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Workplace jabs considered for wider rollout

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Employees could start receiving COVID vaccinations at work within months under a push to include businesses in the immunisation rollout, with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to discuss the proposal with industry leaders today.

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Major companies have put their hands up to administer jabs using workplace flu vaccination schemes already in place.

Frydenberg and John Frewen, who leads the vaccine task force, will meet with business leaders on Wednesday to discuss industry rollout options.

Vaccine incentives are on the agenda after firms including Qantas raised the prospect of rewarding vaccinated customers through loyalty schemes.

Lieutenant General Frewen said both handouts and more policy settings to encourage people to receive a vaccine would be considered.

“As to whether they’re necessary, I think for now there is a lot of interest from the community about getting vaccinated,” he told reporters in Canberra.

“Perhaps later in the campaign when we’re starting to get to those people who are less convinced or a bit more hesitant that may be a better time for incentives.”

He said nurses used to doing workplace flu vaccinations could be trained to administer coronavirus shots.

With a significant speeding up of the sluggish rollout expected as more Pfizer doses arrive in Australia, businesses could join the rollout in September or October.

People under 40 could also receive access to Pfizer shots from as early as September.

Most people in that age bracket are not currently eligible for Pfizer but can talk to their GP about receiving the AstraZeneca jab.

Almost 8000 younger people have received their first AstraZeneca dose since Prime Minister Scott Morrison highlighted it as an option last week.

A lack of supply and changing health advice has hampered the rollout with around 9.5 per cent of people in Australia over the age of 16 fully vaccinated.

-with AAP

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