Shortened AstraZeneca vaccine training ‘a victory for common sense’

Matt Woodley

24/03/2021 4:24:39 PM

The update has streamlined the process for answering questions and will allow GPs to skip the introductory module entirely.

A GP working on a laptop.
GPs will no longer have to complete the entire three-hour training program.

The RACGP had previously opposed the length of the mandatory training developed by the Australian College of Nursing (ACN), stating that it took too long and failed to consider GP expertise.
There had also been concerns regarding the format the questions were presented in, but the Department of Health (DoH) has confirmed this process has been streamlined as part of the changes to the training.
RACGP President Dr Karen Price told newsGP the changes, implemented earlier this month, are ‘a victory for common sense’.
‘The college has advocated very strongly for vaccine training that was better-suited to GPs’ unique skillset, so I am pleased the department took our advice on board,’ she said.
‘As I have stated many times, GPs are the nation’s vaccinators. We have a proven track record and are extremely well-placed to deliver this program over the coming weeks and months.
‘Hopefully the reduced training load will allow any GPs yet to complete the modules to do so quickly, so they can focus on what is required to continue protecting our communities against COVID-19.’
Dr Sean Stevens, a member of the RACGP’s COVID Working Group, told newsGP the changes represent a win for general practice, although he would have preferred them to be implemented earlier.
‘We would have liked a series of modules that were more targeted towards general practice, but we do think this is a win for common sense and for college advocacy,’ he said.
‘It’s good for general practice and GPs because we are extremely time poor. This is particularly true as we enter the beginning of the vaccine rollout, which is the largest vaccine program ever to roll out in Australia’s history.
‘To recognise and respect the value of GPs’ time is very important at this critical juncture.’
According to the DoH, the following changes have been made to the training: 

  • module 1, ‘COVID-19: An Introduction’, is now optional for GPs
  • the quiz questions in all modules have been streamlined to account for the inability for participants to be informed of which question is incorrect
  • module 3 has been updated to reflect revised Commonwealth policy on phase 1b of the vaccine rollout.
However, it is still mandatory for GPs to complete the remaining core modules and the additional AstraZeneca module prior to administering COVID-19 vaccines.
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Dr Elizabeth Catherine Chappel   25/03/2021 6:38:33 AM

Why did it take so long ? I finished the trainings while ago and GPs involved in the programme will all have completed the longer training .. I am unimpressed by RACGP

Dr Timothy Howard Watford   25/03/2021 10:00:10 AM

Too bloody late
We have started Vaccinations already

Rural GP   25/03/2021 11:28:07 AM

There is a wasted hour I cant get back. DoH seem to act first and ask later. General Practice is an irrelevance to them

Dr Carolyn Anne Miller   25/03/2021 6:50:00 PM

Too late by weeks!
We’ve already started our rollout and we all wasted our time jumping through the ridiculous hoops. We did it so we could protect our communities .It’s time the government valued GP’s more . This kind of nonsense wouldn’t happen if it was surgery

Dr Jane Elizabeth Alderman   27/03/2021 11:23:19 AM

I tried to do the training yesterday and was repeatedly directed to module 1-6 . When I queried it with the help desk there were a lot of generic answers and eventually “ all health practitioners are required to do the same training module 1-6 “ I logged off and will wait and hope that this announced “ victory for common sense “ actually filters through to reality .(We don’t have vaccines yet at our practice yet so I have some more time than others .. but very annoying)

Dr Robert Paul Brown   27/03/2021 6:22:32 PM

My questions from the start are, "why did the Government think that the College of Nursing should be the body to design the Covid 19 'education' of General Practitioners?" and " Why did our College not strongly oppose this proposal?" I don't remember being given a heads-up!

Dr Meredith Jane Webb   2/04/2021 10:40:34 PM

So true, Dr Brown! Why indeed? Now that I have done all the "training", it should be easily accepted as CPD! However, there does not seem to be a simple avenue for recording it.