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Let’s vaccinate our way back to campus

To safely reopen our campuses and return to the campus experience that our staff and students love so much, and that we have sorely missed throughout the pandemic, it is vital that we all get vaccinated.

As a public-spirited University with a global reputation for excellence in our health disciplines, including public health, we also have a leadership role to play in demonstrating our commitment to the health not just of our staff and students but of the communities around us.

As we announced in September, from early December 2021, everyone attending campus will be expected to be fully vaccinated. For staff and students with a valid medical exemption, or other legally-recognised exemption from vaccination, we will ensure you can continue working or studying after that date.

The implementation arrangements are currently in development.

In the meantime, if you aren’t already vaccinated, please book an appointment and help us all return to the La Trobe life we love.

We’re incredibly fortunate to have safe and effective vaccines available for COVID-19 that reduce the risk of severe illness. Bringing the vaccination rate as close to 100 per cent as possible amongst staff and students will enable us to get back to a vibrant on-campus life as soon as possible.

Vijaya Sundararajan
Professor of Public Health, La Trobe University

Why get vaccinated?

Vaccines are highly effective at preventing serious illness and death from the COVID-19 virus and have some effect on limiting transmission.

COVID-19 vaccines strengthen your immune system by training it to recognise and fight the virus. When you get vaccinated, you are protecting yourself and helping to protect the whole community by slowing down the spread of COVID-19. Visit the Department of Health's website.

COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia are safe and effective. They have been strictly tested by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and have been administered to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Visit the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Victoria's website.

How to get vaccinated

  • speak with your GP or healthcare provider
  • book an appointment at your nearest vaccination centre by calling the Coronavirus Hotline on 1800 675 398 or using the online booking system. There are various vaccination centres across the state, including one at Melbourne (Bundoora) campus near Car Park 6 (bookings essential).
  • The City of Darebin is opening pop-up vaccination centres. See the City of Darebin website for details.

For more information about getting vaccinated, visit COVID-19 vaccines.

Additional information about vaccination arrangements for La Trobe staff is available on the intranet [LTU login required].

Frequently Asked Questions – COVID-19 vaccination

Updated 22 September 2021

Information for La Trobe University students and staff based on information provided by University public health experts.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) undertakes a rigorous assessment of the safety, quality and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines before they can be supplied in Australia. Four vaccines (sponsored by AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moerna and Janssen-Cilag respectively) have received provisional approval by the TGA for use in Australia. While submission of more comprehensive data during the registration period is a condition of provisional registration, obtaining this approval means that the safety, quality and effectiveness of the vaccine has been satisfactorily established for its intended use by the TGA.

The provisional approval pathway is used when the need for early access outweighs the risks. It involves a full review by the TGA. The TGA does not have an emergency approval pathway. For further information, see the TGA website.

To the end of August 2021, there have been 19 million vaccination doses administered in Australia and 55,000 total adverse event reports following immunisation. The majority of these were mild and predictable and similar to those following all vaccinations (headache, muscle pain, fever, chills and injection-site reactions). There have been 578 serious adverse events following COVID-19 vaccination.

Reports of adverse events are sometimes misinterpreted by members of the public. It is important to note that the definition of an adverse event used by the TGA is ‘Unintended and sometimes harmful occurrences associated with a vaccine that may or may not be causally related’. Since large numbers of people are being vaccinated, many people will become ill or die within the days or weeks following vaccination for unrelated reasons. While many of these illnesses and deaths will be reported as adverse events so that they can be investigated, the majority are unlikely to be linked to vaccination.

By 12 September 2021, the TGA had found that nine reports of death were linked to COVID-19 vaccination, the overwhelming majority of which occurred in people aged 65 years and older.

The TGA undertakes intensive safety monitoring and issues weekly COVID-19 safety reports that are publicly available on the TGA website.

It is true that vaccination does not prevent 100 per cent of all transmissions. However, the latest evidence from the New England Journal of Medicine shows that vaccination reduces transmission by 60 per cent after the second dose.

In Australia, since March 2020, there have been 87,101 COVID-19 cases and 1,167 deaths due to COVID-19 for an estimate of 13 deaths per 1000 cases. For seasonal flu there are typically 113,861 cases in a year and 404 deaths, for an estimate of 3.5 deaths per 1000 cases. This indicates that the relative case fatality of COVID-19 is 3.7 times as high as seasonal flu.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) has published resources for patients about receiving a COVID-19 vaccination.  This includes Weighing up the potential benefits against risk of harm from COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

The Federal Department of Health has published answers to common questions on COVID-19 vaccines including:

Resources

Roadmap to reopening

Roadmap to reopening

La Trobe University proposed a two-staged approach to safely reopening campuses later this year once national vaccination thresholds have been achieved.

Read our statement

Why COVID vaccinations can be trusted

Why COVID vaccinations can be trusted

Dr Priscilla Robinson - Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Public Health, explains how vaccines are developed and tested.

Get the facts

Talking to friends and family about COVID vaccines

Talking to friends and family about COVID vaccines

Advice from UNICEF on how to manage conversations with loved ones who are reluctant to get vaccinated.

Learn more

La Trobe's response to COVID-19

La Trobe's response to COVID-19

University statements and updates, frequently-asked-questions and other resources for students and staff.

Find out more

La Trobe vaccination survey results

La Trobe vaccination survey results

Our recent staff and student vaccination survey provided insights to inform our planning for a safe return to campus.

View survey results

African community leaders addressing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

African community leaders addressing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy

La Trobe social work student Declo Bisimwa is supporting the African community in Shepparton to increase vaccination rates.

Read more at ABC News