Health

Hospital workers still waiting for the fourth COVID-19 dose

Amid concerns over waning immunity against COVID-19, healthcare workers in hospitals across Victoria are waiting to become eligible for a fourth dose (or 2nd booster). Premier Daniel Andrews revealed his intention to approach the Commonwealth, saying “hospital chiefs had raised it as a “real priority” following a recent spate of COVID-19 outbreaks seeded by staff bringing the virus into work.

A case for primary care workers 

Workers in healthcare, aged care, disability, emergency services, correctional facilities, quarantine accommodation and food processing and distribution are only required to be “up to date” with their vaccination doses i.e. primary doses and one booster. 

Victoria’s front-line healthcare workers were among the first to be immunised against COVID-19 and their first boosters were fast-tracked at the onset of the Omicron variant. As the gap between their third dose and fourth dose continues to widen, the risk factors become greater. 

Vaccines protect both workers and their patients from getting COVID. The same workers will be the primary care providers to those that are currently eligible for the fourth dose. It may even impact health services’ ability to staff hospitals if COVID-19 cases continue to rise. 

“The CEO of Barwon Health, a nurse herself, made it very clear to me that a number of their COVID outbreaks in their hospital had been via staff bringing the virus in unknowingly and [despite] following all the right protocols,” Premier Andrews said.

“Some of their immunity is waning, so getting them fourth jabs as fast as possible is very important to help keep COVID out of the hospital. That’ll be something that I’ll be raising with the Commonwealth as soon as I can.”

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