Victorian construction industry workers are being targeted by a vaccination blitz that is designed to get them back on building sites as soon as possible.
The Victorian government has set aside 20,000 Pfizer appointments for construction workers as well as unlimited AstraZeneca jabs in order to boost vaccination levels within the sector.
Four major vaccination centres will be available for construction workers to walk into and get jabbed over the next fortnight.
Getting vaccinated construction workers back on building sites is one thing, but the government is also beefing up its policing of compliance with COVIDsafe rules.
There will be 50 teams of authorised officers, WorkSafe inspectors and people working for the Victorian Building Authority that would visit sites to ensure employers were ensuring they and their workers comply with state health orders.
This move from the Victorian Government was supported by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Paul Guerra, the chief executive officer of the VCCI, said the engagement with the construction sector in order to drive up vaccination rates and monitor compliance is critical.
“We would like to see this program expanded to customer-facing workforces such as hospitality and retail, as well as childcare and education after the construction blitz,:” Guerra said.
“The Victorian Chamber is also advocating for greater clarity on how the 90% vaccination rate for construction workers will be documented and communicated when those levels become mandated and how that could serve as a pilot for other industries.
“Business is looking for immediate clarity, certainty and guidance on the issues of mandatory vaccination rates and vaccination as a condition of entry, and these should be contained in the state’s roadmap out of lockdown.”
The opening up of 20,000 Pfizer appointments for construction workers came on the same day as the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia revealed that more than 500,000 vaccinations had been administered in community pharmacies.
“In just a few short weeks, pharmacists have administered over half a million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to Australians – and I applaud all of the country’s pharmacist immunisers for their dedication to protecting their communities, especially those in hotspot areas where the risk of exposure remains high,” said Chris Freeman, the national president of the pharmacists body.
“With Moderna becoming available exclusively in community pharmacies over the next few weeks, and with pharmacists now allowed to vaccinate those over the age of 12 with Moderna, we expect these numbers to grow rapidly.”