From 25 February 2022, the Australian Immunisation Register - immunisation medical exemption form (IM011) is the only approved form in NSW to provide evidence of a medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination.

Information for healthcare workers who are receiving a COVID-19 vaccine is available on Mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers

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Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation guidance

ATAGI clinical guidance for COVID-19 vaccine providers

COVID-19 vaccination – ATAGI provider resources

Contraindication form

From 25 February 2022, the Australian Immunisation Register - immunisation medical exemption form (IM011) is the only approved form in NSW to provide evidence of a medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination.

The NSW COVID-19 vaccine medical contraindication form is no longer valid from 25 February 2022. A NSW COVID-19 vaccine medical contraindication form issued by a medical practitioner to a person before this date remains valid.

ATAGI has provided Guidance on temporary medical exemptions for COVID-19 vaccines for medical practitioners which covers the completion of the Australian Immunisation Register - immunisation medical exemption form (IM011).

If a person has had COVID-19 and has fully recovered, there is no need to delay vaccination, unless the person has received an anti-SARS-COV-2 monoclonal antibody or convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19. In this case vaccination should be delayed until at least 90 days following treatment completion.

A medical clearance notice may have been provided to a patient following their acute illness, which may be used as a temporary exemption from vaccination for 6 weeks only.

Medical practitioners should consult the latest ATAGI clinical guidance for further information on medical contraindications.

Recording a medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccines in the Australian Immunisation Register

The Australian Immunisation Register (AIR) - immunisation medical exemption form (IM011) permits the recording of a temporary or permanent contraindication to any or all COVID-19 vaccines available for use in Australia.

The AIR immunisation medical exemption form is recognised as an acceptable form for recording a medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination in NSW. However, under NSW public health orders, to be considered exempt from the requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19, a temporary or permanent contraindication to all available COVID-19 vaccines must be present.

Guidance for medical practitioners on recording immunisation medical exemptions on the AIR is available from the Australian Government Department of Health.

Adverse events following immunisation

Serious adverse events following immunisation (AEFI) are notifiable conditions in NSW. Healthcare providers are required to report all uncommon, serious or unexpected AEFI or any event felt to be significant following immunisation to their local Public Health Unit. More information is available at How do I report an AEFI?.

NSW Health is monitoring the safety of the COVID-19 vaccination program using existing surveillance systems, along with:

  • specialist clinical advice regarding investigation and management of suspected adverse events through the NSW Immunisation Specialist Service (NSWISS)
  • convening a NSW Health COVID-19 Safety Expert Panel of immunisation and other clinical specialists, to review serious or unexpected adverse events following immunisation (AEFIs)
  • assisting with causality assessments through the national Vaccine Safety Investigation Group (VSIG)
  • benchmarking and information sharing with international partners.

AEFI reporting

AEFI management

COVID-19 vaccine safety surveillance

Frequently asked questions

Will I still need to wear PPE at work and follow the COVID safe rules in my daily life?

It is essential that all healthcare workers maintain vigilance for COVID-19 and ensure they continue to follow infection prevention and control measures at work and COVID safe behaviours in their daily lives.

You will still need to be tested if you become sick with symptoms that could be caused by COVID-19.

Will vaccinations be mandatory for people working in health facilities in NSW?

The Public Health (COVID-19 Vaccination of Health Care Workers) Order 2021 requires health care workers to have received at least 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, unless they have a medical contraindication form signed by a medical practitioner.

A NSW COVID-19 vaccine medical contraindication form completed by a medical practitioner and issued to a health care worker before 25 February 2022 remains valid.

The Order applies to:

  • in the public sector, people who work for the NSW Health Service, for a public health organisation, the Health Administration Corporation and Ambulance Service of NSW, as well as staff of the Ministry of Health
  • in the private sector a person who does work in a private health facility, being a private hospital or day procedure centre
  • in the private sector, registered paramedics whose work involves transporting, or assessing whether to transport, people to and from a public or private health facility.

Work is defined broadly to cover employees, contractors, VMOs, visiting practitioners, volunteers and students undertaking clinical placements.

Mandatory vaccination requirements of at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine now includes all primary care and other private sector health service providers across NSW. This includes health practitioners working in private and community settings, such as doctors, nurses and pharmacists, speech pathologists, dieticians and naturopaths. It also covers support staff working in these practices.

Disability workers and aged care workers are covered by different public health orders and therefore have different requirements.

More information

Current as at: Tuesday 8 March 2022
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW