Tasmanian eyecare professionals across both public and private settings will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 under mandated requirements by the state government.
Acting Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff has announced mandatory vaccinations for healthcare workers in the state, which will apply to optometrists and medical practitioners such as ophthalmologists.
Optometry Australia said it had received advice from the Tasmanian Government that the vaccination requirement extends to all workers within the optometry practice, including non-health workers such as security personnel, cleaners, maintenance, catering and administration staff.
Under the public health direction issued on 10 September, eyecare professionals will be required to have received a first dose or provide evidence of a booking or vaccine exemption form by 31 October 2021.
“Some people with specific medical conditions may be exempt. Talk with your GP or specialist if you need to discuss a medical exemption,” OA stated.
How to prove your vaccination?
The Tasmanian Government said the employee must provide one or more of the following documents to their employer:
- A copy of their Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register, operated by or on behalf of the Commonwealth Government.
- OR a copy of their COVID-19 digital certificate.
- If first dose received, a copy of their Immunisation History Statement from the Australian Immunisation Register, and evidence of second dose appointment.
- If not yet vaccinated, evidence of their booking for a vaccination.
- OR their vaccination exemption form.
- Workers who cannot provide such evidence will not be permitted to enter their work premises if it is a medical or health facility or provide health and medical services if they are a health care worker.
The state government also advised healthcare workers would not be exempt if they were pregnant or breastfeeding.
“The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) and the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) recommend that pregnant people be routinely offered the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at any stage of pregnancy,” the government said.
Rockliff said as of 3 September, around 80% of healthcare workers had received the vaccine and while the government did not take this step lightly, it is critical to ensure the protection of the health workforce and the protection of vulnerable patients in their care should an outbreak of the Delta strain occur in Tasmania.
“These are difficult times and the escalation of cases in jurisdictions, including NSW, Victoria and the ACT, is a stark reminder of how challenging COVID-19 is, and our thoughts are with those currently undergoing extended lockdowns,” he said.
“We continue to do all we can to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering Tasmania, as we continue to get our vaccination rates up.”
More information can be found here.