Catholic sector renews calls for mandatory jabs

Catholic Health Australia said a blanket rule for COVID-19 vaccination should be in place for all hospital workers (CNS/Karen Pulfer Focht, Reuters)

Catholic Health Australia has renewed calls to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for all hospital workers nationally, with the number of healthcare workers infected with COVID-19 in the Sydney outbreak doubling in the past two weeks. Source: The Age.

NSW Heath data reveals that from the start of the outbreak on June 16 until July 24, about 10 per cent of healthcare workers who caught the highly transmissible Delta strain of the virus were fully vaccinated and about one-quarter had received at least one shot.

Catholic Health Australia last month called on national cabinet to require vaccination for all hospital staff, with some hospitals redeploying unvaccinated workers to clinical areas with a lower risk.

Director of health policy at CHA, James Kemp, said while many hospital workers were already vaccinated, a “mandatory policy would send a potent message to the minority who need the push. If canned fruit companies can make vaccinations mandatory they should surely be mandatory for hospital staff.”

In an Australian first, canned foods giant SPC announced last Thursday its staff would have to be vaccinated by November if they wanted to gain entry to worksites and retain their jobs.

CHA, which employs more than 45,000 workers, said a blanket rule for COVID-19 vaccination should be in place regardless of whether a hospital worker is employed in an emergency department, ICU, or a clinical or support position.

Australian Medical Association president Dr Omar Khorshid said while the AMA does not have a mandatory vaccination policy for healthcare workers it is “extremely likely” that mandatory vaccination will be a part of workplaces “as we move into a living-with-COVID life”.

FULL STORY

Mandate vaccine for healthcare workers, hospital network says (By Lucy Carroll, The Age

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