Emergency workers get jab

Many local emergency services professionals and volunteers have been vaccinated against Covid-19, but it is not mandatory across the board.

It is not mandatory for NSW Fire and Rescue firefighters to be vaccinated, but if you run into a firefighter from Tumut Fire and Rescue, it’s likely they have had the jab.

“All of our firefighters have been double vaccinated, except one who is waiting for the second jab,” Tumut Station Commander Mick Ivill said.

“It shouldn’t be long, because he has had the first Pfizer shot, and it is only a three week wait.” 

The Public Health (Covid-19 Vaccination of Health Care Workers) Order 2021 requires health care workers to have their first dose of Covid-19 vaccination by September 30 and second dose by November 30, unless they have a medical contraindication form signed by a medical practitioner.

The Order applies to:

• in the public sector, people who work for the NSW Health Service, for a public health organisation, the Health Administration Corporation and Ambulance Service of NSW, as well as staff of the Ministry of Health

• in the private sector a person who does work in a private health facility, being a private hospital or day procedure centre

• in the private sector, registered paramedics whose work involves transporting, or assessing whether to transport, people to and from a public or private health facility. 

Work is defined broadly to cover employees, contractors, VMOs, visiting practitioners, volunteers and students undertaking clinical placements.

The Order does not however include private primary care providers such as GPs. Some NSW Health staff are subject to other Public Health Orders requiring first dose vaccination from earlier dates, including staff working in residential aged care who were required to have the first dose by today (Friday).

Most of Tumut District Hospital’s staff are vaccinated, and most were vaccinated before the announcement on mandatory vaccinations, hospital Facility Manager Katrina Walsh said, noting all will be vaccinated by September 30.

 Riverina Highlands Rural Fire Service District Manager Jon Gregory said the RFS was developing a Covid-19 vaccination policy, but at the moment, vaccines were not mandatory. This is also the case for Tumut SES.