Delivering Phase 1B COVID-19 vaccination in general practice

Eligible North Coast general practices will deliver Phase 1b  of the National COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout strategy .

This project page houses the Department of Health Phase 1b onboarding pack V2 and additional resources to facilitate  Phase 1b COVID-19 vaccine delivery in general practice.

Note: All COVID-19 vaccinators and clinical supervisors must complete all of the modules in the Australian Government Department of Health vaccination training program. Non-clinical and administration staff can complete the non-clinical modules.

The Australian Department of Health has established the National Vaccine Operations Centre (VOC). The VOC is the central contact point, including all cold chain breach reporting. The VOC hours of operation are between 7am to 10pm (AEST).

National Vaccine Operation Centre: 1800 318 208


Phase 1b focuses on the following Australian population groups:

  • People 70 years of age or older.
  • Health care workers.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults over 55 years.
  • Younger people with an underlying medical condition, including people with a disability.
  • Critical and high risk workers, including Australian Government officials about to be deployed overseas on official government business.

Individuals and health professionals should use the COVID-19 Eligibility Checker to see if an individual is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The eligibility checker will be updated as further information is provided.

What's Involved

See HealthPathways COVID-19 Vaccination Procedure for information on preparing for the vaccination session, clinic screening, assessment, consent and administration.

Plan and Prepare

Register your practice from 10 March in the Department of Health online COVID-19 vaccine stock management portal (live link not available at this time). 

  • You will need two codes to register. These will be provided in the letter you received advising you that you are part of the 1b rollout:
    1. Cohort Registration Code
    2. Site Registration Code

Add or update your practice details in the National Health Services Directory (here).

  • All approved COVID 19 vaccination clinics must be listed on the National Health Services Directory to ensure timely and transparent access for consumers.

Patient Booking and Prioritisation

  • To recall patients from your practice, the following PenCS recipes may assist with identifying patients at risk per Department of Health advice . Please note: the current reports and filters in CAT4 are not 100% aligned with the priority groups.  Additional filters can be added to make the recipes more specific, for example only those patients who have visited in the last 12 months or only active (three visits in two years) patients. See page 13 of the onboarding pack V2 for more detail on underlying medical conditions.
    COVID-19 Vaccine 1b: Identify Indigenous patients over 55
    COVID-19 Vaccine 1b: Identify patients over 70 yrs of age
    COVID-19 Vaccine 1b: Identify patients with a BMI >= 40
    COVID-19 Vaccine 1b: Identify patients with a cancer diagnosis
    COVID-19 Vaccine 1b: Identify patients with specific chronic diseases
  • Patients from another practice will self-prioritise through the Vaccine Eligibility Checker. The patient will be advised that they may be turned away if they are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine at that time or cannot provide required proof.
  • Proof of underlying medical conditions includes up-to-date information in the person’s My Health Record, letters of referral (for people with chronic conditions/at increased risk) or letters of employment for eligible occupations. Confirmation is not required for the second dose as long as the first dose is registered in AIR.  See page 12 of the onboarding pack V2 for more examples of proof of eligibility for 1b vaccination.
  • If a patient does not have proof of their underlying medical condition, they may complete a Phase 1b declaration form. This form will soon be available from the Department of Health’s website.
  • The Department of Health’s COVID-19 Vaccination Information and Booking Service will provide  ‘one front door’ where people can check their eligibility and find out where to get a COVID-19 vaccine, with links to clinics offering vaccine appointments (live link not available at this time).


Vaccine Stock and Consumables

  • Do not hold back stock for the second dose.
  • See onboarding pack V2 for box dimensions (10 vials per box, 10 doses per vial).
  • Stock will be ordered through the online ordering portal (live link not available at this time).
  • The online ordering portal will also be used for confirming stock acceptance and management. Orders will need to include a point of contact for delivery acceptance and notifications.
  • At the time of vaccine delivery general practices will be provided with needles (25mm), syringes (3ml) and sharp disposal containers.

Adverse Events


  • Accredited practices that have joined the PIP are eligible to participate in the PIP COVID-19 Vaccine Incentive. The payment is set at $10 per eligible patient that has completed both COVID-19 vaccines (payable only once per patient).
  • Familiarise yourself with the COVID-19 MBS items.
  • To apply for the PIP, visit Services Australia.
  • Ensure your general practitioner details are up to date. To manage your details, click here. For further details on payment, see page 10 of the  onboarding pack V2
Contact for more information

Contact your Primary Health Coordinator for more information, see contact details below.

We'd love to hear from you

Aged Care Disaster Management Planning

Strategic Priority Area: One team

North Coast is identified as the region most likely to be impacted by climate change in Australia and also forecasted greatest growth in those 65+.

Healthy North Coast takes a lead role in ensuring the older population and the sector that supports them are prepared for, can respond to and recover from disasters and other emergencies.

We have led eight regional disaster management capacity building workshops, bringing together SES, community organisations and the aged care sector.

We have also developed disaster preparedness tip sheets for both residential and community aged care providers.

Voluntary Assisted Dying

Strategic Priority Area: One team

In May 2022, the NSW Parliament passed the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2022. Effective from Tuesday, 28 November 2023, eligible people have the choice to access voluntary assisted dying. 

Healthy North Coast has developed a webpage for both health professionals and consumers, with links to available information and resources.

Living with Dementia resources

Strategic Priority Area: No one is left behind

Healthy North Coast has worked with people living with dementia, their families and local service providers to develop an information booklet that will help them connect with local and national supports along their journey.

The booklet includes commonly asked questions for people to ask their GP and/or specialist.

The resource is available in digital and printed copies, with more than 5,000 distributed across the region. An e-version is available to clinicians via the Dementia and Cognitive Impairment HealthPathway.

Deteriorating Resident Triage Tool Pilot

Strategic Priority Area: One team

The Deteriorating Resident Response Tool (DRRT) has been developed to guide RN’s in Residential Aged Care homes (RACHs) to better understand, anticipate and make clinical decisions responding to the deteriorating health of residents.

The objective of the DRRT is to give RACH staff clear information to triage and provide appropriate care for a range of residents’ health conditions, and, in turn, prevent unnecessary presentations to ED.

The tool has been designed together with a specialist geriatrician, consulting with stakeholders such as Residential Aged Care Managers, NSW Ambulance, GPs, and experts from Mid and North Coast LHDs.

The pilot commences in March with four participating RACHs. Evaluation measures will include effectiveness in building RN confidence and reported reduction in unnecessary hospitalisations. Findings will inform a future planned, region-wide implementation.

North Coast Care Finders Program

Strategic Priority Area: No one is left behind

The Care Finders program is a free region-wide service to support vulnerable older people who have no-one else to help them, to learn about, apply for and set up support services.

Care finders can help people understand what aged care services are available, set up an assessment, and find and choose services. They also help people with access to other supports in the community, both accessing services for the first time and changing or finding new services and supports.

On the North Coast, Healthy North Coast has commissioned four organisations to provide this important service: EACH, Carexcell, Lifetime Connect and Footprints.

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Psychological services in residential aged care homes

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Healthy North Coast commissions two service providers to deliver psychological therapies and supports for older people with, or at risk of developing, a mental illness and who are living in residential aged care homes (RACHs).

The aim of the program is to both provide direct support to residents and their families and carers, as well as upskill the RACH workforce to respond to the needs of residents presenting with mental health concerns.

Social prescribing (Healthy Me Healthy Community)

Strategic Priority Area: Securing a Healthier Future

Delivered by Feros Care, the Healthy Me, Healthy Community program aims to build individual and community connections to reduce loneliness and improve wellbeing in Port Macquarie.

The program helps people to connect with community, activities, supports and services that address their broader social determinants of health, as an alternative or supplement to a clinical approach.

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Digital Health in Residential Aged Care

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Timely access to primary health care professionals, whether through face-to-face consultation or telehealth, is recognised as an issue for many Residential Aged Care Homes (RACHs), that in some cases can lead to potentially preventable hospitalisations. RACHs require adequate telehealth facilities to support access to virtual consultations for their residents.

Project goals

  • Assist participating RACHs to have appropriate telehealth facilities and equipment to enable their residents to virtually consult when needed with their primary health care professionals, specialists and other clinicians. 
  • Provide training to participating RACH staff to support them to have the capabilities to assist their residents in accessing virtual consultation services.
  • Encourage increased use of My Health Record by RACHs, to improve the availability and secure transfer of resident’s health care information between RACHs, primary care and acute care settings.
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Greater Choice at Home Palliative Care Program

Strategic Priority Area: Improving Lives Now

Aims to provide people who have life limiting conditions the opportunity to exercise choice and receive high quality care at home, harnessing improved and better coordinated supports and services that meet their individual needs.

Program objectives:

  • Improve access to palliative care at home and support end-of-life care systems and services (in primary health care and community care)
  • To enable the right care at the right time and in the right place (to reduce unnecessary hospitalisation)
  • Generate and use data to support continuous improvement of services across sectors
  • Use available technologies to support flexible and responsive palliative care at home, including in the after-hours.

These objectives will contribute to achieving the following intended overarching outcomes of:

  • Improved capacity and responsiveness of services to meet local needs and priorities
  • Improved patient access to quality palliative care services in the home
  • Improved coordination of care for patients across health care providers and integration of palliative care services in their region.

Education & training funding elibility

Funding is open to all primary care providers within disaster affected communities across the Healthy North Coast footprint.

Workforce Locum support and R&R funding criteria

  • Available to primary care services in disaster impacted communities within the Healthy North Coast footprint.
  • Available to support short-term workforce coverage, allowing clinicians to rest and recover.
  • Workforce-support funding in total is capped for each site, over a 12-month period:
    • $10k for GPs and/or
    • $5K for nursing and/or
    • $5k administration support and/or
    • $5K allied/pharmacy and other.
  • Funding is not to be used to fill gaps in staffing that have not been able to recruit to and not to replace existing staff.
  • Healthy North Coast will assess requirements and approve available funding directly with the service requesting support.
  • Priority will be given to sites that have immediate, short-term workforce support needs.
  • Requests will be reviewed and supported on a case-by-case basis.
  • Program funding administered via RCTI Agreement (Recipient Created Tax Invoice) to be paid monthly, or on completion of the placement (whichever comes first).
  • Practices will be required to complete a request for payment form monthly, or on completion of the placement (whichever occurs first).

Wellbeing Flexible Funding Criteria & Eligibility

  • Open to all primary care providers within disaster affected communities across the Healthy North Coast footprint.
  • Activity must be purposeful, with the aim of increasing the wellbeing of your team.
  • Requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, with funding allocated based on team size.*
  • Following approval by Healthy North Coast, funding will be administered via RCTI Agreement (Recipient Created Tax Invoice) upon providing proof of expenses.
  • Funding cannot be used for the purchase of alcohol, or any other goods or services where the vendor cannot quote their Australian Business Number.
  • Planned activities must occur prior to 30th June 2024.
  • Funding will not be available for retrospective activities.
*Team Size
(Total staff and contractors)
Funding Available
Small (1-5)$500-$1500
Medium (6-20)$1500-$4000
Large (>20)$4000-$5000