New South Wales makes vaccination compulsory for all healthcare staff

Healthcare staff in New South Wales (NSW) must be inoculated with the COVID-19 vaccine by September 30, said NSW health minister Brad Hazzard.
By: | October 1, 2021

If they do not get the jab by the deadline, they will be put on unpaid leave, potentially affecting thousands of healthcare workers.

The minister said he had no intention to exempt any local health district or hospital from the operation of the rules as 94% of NSW Health’s 140,000 staff have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Hospital staff who have not provided evidence of having received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the deadline will be placed on unpaid leave until they produce evidence of vaccination or a medical-exemption certificate, and staff may be able to apply to access accrued leave entitlements for a short time to enable them to get vaccinated.

Hazzard said staff shortages caused by the mandate would be dealt with by drawing on nurses and doctors from other areas, rather than by granting exemptions for particular hospitals or areas, describing health staff choosing not to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as “selfish”.

READ: Australian employers get wage subsidies for apprentices

Some NSW healthcare staff are opting to remain unvaccinated, and there are currently two legal challenges to mandatory vaccination in NSW: one brought by Riverina paramedic John Larter and another by aged care worker Natasha Henry in the Byron area, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.