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New vaccine mandate facing aged care workers

Residential aged care workers are facing new requirements for a third booster shot to be considered as fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) now considers three doses of Covid-19 vaccine necessary in order to be “up-to-date”.

Based on that recommendation, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) said last week that for aged care staff to be fully vaccinated they should receive three shots of vaccine.

The AHPCC is the peak organisation in Australia for disease control and public health emergency management, and is comprised of state chief health officers.

It is recommending state and territory leaders require staff members receive a booster dose as a condition of working in a residential aged care facility.

“It is important that our most vulnerable people in residential aged care are protected from the devastating effects of COVID-19,” it said in a statement.

“An important part of that protection is a requirement for residential aged care staff to be fully and recently vaccinated.

“In view of the changed ATAGI advice, this should now include three rather than two vaccine doses.”

Booster doses of vaccine are recommended for all Australians three months after receiving the second dose.

According to the AHPCC, boosters have a “moderate impact” on reducing risk of developing infection from COVID-19.

“Ensuring workers have received three doses of vaccine has a direct impact on reducing transmission to residents of aged care facility by preventing infection in workers,” it said.

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