In order to slow the spread of the virus, Victoria’s new vaccine mandate requires authorized workers to receive their first dose of the COVID 19 vaccine by October 15 in order to remain working in person. This includes all essential workers who do not already have existing vaccination requirements.
As Victoria moves through its National Roadmap plan, the mandate has been put in place to alleviate pressure on the healthcare system and create a smoother path to reopening. To further explain the specifics of the new mandate, here’s more information and answers to common questions.
What’s the vaccination timeline?
All authorized workers who are continuing to work on site are asked to have at least their first dose by Friday, October 15. By November 26, they will be expected to be fully vaccinated.
This deadline does not apply to workers who have already been included in a previous mandate. For example, employees in areas such as health care, construction, and education still are asked to follow pre existing rules set in place.
How will authorized workers be able to receive the vaccine in time?
Victoria is expanding the GP and pharmacy grant program to priority, doubling the number of available grants, and providing additional aid to the primary care network in order ensure that all employees will be able to get their vaccines by the deadline.
In addition, they’re holding a walk-up Moderna blitz from October 4-10 at a variety of locations. Thousands of first dose appointments will be made available in the time leading up to the deadline. Vaccination centers will be operating with extended hours.
Why has the requirement been announced?
As pressure on our health care system increases and the supply of the vaccine is becoming more widely available, the new vaccination mandate has been introduced to include workers who were formerly not a part of the vaccine requirement. The Burnet Institute gave this advice after Victoria saw more than 1000 daily cases due to concerns about the hospital system being overrun and in order to ensure protection of the road to reopening.
What if I can’t get vaccinated due to a medical reason?
If you have a medical reason preventing you from receiving the vaccine, you may be exempt from the requirement. The Equal Opportunity Act protects those who cannot be vaccinated due to a medical issue or disability. Talk to your company or HR department if you think you may fall into this category.
Who is considered an authorized worker?
Victoria’s authorized workers list includes a wide variety of employees in various types of industries. Here are some of the main categories included in the mandate.
- authorized health services and practitioners
- interpreters, cultural or other support workers
- emergency services, including both volunteers and paid
- construction, maintenance and repair
- personal trainers (with an ABN for this purpose) providing services solely outdoors and not at a residential premise
- broadcasting online classes, entertainment, religious services and ceremonies (no more than 5 people at the facility)
- retail goods workers
- maternal and child health workers providing essential care to children under school age and their mothers/caregivers
- local government specific services such as: essential environmental health functions that protect the health and wellbeing of the community, and high-risk local law enforcement
- commonwealth agency services, including Australian Border Force and commonwealth law enforcement and intelligence agency services
- a factory or facility that is not able to be shut down without causing damage or loss to plant and equipment, but only those operations that are necessary in order to prevent that damage or loss
- pool and spa maintenance service workers when servicing commercial pools and spa or those in residential apartment premises
- production and distribution of: disability and health equipment, food and groceries, liquor, medical and pharmaceutical products, animal food and care products, measures to limit the spread of COVID 19
- final-year higher education students who do not have alternative options to complete their study by end of year
- essential infrastructure and essential services that are required to maintain or protect human health, safety and wellbeing
- roadside assistance services
- services related to the administration of justice
- journalist and media services
- professional or high-performance sportsperson
- administrative services
- farming activities
- public transport, including taxis, rideshare services, and other public passenger services
- a hotel, motel or other accommodation facility to the extent that they provide accommodation services
In order to protect workers, ensure protection, and to continue to move towards reopening, the Victorian government has set the requirement in place. While these are some of the most frequent questions asked as workers across Australia are expected to receive their COVID vaccinations in the upcoming weeks, to learn more about the vaccine requirements, visit Victoria’s vaccination guideline page, which contains a variety of references and resources regarding COVID 19 information.
If you have any questions on how this applies to your petrol station please get in touch with us.