Chief Executive COVID-19 Update: 11 March

Message from the Acting Chief Executive

As of today, we have:

  • No COVID-19 positive inpatients
  • No employees in precautionary quarantine

In this update, we cover:

  • Vaccination – Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines
  • Vaccination order
  • International Women’s Day
  • National Standards Accreditation – save the date
  • Delirium and Dementia Initiative
  • A reminder not to share your Monash Health password
  • Major changes at Monash Medical Centre entrance and ED
  • Rapid testing pilot could help Australia sustain ‘COVID Normal’


  • OH&S Safety Café
  • Five Year Anniversary of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence

Vaccination – Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines
With millions of people worldwide now vaccinated against COVID-19, a growing collection of ‘real life’ data shows the vaccines are even more effective than the trials suggested at preventing severe illness, hospitalisations and deaths due to COVID-19. We also see early results that show a reduction in transmission.

In Australia, we are fortunate to now have two Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved vaccines available:

  • Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

Not only have the TGA’s rigorous standards for safety, quality and efficacy been met by both, but they are both highly effective in preventing serious illness and hospitalisation.

Our vaccination program is progressing strongly, with over 4,000 employees and 190 aged care recipients safely receiving their first dose, accounting for approximately 25 per cent of the state’s vaccination totals.

We will take every opportunity available to protect people as rapidly as possible, so I was excited to see clinics at Casey Hospital and Moorabbin Hospital go live this week. An additional clinic will go live next week, giving us five sites across our service.

As part of our South East Public Health Unit (SEPHU) role, we have supported the commissioning of private clinics at St John of God and Cabrini Hospital, and will begin vaccinating Ambulance Victoria officers in the south-east from next Wednesday.

As part of Australia’s Vaccine and Treatment Strategy, the Australian Government has secured 3.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with an additional 50 million doses earmarked for manufacture in Australia.  Coupled with the Pfizer doses, these are enough to vaccinate every Australian resident. AstraZeneca stock will be available faster, in larger quantities and without the Pfizer vaccine’s ultra-cold storage requirements.

You may receive either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine, regardless of your worksite, depending on vaccine availability at the time of your first appointment.

If you choose not to receive the vaccine that is made available at your appointment time, you will lose your place in the vaccination order and will need to rebook.

While there are discussions focused on comparisons and which vaccine is ‘better’, they are both highly effective in preventing serious illness and hospitalisation. It is encouraging to see head-to-head comparisons in England and Scotland show protection against hospitalisation and severe disease are similar for both vaccines.

At Tuesday’s employee forum, a video featuring Q&As with Professor Rhonda Stuart reiterated why the critical thing to focus on is not vaccine type but on getting vaccinated. You can view the video here.

You can read more about the AstraZeneca vaccine and obtain further information here:

Vaccination prioritisation
As vaccination continues, we are pleased to share a more detailed vaccination prioritisation as we progress and broaden the program. Further cohorts will be added as vaccination phases near completion, so be sure to check back regularly. We are working through employee groups in order of risk, and you will need a pre-booked appointment, so please do not present to a vaccination clinic without a booking. The current vaccination priority can be viewed here.

How women at Monash Health #ChooseToChallenge this International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day is celebrated each year on 8 March. It is a day to celebrate women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.

The 2021 theme is #ChooseToChallenge. After a year that has challenged the most resilient people, we are looking to explore what particular impacts the pandemic has had on women and what we might challenge next to work towards gender equality. How will you help foster a gender-equal world?

In line with this year’s theme, we spoke to some women from across our health service about their experiences as leaders during the pandemic and how they have challenged gender bias during their careers. Read on to hear about their experiences with leadership and overcoming gender bias.

National Standards Accreditation – Save the date!
Monash Health will undergo a National Standards accreditation assessment from Monday 7 June to Friday 11 June 2021.

Preparing for accreditation is about ensuring you feel confident and comfortable when you meet with the assessors in June to convey the work that you do each and every day to deliver high-quality care and a great patient experience. Read more here or visit the Accreditation website for all the latest information, resources and tools you need to get Accreditation-ready.

Thank you for your continued commitment and dedication to maintaining the best outcomes for our people and those we care for at Monash Health.

Martin Keogh
Acting Chief Executive

Key Messages

Delirium and Dementia Initiative
Monash Health’s Delirium and Dementia Initiative provides a framework for improved care of patients with dementia and delirium; including screening, diagnosis, management, follow-up and education for patients, families and employees.

In the lead-up to World Delirium Awareness Day on Wednesday 17 March, we wanted to update you on some of the recent improvements as part of our Delirium and Dementia Initiative. Find out more about planned employee training, EMR improved pathways and new and revised Prompt documents here.

Major changes at Monash Medical Centre entrance and ED
From Wednesday 24 March, there will be significant changes to Monash Medical Centre’s emergency department, vehicle access, and main entry. While the changes are temporary, running until early 2022, they will have a major impact on how vehicle and pedestrians move in and around Monash Medical Centre. Please take the time to familiarise yourselves with the changes here.

A reminder not to share your Monash Health password
Sharing your password to any Monash Health IT system, including the EMR, is prohibited. Your log-in details are your online identity at work and need protection from potential misuse by others, including privacy breaches for which you may be liable.

Please do not share your password in any circumstances. This includes giving Tap on Tap off (TOTO) access to the EMR for others. Find out more here.

Rapid testing pilot could help Australia sustain ‘COVID Normal’
A study into rapid COVID-19 testing, led by The Doherty Institute and conducted at Monash Health, was published last week. Co-author of the study, Monash Health’s Associate Professor Maryza Graham, says rapid tests such as this could help Australia sustain it’s ‘COVID Normal’. Read more here.


Five Year Anniversary of the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence event
It has been five years since the Commission on Family Violence delivered its report and 227 recommendations to the Victorian Government. To mark the anniversary, Monash University’s Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre (MGFVPC) will host an event on Thursday 25 March, at 4.30pm. Find out more here.

OH&S Safety Café event
Join us via Webex at 2.00pm, Friday 12 March at our Safety Café, and learn how we can build a safer workplace together.

Join the Webex Event here.


Event Number: 165 648 3958

Agenda items include:

  • Safety updates
  • What’s new: Safety alerts, Safety matters and where to find Safety information
  • How to complete a general Risk Assessment
  • Learn how to complete an O&HS Risk Assessment in your working area

To ask a question during the event, log on to using your web browser or smartphone and enter the code #SAFETYCAFE.

All managers are requested to share these updates with their teams and discuss at stand-ups and handovers. Please print a copy and display it in communication books and on employee noticeboards.

As advice and information evolve, please consult the latest updates and visit the Department of Health and Human Services and Monash Health COVID-19 website for employees regularly for the latest.

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