How Catholic Health Australia got its workforce vaccinated against COVID-19

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Members of the Not For Profit health and aged care operator Catholic Health Australia have detailed how all their workers were successfully vaccinated against COVID-19 ahead of the 17 September deadline.

Paul Johnson, COO of Ballycara in Queensland, felt the Federal Government’s on-site clinics was the “real game changer”, Catholic Health Australia said.

“We were offered two in August and a follow up in mid-September. We actively promoted them, set up our own booking system, and provided a space that worked efficiently and flowed really well for Aspen, the vaccine provider.

“We highlighted the clinics on social media, with (Ballycara Executive Chairman) Marcus Riley getting his vaccination, along with other key staff, and having them say why they got their jabs. The first clinic was also combined with Aged Care Employee Day, and we encouraged people to dress as superheroes on the day as well.”

Helen Emmerson, CEO of Southern Cross Care NSW and ACT, said “positive and consistent communication” was key.

”We encouraged staff who had been vaccinated to update their email signature blocks to let people who perhaps may have been a bit hesitant that people they worked with had been vaccinated,” said Ms Emmerson (pictured above).

Wayne Stoddard, Group Manager of Residential Care Services, Southern Cross Care (SA & NT) Inc, said it was promoting vaccinations to all staff “well before the mandatory vaccinations were announced in June.”

“In June, when it was announced it was becoming mandatory, we arranged a bus schedule from each site to transport staff to the vaccination clinics,” he said.

“We told staff that their managers would facilitate for them, within roster constraints, to go and get vaccinated during work time – anything to make it easy. We also decided that if anyone – full-timers or casuals – had gone in their own time to be vaccinated, we would pay them.”

According to data provided on Monday, 99.7% of all aged care workers in Tasmania, 99.6% of all aged care workers in WA, 99.5% of all aged care workers in SA, and 99.4% of all aged care workers in NSW and QLD have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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