Mandatory vaccination directions extended to healthcare workers
September 30, 2021
The VHA welcomes the extension of the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions to healthcare workers, following calls for consistency across the health and community care sector.
On Wednesday 29 September, the Acting Chief Health Officer extended the directions to include healthcare workers working at specified healthcare facilities such as hospitals, ambulance and patient transport services, community health services, and general practices.
This includes all workers, students and volunteers employed or contracted to work at a specified healthcare facility, including those performing administrative and ancillary roles, ambulance and patient transport, and on-site retail workers.
From 15 October, operators of healthcare facilities must take reasonable steps to prevent unvaccinated healthcare workers from coming on site to work. However, the directions allow for a transition period from 15 October to 29 October for healthcare workers to book and receive a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Healthcare facility operators must also collect, record and hold vaccination information of healthcare workers scheduled to work at a healthcare facility on or after 15 October 2021 and provide that information to an Authorised Officer if requested.
Recognising the need to allow for healthcare workers to provide critical and urgent care during emergencies, the directions detail exceptional circumstances that may apply. This includes emergency response situations and where a large number of staff are furloughed if the healthcare facility becomes a Tier 1 exposure site.
To ensure there is consistency across the entire healthcare system, the VHA will continue to raise the need for the directions to be extended to in-home care for all healthcare workers.
More information is available at: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorias-restriction-levels-covid-19
VHA members, do you have a question or concern about implementing the Directions in your service?
Recognising that some services may have questions or face challenges in implementing the Directions, we have created an engagement space for VHA members to share their questions or concerns. VHA members can post a question or concern on the board, and the VHA team will work to find answers and support resources. We will collate member feedback until 22 October and provide a response by the end of October.