All NSW Health staff must prove they have the jab

By Shannon Jenkins

August 27, 2021

NSW health minister Brad Hazzard. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)

New South Wales health department employees must prove that they have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by September 30 or they will be excluded from the workplace, according to state health minister Brad Hazzard.

Hazzard has this week announced that all NSW Health staff will be required to get the jab, unless they have an exemption for medical reasons. He noted that, while the department employs staff across a range of settings, ‘these staff work together for many reasons, particularly during a pandemic’.

A new public health order requires staff to have their first vaccine dose by September 30. To continue working, staff must either be fully vaccinated by November 30 or have their second appointment booked.

Hazzard noted that while 80% of NSW Health staff have already had their first jab, having all employees vaccinated would provide greater protection for patients, visitors and other staff.

“It will also ease pressure on our health system during this challenging time,” he said.

“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.”

Hazzard said the decision has been made following consultation with unions, peak bodies and private health providers. Currently, the only other mandatory vaccination requirements in Australia apply to residential aged care workers.

The announcement has come amid a national campaign, led by the Australian Private Hospitals Association, calling for all hospital workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

NSW on Thursday reported 1,034 new COVID-19 cases. There are currently more than 13,000 active cases in the state.

Read more: Private hospitals petition for mandatory vaccination of all healthcare workers


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