Businesses have been given the go-ahead to administer COVID jabs to staff at their workplace.
The Department of Health has kicked off the so-called COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Partners Program, enabling businesses to offer vaccinations in the workplace much like the existing flu jab scheme.
The go-ahead follows a strong push to reopen the economy from a variety of businesses, including banks, airlines and supermarkets.
In a statement posted on Tuesday morning, Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, confirmed that businesses are now able to team up with vaccination providers to administer the jabs to staff at their workplace.
“The Vaccine Administration Partners Program will establish a panel of accredited COVID-19 vaccination providers that can be accessed by government entities, businesses and other organisations to support vaccination priorities,” Mr Hunt said.
Pfizer or Moderna will be the primary vaccinations administered through the workplace vaccination programs, however workplaces will be able to order AstraZeneca if required.
Mr Hunt confirmed the government will pocket the bill, with accredited providers said to charge a fixed price per vaccine dose.
“Businesses engaging COVID-19 immunisation providers from the panel will negotiate details of the arrangements directly with vaccination providers on the panel,” he explained.
Mr Hunt underlined that businesses cannot charge employees for administration of the vaccine.
Among those pushing for such a scheme, the chief executive of the Business Council Australia (BCA) applauded the move, referring to it as “a non-brainer”.
“A workplace roll-out is convenient for workers, takes advantage of the systems many employers already have in place, and crucially it expands access for all Australians by taking pressure off government sites and GPs as supply ramps up,” Jennifer Westacott said.
“Every person we get vaccinated brings Australians one shot closer to getting on with their lives, so employers are ready to help get people protected as soon as possible.”
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