The Australian Institute of Health and Safety (AIHS) last week urged the federal and state governments to mandate COVID-19 innoculations for all healthcare workers and staff across all divisions and operations immediately. David Clarke, CEO of AIHS, said that the authorities in Western Australia, NSW and Tasmania are mandating vaccines in the healthcare sector and the rest should follow the same pattern.
According to him, the healthcare systems should be strongly positioned to deal with the adversities accompanied by the easing up of COVID-19 restrictions in the coming months. The healthcare industry will be at a great risk and vaccine mandates are a plausible option to ensure a safe and sound working environment. Ensuring good public health and minimising risks of COVID-19 transmission is the state's prerogative.
Similarly, Catholic Health Australia (CHA), Australia’s largest non-government not-for-profit grouping of health and aged care services, has asked the federal government to mandate vaccines for disability support workers as the Delta variant of COVID-19 spread in these communities. As only about a third of disability support workers are fully inoculated, CHA wrote to PM Scott Morrison and the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, Linda Reynolds requesting them to begin a commonwealth mandate vaccination program. The CHA announced that the ‘opt-in model’ has failed to deliver the results.”
Asking for a similar commonwealth model implemented for residential aged care workers, CHA Director of Mission and Strategy Rebecca Burdick Davies, said “If mandatory vaccination is good enough for residential aged care and health care workers then surely it must be good enough for disability support workers."
The push to vaccinate is not just in the healthcare sector. The aviation sector is well up in the front of the charge: Alliance Airlines made vaccinations mandatory months ago, and Qantas and Virgin Australia have already followed suit, while over in New Zealand, Auckland Airport beat the government's deadline for mandatory immunisation. On the other hand, the debate over mandatory vaccinations has been deeply acrimonious, even making its way into union-employer relations.