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Push for mandatory healthcare worker jabs

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National cabinet will today consider a push from federal health advisers for mandatory vaccinations for all healthcare workers across the country.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders will receive the advice at a virtual meeting of the national cabinet on Friday afternoon.

While most jurisdictions have set dates for bringing in the measure – or put in place a range of policies covering different sections of health and aged care – others have been waiting for a national approach.

It is understood the peak advisory body – the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee – will recommend the move for all states and territories across all healthcare sectors.

Earlier this month the Australian Medical Association called for a national approach, including legal protections for healthcare employers who mandate vaccinations for all their staff.

The AMA said it should cover GPs and practice staff, pharmacists, all hospital staff including cleaners and cooks, and ambulance personnel, leaving no exemptions except for legitimate medical reasons.

The AHPPC will also provide advice to the national cabinet on only allowing vaccinated people to visit aged care facilities, as will be the case in NSW from October 11.

The national cabinet will also receive updates on the spread of the Delta variant, the vaccine rollout and supply issues and pressures on the capacity of the health system.

A move to make Pfizer and Moderna available to all Australians aged over 12 from Friday is expected to boost vaccination rates.

South Australia has already given over-12s access to the two mRNA jabs, as well as over-60s.

The latest health department figures show 78.5 per cent of over 70s are now fully dosed, with the proportion sitting at 71.3 per cent for over-50s and 54.2 per cent for over 16s.

-with AAP

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