Vaccine mandate for ACT disability workers

Canberra disability support workers and community aged care staff will be mandated to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

The new public health order in the capital will require workers to have received their first dose by November 15 and be fully vaccinated by December 13.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the decision followed a large number of talks with the sector.

It was originally proposed workers would need to be fully vaccinated by November 29 but the mandate was pushed back by two weeks after consultation.

“Stakeholders considered that the ACT’s public health direction should be more consistent with the approach taken with NSW,” Ms Stephen-Smith said.

“This is why we have a consultation process and I am confident that the direction to be signed today will meet the needs of the affected sectors while protecting the community.”

Healthcare workers and teachers in the ACT have already been mandated to be fully vaccinated.

More than 92 per cent of the eligible population aged 12 and over are fully vaccinated in the national capital.

It comes as Canberrans will be able to receive a booster shot from Monday.

People who have had their full course of a vaccine more than six months ago can now get the Pfizer top-up shot at a government clinic, regardless of which brand of vaccine they already had.

Immunocompromised Canberrans have already been able to get a booster shot.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the third dose would provide an extra layer of protection against COVID, as restrictions in the capital ease.

“Canberrans have shown an amazing enthusiasm for getting vaccinated and we expected that this will carry over into the booster program,” Mr Barr said.

Canberra’s COVID figures are expected to be released later on Monday morning.

News Gaffer