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Occupational Vaccination Policy

Category Health and Safety
Type Policy
Approved by Vice-Chancellor, 24 November 2014
Date Policy Took Effect 24 November 2014
Last Approved Revision 26 June 2017
Sponsor Chief Operating Officer
Responsible Officer Head, Health and Safety Compliance
Review Date 1 June 2021


The purpose of this policy is to provide a safe work place for staff whose work activities include potential exposure to occupational infections where effective immunization vaccines are available.

Organisational Scope

This policy applies to all University of Otago work locations.


Biological pathogen - An infectious agent or hazardous biological material that presents a risk or potential risk to the health of humans, animals or the environment.

MyPractice system - The Occupational Health Office Client Management system for clinical notes and records.

Occupational infections - Identified potential or actual biological pathogens that are a potential source of infection due to the work activities.

Vaccination - The administration of antigenic material (a vaccine) to stimulate an individual’s immune system to develop immunity to a pathogen.

Vault - The University of Otago on line health and safety management system.


1. Potential exposure

The potential for exposure to biological pathogens associated with the work task/environment is
to be clearly identified in the hazard/risk register within Vault.

2. Vaccination availability

Where effective immunisation vaccinations are available for potential work related biological pathogen exposure, vaccination is to be offered as a reasonably practicable step under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

3. Biological pathogens training programme

Where biological pathogen exposure risks are identified, a formal training programme shall be provided to workers including the following:
• Description of the hazards
• Method of transmission
• Controls to prevent transmission
• Specifics of immunisation vaccination including reliability, side effects, test and vaccination procedure
• Process of consent
• Options for individuals who choose not to be vaccinated or cannot be immunised.

4. Employee consent

A completed consent form is required prior to any vaccination.

Individuals are not obliged to accept the University’s offer of vaccination. Where an employee chooses not to have the vaccination, alternative hazard/risk exposure control methods must be implemented to minimise the risk of exposure. Refusal to accept the vaccination will be recorded by the Occupational Health Staff in the Employees occupational health file in the MyPractice system.

5. Immunisation Status and records

The immunisation status of employees will be assessed and vaccination offered according to the level of risk associated with the work tasks and work environment.

Records of vaccination and immunisation status must be maintained on the Employee’s occupational health file.

6. Cost of Vaccination

Costs associated with vaccinations required under this policy for staff will be borne by the University.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and associate regulations

Health and Safety Policy

Biohazard Safety Manual

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact the Head, Health and Safety Compliance,