Two Australian states have both announced a new move towards booster mandates this morning.
Workers in key industries with a vaccine mandate will be required to get a booster before they can work onsite, it has been announced.
State Health Minister Martin Foley, speaking at a media conference this morning, said workers in critical industries, would be required to get their COVID-19 booster vaccination.
This includes those working in healthcare, aged care workers, disability support, emergency services, corrections, hotel quarantine, food distribution and abattoir, meat, poultry and seafood processing
They’ll be given until February 12 to receive what is essentially their third dose of a vaccine.
Supermarket and grocery staff, those who work in abattoirs or food and beverage processing, freight, transport, and logistics or food warehousing and storage will be among the critical workers allowed to keep doing their jobs, even if they find they are a close contact of someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
But there will be strict isolation rules for them to abide by.
Victoria’s Acting Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie said those rules – to kick in from midnight Wednesday – would only apply to those whose work “is necessary for the continuity of operations and other options have been exhausted”.
People who are not yet eligible for their booster will be forced to get it within three months and two weeks after their second jab.
NEW SOUTH WALES
New South Wales will begin mandating booster shots for select frontline workers, according to Premier Domonic Perrottet, as the state battles the spread of the Omicron variant.
According to the premier, teachers, nurses, as well as health and disability workers who are mandated to be fully immunised will now be required to get booster shots for further protection.
“There are a number of workers here in New South Wales that we have deemed to be in high-risk settings. In those circumstances, we have mandated vaccinations.”
Perrottet said at a press conference this morning: “We will be moving to those mandates including a booster shot.”
So far, NSW Education has announced all school-based staff will be required to have a third booster shot under changes to the mandatory vaccination regulations.
This means that in order to be classified as a fully vaccinated worker, the select frontline workers should have three shots of COVID-19 jabs, according to Health Minister Brad Hazzard in a statement.
In addition to expanding the state’s vaccine mandate, Perrottet also announced the reinstatement of some curbs and implementation of new measures.
Perrottet said that from January 8 to 27, singing and dancing will be prohibited in hospitality venues, entertainment facilities, and other major recreation establishments. Major events scheduled in the coming weeks will also be risk-assessed by authorities, who will decide if it could proceed.
OTHER STATES ALREADY ROLLING
The news above follows the announcement in November that South Australian healthcare workers will soon need to have their booster shot to be considered fully vaccinated.
Premier Steven Marshall announced the state government would “likely” make it compulsory for frontline healthcare, aged care and disability workers to have their third dose within two weeks of becoming eligible.
Only once they’ve had that booster shot will they be considered fully vaccinated — which is the same requirement for healthcare workers in Western Australia.
Western Australia workers who come under an existing vaccine mandate are now required to have a third dose within one month of eligibility, as part of the mandatory vaccination policy.
The Epsilon Boosters have arrived, ladies and gentlemen.
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