Despite the hesitancy of some to get vaccinated, the state government has expanded their workforce vaccination policy to mandate vaccines for certain workers.
The policy follows the existing mandates in place for workers in high-risk industries.
The policy’s phased approach is to apply mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for expanded industries in WA, as well as a requirement for all critical workers to be vaccinated to attend work in the event of a lockdown or similar restrictions.
In Australia, 1648 people have died from COVID-19 out of 160,230 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organisation.
The Therapeutic Goods Association reported nine deaths linked to the COVID-19 vaccine out of 32.6 million doses administered.
Premier Mark McGowan announced the updated mandate on October 20, explaining that WA needs to be prepared for community transmission and the policy is critical to allow the State to maintain services, and allow businesses to continue operating safely in the long term.
The first group must have their first dose of the vaccine by December 1 2021 and be fully vaccinated by December 31.
These mandates included workers from industries such as border and air transport, staff working or entering remote Aboriginal communities, residential and non-residential community care services, corrections, WA police not already mandated, Fire and Emergency Services excluding volunteers and Abattoirs and meat processing.
Group two includes specific cohorts of critical workers including school staff, who must be fully vaccinated by the start of term one next year.
Other workers are required to get vaccinated in the event of a lockdown, including roles where it is not possible to work from home.
The announcement of mandatory vaccinations came just as a new hub opened in Armadale at the Armadale Central Shopping Centre, which provided easier access to the vaccine to residents in Perth’s southeast.