Victoria Brings In Booster Mandate For Critical Workers As Restrictions Tighten
"Really profound spike"
As Victoria's Covid cases and hospitalisations spike, a third Covid vaccine, or booster mandate has been announced for key workers.
Chief health officer Martin Foley told reporters at Mondays press conference that the “profound increase in hospitalisation numbers” has prompted the new legislation.
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The order, which was approved overnight by Premier Daniel Andrews, and will be signed off today by Mr Foley will be mandated under the state's new pandemic orders.
Under the new changes workers eligible for their booster on or before Wednesday will have until February 12 to meet the requirement, Mr Foley confirmed.
If those required to receive a third dose are not yet eligible for a booster shot, they will have three months and two weeks from the date of their second dose to meet the vaccination requirements.
Workers included in the booster mandate are:
- Healthcare workers
- Aged care workers
- Disability workers
- Emergency service workers
- People who work in prisons and corrections
- Hotel quarantine workers
- Food distribution workers, including manufacturing, warehousing and transport
- Supermarket and grocery staff
- Abattoir, seafood, and meat processing workers
“All of these groups are already covered by existing mandates for those first two vaccinations,” Mr Foley said.
“This is a sensible addition for the relatively high-risk nature that these sectors operate.”
Mr Foley also stressed "that there are significant other sectors of the Victorian community also covered by that first and second mandate for vaccines and we are currently closely examining what further measures, based on this risk, and what consultation and support needs to be provided to those sectors to bring those sectors also into line with future vaccine mandates."
"That work is quite active at the moment and will ramp up and we’ll have more to say about future vaccination mandates to achieve those same goals in the near future when that work is undertaken. Some of the other public health and social measures that will also been acted based on the advice they’ve received will also be implemented as of January 12 when this new set of orders rolls in."
Further restrictions will also be set in motion from Wednesday evening including banning indoor dance floors, tighter restrictions for visitors to aged care and hospital facilities, along with changes to close contact requirements for those working in the food distribution system.
"This is a sensible addition for the relatively high-risk nature that these sectors operate, when it comes to vaccine protection and of course their critical contribution to keeping Victoria operating," Mr Foley said.
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