The Victoria Health Secretary has announced that public sector workers will be paid half a day’s wages to receive both vaccines, while elderly care and disabled workers will have priority access to their chosen vaccine.
The Victorian government has created new incentives for public sector workers, geriatric carers and the disabled to increase the state’s vaccination rates.
The incentive is that the state recorded 65 new cases overnight and the state’s active cases rose to 440 as thousands took part in a lockdown protest on the streets of Melbourne.
In the past 24 hours, the state recorded just over 26,000 vaccinations – bringing the total vaccination count for the state to 2,135,396.
Victorian Health Secretary Martin Foley announced that all public sector employees would be given half a day of paid time off for each vaccination.
“This is part of our effort to ensure that we deliver 1 million doses of the vaccines by August 16,” Foley said at the news conference on Sunday.
Part-time, full-time, long-term, and regular civil servants are all entitled to paid leave while receiving their vaccines, in addition to accumulated sick leave.
Mr Foley said the government worked with major private sector employers who had introduced similar support for workers.
“We believe that it is our responsibility, as a major employer in the state, to provide whatever assistance we can to encourage our employees to move forward and make sure they are all vaccinated as soon as possible,” he said.
Mr Foley also announced that elderly care and disability care workers can choose which vaccine to receive regardless of their age.
The health minister said the incentive recognizes their “critical” work in protecting the “most vulnerable citizens and community members”.
Elderly care and disabled employees are entitled to vaccination via the 50 state vaccination centers and can receive a preferred booking status via the online appointment system.
Mr Foley said the lightning bolt for older and disabled workers had been reintroduced to ensure that all workers received at least one dose by September 17 – which is a condition of their employment.
“This is the National Cabinet’s mandate … to require that all geriatric care workers in the private and public sectors be vaccinated with at least the first vaccine by September 17,” he said.
Last week’s numbers show that more than 81 percent of public geriatric carers in Victoria have received their first vaccine, with the majority already fully vaccinated.
Mr Foley also announced that a new drive-through vaccination center at Ford’s Broadmeadows plant will be smoothly rolled out on Sunday for audiences.
“This center will be available tomorrow, just don’t drive up, you have to book. But this drive-through vaccination center will be available for bookings from tomorrow, ”said the Minister of Health.