens of millions of people globally have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Most side effects are mild and transient. Reactions at the injection site and some systemic reactions, like headaches, fever and fatigue, are very common within the first 48 hours. There are no known serious adverse events attributable to vaccination, with the exception of anaphylaxis, which for Pfizer/BioNTech was observed in the USA in late December 2020 to occur at a rate of approximately 1 in 100,000 doses given, and which is treatable. The potential for rare or unanticipated side effects to emerge over time is low, but is being closely monitored, as for any vaccine or medicine.

Likely side effects from COVID-19 vaccines

As with all vaccines, some minor side effects can be expected, these are usually mild and temporary. Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines have reported temporary side effects typical of vaccines, such as pain at the injection site, fever or muscle aches.

Management of side effects

Most side effects start within 24 hours of vaccination and will resolve in 1–2 days on their own. To reduce discomfort, paracetamol or ibuprofen can be taken. Some of the expected vaccine side effects are similar to the symptoms of COVID-19; however, a key differentiating factor is that respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose etc) are not caused by the vaccine. People with typical vaccine side effects (injection site pain, mild fever, lethargy) within the first 48 hours after vaccination with a complete absence of any respiratory symptoms may not need to get a COVID-19 test or isolate. People with respiratory symptoms should be tested for COVID-19.

Will there be any ongoing monitoring of vaccine safety?

Monitoring of vaccines will continue after a vaccine has been received. Vaccine recipients may be contacted within the week after vaccination via SMS with a brief survey to collect data on any Adverse Events Following Immunisation (AEFI). This is part of a national adverse events surveillance system called AusVaxSafety. Vaccine recipients can also report any AEFI at www.safevac.org.au.

Healthcare providers are required to report AEFI. Vaccine recipients may be referred to a specialist immunology clinic for review or supervision for future vaccination. If you require clinical advice specific to a COVID-19 vaccine AEFI:

  • Call the WAVSS team at 08 6456 0208 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
  • Call the on-call adult immunologist at 08 9224 2244 (outside office hours only)
Last reviewed: 26-02-2021