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GV Health welcomes compulsory vaccinations for frontline healthcare workers

By Tara Whitsed

Goulburn Valley Health has welcomed a move by the State Government to make vaccinations compulsory for frontline doctors and nurses in Victorian hospitals.

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos announced the bill, introducing it to parliament this week.

The proposed law will mean healthcare workers must be fully immunised against the flu each year, as well as whooping cough, measles, chicken pox and hepatitis B.

GV Health executive director of clinical operations Donna Sherringham said it was important for healthcare workers to be fully immunised to protect themselves and patients.

“Our top priority is the health and wellbeing of not only our community, but our staff as well,” she said.

“Mandatory vaccinations will assist in ensuring that we are providing the safest possible environment for people to receive and provide care.”

GV Health met last year's government-set target of an 84 per cent flu vaccination rate among its workers, with 88 per cent of GV Health staff vaccinated.

“GV Health’s flu vaccination rates for 2019 were commendable, but clearly mandatory vaccination will support us in achieving complete vaccination coverage for all our frontline staff,” Ms Sherringham said.

“Vaccinations are free for all our staff and are a simple way of safeguarding against preventable disease, meaning lower levels of sick leave and ultimately a more productive workforce.”

The proposed new law will aim to protect healthcare workers from preventable diseases, while also reducing the risk of transmission to the most vulnerable, such as children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases.