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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Mandatory vaccinations for all St Vincent’s Health Australia health care workers

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St Vincent’s Health Australia has announced a mandatory vaccination policy for all of its health and aged care facilities, including its Melbourne hospitals.

The health provider operates 16 public and private hospitals, and 23 aged care facilities across Victoria, NSW and Queensland, and will require “all staff, volunteers and contractors” be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Unions, peak bodies and workers will be consulted about the policy in the coming weeks to help determine a date for when it will come into effect.

St Vincent’s Health Australia Group chief executive Toby Hall said more than 70 per cent of people across the organisation are already fully vaccinated.

“We see it as a complementary and logical step in the process of keeping our sites as safe as possible as Australia learns to live with COVID-19 long term,” he said.

It comes as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews revealed national cabinet is set to confirm on Friday that all healthcare workers across the country will be subject to mandatory vaccinations.

“We’ll provide some time but that would only be a matter of weeks,” he told reporters on Wednesday.

In addition, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said he is open to using his public health powers to mandate COVID-19 vaccines in other settings.

“We’ve done it in aged care,” he said.

“We’re working to a mandate for healthcare workers … there are potentially other industries that might be in the scope in that regard.”

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