COVID-19: Study finds Pfizer vaccine effective against new strains

Aussies won't need proof of vaccination to work

Workers cannot refuse to go to work over fears their colleagues have not had a COVID vaccine.

Australia's work safety watchdog has issued advice to employers that it is "unlikely" the law will require customers and visitors show proof of vaccination to enter their premises.

"However, you might still want to require this as a condition of entry to your premises," Safe Work Australia said.

"Before you take action to impose this kind of requirement, you should seek advice as there may be privacy and discrimination issues that apply."

The watchdog also found it was "unlikely" mandatory vaccinations for workers would be "reasonably practicable", but said employers should consider whether staff risked catching COVID at work, dealt with vulnerable people or interacted with a lot of people that "could contribute to a 'super-spreading' event".

 

"Ultimately whether you should require your workers to be vaccinated will depend on the particular circumstances at the time you are undertaking your risk assessment," Safe Work Australia said.

"In most circumstances, a worker will not be able to rely on the WHS laws to cease work simply because another worker at the workplace isn't vaccinated, however this will depend on the circumstances."

It comes as it can be revealed that sites including Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, the showgrounds and local sporting clubs could be turned into mass coronavirus vaccination stations.

The hubs could be operating as early as April or May and will be set-up based on their proximity to communities, public transport and whether or not they have good ventilation.

Professor Julian Rait, the Victorian President of the Australian Medical Association (AMA) said talks were currently underway to bring such facilities online as the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are rolled out across the state on Monday.

He said the conversations also involved colleagues overseas, including in the UK and US, and experts who had worked on other vaccination campaigns, such as for ebola or polio.

"I think community sports facilities would be a good place, many people know them and know how to access them," Prof Rait said.

"They're familiar with them, they have good relations with their local sports clubs and we'd be looking to leverage their help.

"The showgrounds would be another place, I would think. And MSAC, it's got a huge basketball area - large stadiums where there's good ventilation, places with plenty of parking and access to transport."

Health Minister Martin Foley on Friday confirmed Whitten Oval, in Footscray, was one of many sites being considered by the state government.

"We're in discussions with all sorts of community groups as to what the prospects are for, particularly, 2a and 2b rollout," he said.

Prof Rait added that based on its location amid one of Melbourne's biggest multicultural communities, it would be a good test to ensure information and consent was available for all.

He said the football ground could accommodate about 450 people to get the jab per hour.

It's understood the process would take between 25 and 40 minutes and see patients screened, registered, vaccinated and then observed for about 15 minutes post-vaccination.

About 73 per cent of Australians have agreed or strongly agreed that they would get a COVID-19 vaccine once it became available, new figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.

But 12 per cent suggested they would not be vaccinated, citing concerns about the effectiveness of the jab and the potential side-effects.

The ABS survey also found that Victorians were more likely to get a COVID-19 test if they had mild symptoms than people from any other state.

alanah.frost@news.com.au

Originally published as Aussies won't need proof of vaccination to work



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