Vaccine mandated for authorised workers in Victoria
ALL Victorian authorised workers will be required to have at least their first COVID-19 vaccination within two weeks to keep working on site.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced all workers in Melbourne and regional Victoria on the state’s authorised worker list will need to have their first dose by October 15 and the second by November 26.
The October 15 deadline will not supersede Victoria’s mandate timelines for aged care, healthcare, freight, construction and education workers.
Mr Andrews said the authorised worker vaccine mandate would affect hundreds of thousands of Victorians and is based on advice from the Burnett Institute and acting Chief Health Officer Ben Cowie.
“This is critically important to keep the case numbers down so that we can open up on 26 October, get our freedom back, get the economy going again and deliver the national plan,” he told reporters today (Friday, October 1).
It comes as Victoria has recorded 1,143 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases and three deaths, taking the death toll from the current outbreak to 44.
The deaths were a man in his 80s from Hume, a woman in her 70s from Alphington and a man in his 70s from Moreland.
There were 62,883 tests processed and 34,935 vaccine doses administered at state hubs in the 24 hours to midnight yesterday (Thursday, September 30).
The state’s daily local case tally fell by 300 from 1,438 on Thursday, of which at least 500 are linked to AFL gatherings last weekend across Melbourne.
COVID-19 Commander Jeroen Weimar has said if numbers continue to rise, Victoria will go from being just below the Burnet Institute’s roadmap-linked case projections to the worst scenario of up to 2900 daily infections by late October.
Some 70 per cent of the state’s eligible population is expected to be fully vaccinated by October 26.
To get to that target, and the following 80 per cent fully vaccinated benchmark, the time between Pfizer vaccine doses has been halved to three weeks in Victoria.
The interval change kicks in from Monday next week, allowing anyone who has received their first Pfizer dose to bring forward their second. The state’s vaccine booking system will be updated overnight on Sunday.
There will also be a shift in 88,000 Moderna vaccines from community pharmacies to state clinics to hasten the rollout, with pharmacists struggling to cope with the sudden demand.
Despite the federal government expanding Pfizer eligibility to Australians over 60 from today, the change is not being implemented in Victoria’s state-run hubs.
For exposure sites, head to coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites