NSW first to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all health staff

Physiotherapist at Westmead Hospital Nerissa Grebert receives her COVID-19 vaccination from registered nurse Puspadevi Paudel.

Healthcare workers in NSW will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to help ensure the safety of colleagues and patients in all public and private hospitals.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said under the Public Health Order, health staff must have a first dose of vaccine by 30 September 2021 and be fully vaccinated by 30 November 2021, or at least have their second appointment booked to continue working.

“Many health workers in NSW are already vaccinated but if all of our staff are vaccinated it will provide greater protection for patients, visitors and other health staff,” Mr Hazzard said.

“It will also ease pressure on our health system during this challenging time. More than 1,200 healthcare workers have been in isolation each day over the past seven days and we cannot afford that right now. Vaccinations will help ensure our fantastic staff can continue to care for patients.

“The public and private health systems have a responsibility to implement every possible measure to provide a safe work environment for their staff and most importantly, safe circumstances for their patients.”

The first person to receive their COVID-19 vaccination at the Westmead Vaccination hub – nurse unit manager Dante Canete.

Frontline health staff and their families have had priority access to COVID-19 vaccines since the commencement of the Federal Government’s vaccination rollout in February.

National Cabinet agreed in June to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for aged care workers. NSW will now ensure the same protections exist for all our health workers.

Already in NSW, mandatory vaccinations for frontline health staff are required for contagious diseases including influenza, chicken pox, measles and whooping cough.

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination will apply to all NSW Health staff, as although NSW Health employs staff across a wide range of settings and organisations, these staff work together for many reasons, particularly during a pandemic.

“The great news is eight in 10 (80 per cent) of all NSW Health staff have already had their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination,” Mr Hazzard said.

NSW Health has consulted with unions, peak bodies and private health providers about mandatory vaccination. We will all work together to help staff meet this obligation.

Staff will be required to provide evidence they have received their first dose to their employer by 30 September 2021 or they will be excluded from the workplace.

Those who have a medical contraindication will be exempt if a medical practitioner confirms the medical contraindication.

Priority COVID-19 vaccination appointments are still available for all staff so please contact your manager and local coordinator to book an appointment.

The Qudos Bank Arena Vaccination Centre is vaccinating anyone aged 16-39 from an area of concern. Book here.