Mandatory Vaccination of Aged Care Workers

30 June 2021

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation Tasmanian Branch (ANMF) support COVID-19 vaccination to save lives and assist in the fight against the pandemic.

However, the ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary Emily Shepherd said it is appalling the Prime Minister has made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for Aged Care workers (from mid-September) when the Commonwealth removed vaccination of these workers from the 1a roll out and failed to vaccinate all aged care residents, let alone the workforce.

“The Commonwealth has not responded to consistent calls from the ANMF to make paid vaccination leave available to Aged Care workers so that workers could access a vaccine in paid time and to cover any vaccine related illness, which would have facilitated greater uptake of the vaccine, yet have now chosen to after making it mandatory!”

“It is outrageous to announce Commonwealth support for Aged Care workers to access vaccines in paid time now, when the ANMF has been calling for this support for months to increase vaccine uptake in Aged Care workers who were having difficulty in accessing appointments.”

Ms Shepherd said that the ANMF is also seeking further clarification from the Commonwealth on a range of matters with respect to how this announcement is likely to affect ANMF members in the aged care sector.

Ms Shepherd said the ANMF has welcomed early consultation and offer from the Tasmanian Government for any Aged Care worker to receive Pfizer vaccines (regardless of age) at the State run COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

“The ANMF is grateful to the State Government for allowing all Aged Care workers irrespective of age to access Pfizer vaccines through the state clinics as no doubt there will be many workers who are over the age of 40 and would have otherwise needed to access an Astra Zeneca vaccine from their GP.”

The ANMF has received confirmation from the Department of Health who have committed to early consultation regarding the Public Health order which will be required to enforce this decision. It is likely this will be several weeks away.

Ms Shepherd said the AMNF will be pursuing all avenues to secure job security for those Aged Care workers who, for legitimate medical reasons, cannot work in aged care due to any Public Health order from mid-September.

Media contact:
Emily Shepherd, ANMF Tasmanian Branch Secretary
Mobile: 0400 884 021