State and territory leaders are “leaning heavily” towards mandatory vaccinations for aged care workers, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.
The leaders agreed to an “in principle disposition” towards mandatory vaccinations for aged care, following a meeting of the national cabinet on Friday.
But Mr Morrison said any final decision on the matter would be left following advice from a panel of health experts, chaired by the Chief Medical Officer, as how it could be done.
“We’re leaning heavily into this right now, as leaders of governments, and myself as prime minister, to see us moved towards a mandatory vaccination for aged care workers,” he told reporters.
The prime minister said that the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) would now be asked how mandatory vaccines can be introduced safely over a “suitable timeframe”.
Chief medical officer Paul Kelly said there may be “unintended consequences” of mandatory vaccines that could affect the aged care workforce, including people leaving the industry.
“We want people to come forward and volunteer to be explained what the issues are and ensure we are really focusing on our culturally and linguistically diverse workforce that are often working in these particular settings, makings sure they have the full truth and understanding of the vaccine.”
Health Minister Greg Hunt also announced that it will be mandatory for the aged care sector to report vaccinations from June 15, including for workers vaccinated outside of facilities.
More to come.