News overnight that Covid-19 vaccinations will be mandatory for healthcare workers is a welcome but overdue move, said Cate Faehrmann Greens MP and Health Spokesperson, who wrote to the Health Minister earlier this week urging this as well as ensuring adequate PPE to all healthcare workers, including fit-tested N95 face masks.
“We welcome the news that Covid-19 vaccines will be mandatory for all healthcare workers by 30 September. However, with 80 healthcare workers from St George Hospital having to isolate this week as a result of Covid spreading through its oncology ward, this should have been done much sooner,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“As the Greens NSW health spokesperson I wrote to Health Minister Brad Hazzard and the health unions on Monday, urging them to work together to mandate Covid vaccines for health workers. These workers are already required to be fully immunised against other deadly transmissible diseases including Hepatitis B, mumps, measles, rubella, chicken pox and the flu, so why has it taken so long for Covid?
“NSW Health must provide information and support in multiple languages, and those workers who are unable to receive the vaccination should be offered work in the health system away from frontline work.
“I acknowledge that there have been significant access, supply and choice issues for healthcare workers across the state which is even worse in regional NSW, along with confusing and conflicting messages. This is the NSW government’s responsibility to urgently address.
“I have also called on the Minister to ensure all frontline healthcare workers are fit tested for N95 masks and regularly tested for Covid-19. Our healthcare workers deserve the highest standard of protection if they’re going to face the highest risks of exposure in this pandemic,” said Ms Faehrmann.