More than 35,000 critical hotel quarantine and healthcare workers will get their first COVID jab over the next three weeks.
The NSW vaccination program, which will begin on Monday, will see all hotel quarantine workers get a Pfizer jab over the initial three week rollout.
Healthcare workers with the greatest exposure to potential COVID cases will also be included in the first round of jabs.
The vaccines will be administered in three ‘hubs’ at Westmead, Liverpool, and Royal Prince Alfred hospitals.
Security guards working in hotel quarantine who refuse to get the jab could be out of a job.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said it’s the government’s “intention” to ensure everyone working in the border program gets the jab.
“With more than 3,000 people arriving in Sydney from overseas each week, priority is being given to quarantine workers to mitigate the risk of an outbreak, and protect those protecting us”.
New South Wales vaccinations
Eleven vaccination hubs have been identified to handle the rollout, with Sydney’s RPA, Westmead and Liverpool hospitals to administer the first jabs.
The state says all hotel quarantine workers will get a Pfizer jab over the initial three weeks of vaccinations.
In all, more than 35,000 critical hotel quarantine and healthcare workers will be covered in that time.
Other hubs identified as the program continues are are Hornsby, St George, Nepean, Newcastle, Wollongong, Coffs Harbour, Dubbo and Wagga Wagga hospitals.
NSW says healthcare workers in line for prioritisation include ambulance and patient transport staff, emergency department staff, critical care ward staff, COVID clinic and COVID testing staff (public and private), COVID ward staff, COVID immunisation clinic staff, COVID pathology lab staff (public and private) and workers at the Special Health Accommodation facility.
Support staff including cleaners, porters and security will also be considered for prioritisation.
Ms Berejiklian also urged NSW residents to remain vigilant and on alert for COVID symptoms, despite the vaccine rollout.
“It is more important than ever before. Just because the vaccine rollout has started it doesn’t mean we can relax,” she said.
“We will have something to say about what happens after the next three weeks shortly. I want to thank everyone involved in the process.”
Health Minister Brad Hazzard said anti-vaxxers who don’t want to get the jab “must be completely crackers.”
Mr Hazzard said when the first doses roll out it will be a “monumental day for NSW and for all of us”.
He said it is now almost 13 months since we were forced to deal with the pandemic in NSW.
“If you don’t want to have the vaccine, you haven’t lived through what we’ve lived through, and you must be completely crackers,” he said.
“I can’t wait for the vaccine.”
Mr Hazzard also issued a message for residents not in the first round of vaccinations.
“For the time being be patient and allow our frontline staff to get their vaccines,” he said.
Chief Medical Officer Dr Kerry Chant said her team is watching the situation in Victoria as the state’s five day lockdown ends tonight.
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