COVID-19 vaccine order for Sydney in-home and community providers as advice updated for pregnant women

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In home and community aged care providers and workers in Greater Sydney have been told they must have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to continue in their job by 30 August – next Monday.

The NSW Government on Tuesday announced the new rules requiring in home and community aged care workers who live in a local government area (LGA) of concern, and who work outside their LGA of concern, to only be permitted to work if rapid antigen testing is implemented at their work site or they have had a first dose vaccination by 30 August.

The LGAs of concern are Bayside, Blacktown, Burwood, Campbelltown, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield, Georges River, Liverpool, Parramatta, Strathfield and Penrith suburbs : Caddens, Claremont Meadows, Colyton, Erskine Park, Kemps Creek, Kingswood, Mount Vernon, North St Marys, Orchard Hills, Oxley Park, St Clair and St Marys.

Priority access is available at dedicated Pfizer Hubs operated by Commonwealth vaccine providers and in-home and community aged care workers who live in the LGAs of concern can book a vaccination appointment at dedicated aged care vaccination hubs.

Workers can also identify themselves as requiring priority vaccination and book a vaccination appointment through the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility checker or the NSW Government website on how to get their COVID-19 vaccination.

Dr Lahiru Silva, centre, with the team that held Ryman Healthcare’s Nellie Melba Retirement Village’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

Ryman Healthcare, one of the first three aged care providers in Australia to receive accreditation to administer COVID-19 vaccines, has been vaccinating pregnant and breastfeeding team members, including Rosie Butler (pictured), with a clinic at Nellie Melba Retirement Village in Wheelers Hill, Melbourne, last week.

Nellie Melba Registered Nurse Anna Maharjan, who is 23 weeks pregnant, says she was initially reluctant to get vaccinated.

“When I did a lot of research myself, I found that it is not only safe, but beneficial for both mother and baby,” she said.

“I would encourage pregnant women to get vaccinated because it is good for yourself, your baby and all the people who are in contact with you, so it’s a wise decision,” Anna said.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists updated its COVID-19 advice for pregnant and breastfeeding women on 18 August to state that pregnant women are a priority group for COVID-19 vaccination, and should be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at any stage of pregnancy.

With some providers reporting high levels of ‘vaccine hesitancy’ among workers of childbearing age, it is good advice to share with employees.

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