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January deadline set as NSW extends vaccination mandate to all primary care providers

Optometry NSW/ACT has advised its members that all staff working in optometry practices in NSW – including support staff – must be double-vaccinated by the end of next month.

The advice follows an announcement from NSW Health on 16 December that 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.

NSW Health said 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 state government department said.

“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.”

NSW Health stipulated that staff will not be able to work in these settings, unless they are vaccinated or have a medical contraindication certified by a medical practitioner by 31 January.

Optometry NSW/ACT said it was expecting to receive further information from NSW Health in early January and will update members accordingly.

Optometry NSW/ACT members can direct queries to (02) 9712 2199 or sarah@oaansw.com.au.

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