ASU representatives met with the Federal Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd, for a briefing on the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines in priority industries, including airlines and airports, on Monday, 15 February 2021.
The Federal Government, with the support of the states, is responsible for rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine. They are prioritising high-risk sectors in ‘Phase 1a’ including quarantine and border workers. This category may include some ASU members in the airlines industry. As the supply of vaccines grows, the government will invite more and more people in subsequent phases to get a vaccine.
We’ve explained to the government that airport workers should be given priority in phase 1a. Airports are high risk locations where a single infection could be spread to thousands of people travelling around the country. Workers use the same lunch rooms, buses, cafes and bathrooms. Everyone working at the airport should have the same opportunity to get a vaccine. We are following up in coming weeks to urge the government to ensure that airline and airport workers are given priority access to the vaccine, and will keep members informed of developments.
Vaccines will be distributed to local hubs, such as public hospitals, where workers will be invited to receive their vaccine. The ASU will call on employers to roster working time or allow paid leave for employees to attend the vaccine hubs. It’s important that stood-down employees should not miss out on the vaccine.
We understand that the vaccine roll-out to phase 1a priority workers will begin very quickly. We’ll do our best to keep you informed about the roll out of the vaccine.
Contact your organiser for more information. Remember, the ASU cannot give you medical advice, but we can help you navigate the workplace issues associated with the vaccine.
Please pass this update to a colleague who isn’t in the ASU. Ask them to join at https://asuvic.org/.
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