‘Healthcare doesn’t just happen in hospitals’; PSA calls for NSW’s mandatory vaccination health orders to be expanded to all health staff

While the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) supports the NSW Government’s decision to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine for all the state’s hospital workers, it contends the requirements do not go far enough.


Yesterday, 26th August, the Berejiklian Government made COVID-19 vaccination mandatory for all NSW health workers in hospitals, aged care and ambulances – with first doses being required as of 30 September and second doses by 30 November.


In applauding the decision, PSA NSW Branch President, Chelsea Felkai, urged the NSW Government to go much further.


“I commend the Berejiklian Government’s decision to mandate COVID-19 vaccination for NSW health workers in hospitals. This is an important move, and NSW has led the nation on this. But I cannot understand why the public health order does not apply to health workers in primary care – such as community pharmacists and general practitioners.


“Frontline health care doesn’t just happen in hospitals. It happens in community pharmacies and medical centres. They are an equally high risk of transmission, as evidenced by their frequent appearances on exposure site lists.


“All health care workers and the community should be able to have confidence that everyone working to support health has heeded the health advice. That is, being vaccinated to protect themselves, their colleagues, and their patients,” Ms Felkai said.


PSA National President, A/Prof Chris Freeman, agreed, and called all other jurisdictions to get moving.


“The actions taken by the NSW Government are a step in the right direction, protecting health care workers and mitigating the risk of further transmission in high-risk primary care settings.


“It is appropriate that requirements for vaccination are consistent across all high-risk settings, such as health care – rather than being left as a decision for individual businesses and service providers.


“PSA asserts that the requirements must apply in all patient-facing settings, where pharmacists and other health care workers practice – including hospitals, community pharmacies, aged care, general practice and ACCHOs.


“Of course, we recognise there are a very small number of people who have genuine medical contraindication to vaccination. We must continue to support these people in our workforce and work with them on the safest role they can play, whilst maximising those immunised around them,” A/Prof Freeman said.


PSA calls on all state and territory governments to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all health workers.


For more information on vaccination requirements for NSW health workers, please visit this link.



Media contact: PSA media 0424 777 463