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Immunisation Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This 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 (VPD) and tuberculosis as part of the business of Macquarie University.

Background

(2) 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.

Scope

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

(4) The identification of ‘significant risk’ is achieved 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;
  2. University researchers working in environments, which includes contact with:
    1. live person(s) and / or animal(s);
    2. deceased person(s) and / or animal(s);
    3. human body or animal part(s);
    4. person or animal blood and other body or animal product(s);
    5. infectious material or surface(s); and / or
    6. 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 significant risk of altering a person’s health status;
  4. Specific geographical environments:
    1. 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.

(5) 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 via ohs@mq.edu.au as soon as practicable.

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Section 2 - Policy

(6) 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.

(7) 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.

(8) 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.

(9) NOTE: Individuals involved in an incident where there is potential occupational exposure to HIV, Hepatitis B and / or Hepatitis C must report the event immediately and refer to the specific information sheet: Management of Health Care Workers (HCWs) and students potentially exposed to HIV, Hepatitis B and / or Hepatitis C. Case by case review and management will occur.

Travel Vaccinations

(10) For international travellers 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 relevant work / study area departmental assistant. The Macquarie University Health Services GP clinic is available to assist with vaccinations.

(11) This Policy is to be read in conjunction with the Immunisation Procedure.

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Section 3 - Procedures

(12) Refer to the Immunisation Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(13) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

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

  1. Exposure Prone Procedures (EPPs) means 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.
  2. General Practitioner (GP) means a medical officer working in general practice.
  3. Immunisation means inducing immunity against infection by the use of antigen to stimulate the body to produce its own antibodies.
  4. Significant risk of exposure means exposure to a work / study activity or work / study environment that may result in changes in the person’s health status.
  5. Vaccine means 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.
  6. Vaccination means the process of administering a vaccine to a person to improve immunity against infection.
  7. Vaccine preventable diseases means a diseases where a specific vaccine has been developed.
  8. Volunteer means a voluntary worker who works for the University for the benefit of the University without any financial gain.