Destruction of COVID-19 vaccination information

By David Catanese and Alison Baker

Victorian businesses will be very familiar with COVID-19 vaccination requirements and the collection of vaccination data. The Occupational Health and Safety Amendment (COVID-19 Vaccination Information) Regulations dealing with these matters were introduced mid-2022, but have now expired.

This means that Victorian businesses must destroy any COVID-19 vaccination information (Vaccination Information) collected, recorded or held under the Regulations by 11 August 2023.

The Regulations

The Regulations were implemented to assist employers to collect, record, hold and use Vaccination Information of specified persons.

For the purposes of the Regulations, ‘specified persons’ included:

  • employees;
  • independent contractors and their employees;
  • volunteers; and
  • students on placement.

Vaccination Information includes:

  • whether a specified person received any dose of a vaccination against COVID-19, and if so, the date on which the person received the dose or if the person had received more than one dose, every date on which the person received those doses; or
  • whether a specified person is unable to receive a dose, or further dose, of a vaccination against COVID-19 due to a medical contraindication, an acute medical illness or the age of the specified person.

This information helped to assess and implement reasonable precautions to manage the risks associated with COVID-19.

Destroying Vaccination Information

Victorian businesses that need to destroy Vaccination Information should do so in a secure and confidential manner.

A business that fails to destroy Vaccination Information may be in breach of privacy legislation, including the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and/or the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic).

This requirement does not impact businesses who are permitted under other legislation to collect, use, record or hold Vaccination Information.

This article was written with the assistance of Stephanie Malamas, Graduate Lawyer.


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