16 December 2021

Mandatory vaccination requirements will be extended to all primary care and other private sector health service providers across NSW, with these workers required to have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by 31 January 2022.

These changes are consistent with requirements in other states and territories, including Victoria, Queensland, and Western Australia.

NSW Health earlier this year introduced mandatory vaccination for its healthcare workers to help protect patients, visitors, other health staff and the wider community.

The revised Public Health Order will retain the existing coverage of NSW Health staff and staff in public and private hospitals. It will also extend vaccination requirements to health practitioners working in private and community settings, such as doctors, nurses and pharmacists, speech pathologists, dieticians and naturopaths. It will also cover support staff working in these practices.

Vaccination is particularly important in healthcare settings due to the high proportion of vulnerable people.

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) recommends mandatory vaccinations for all workers in healthcare settings in Australia as a condition of work.

Obligations for employers to take reasonable steps to ensure workers comply with these vaccination requirements, and for workers to provide evidence of vaccination will also apply. Workers will not be able to work in these settings, unless they are vaccinated or have a medical contraindication certified by a medical practitioner.

NSW Health will be consulting with key medical and health stakeholders prior to commencement of the changes.