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Vaccines mandatory for some WA port workers

vaccine mandate wa port
The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is now available across selected West Australian pharmacies. Photo: AAP
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Coronavirus vaccines will be mandatory for West Australia’s ports staff who access or work with vessels exposed to the virus.

The state government has set a deadline of October 15 for all workers to have had at least one COVID-19 jab.

The direction applies to all commercial ports in WA and includes anyone who carries out a service in connection with an exposed vessel or who interacts with the crew.

The rules do not prevent anyone unvaccinated working on vessels not exposed to COVID-19, while exemptions will also apply to police and emergency workers.

“Shipping provides Western Australians with vital imports, as well as ensuring our highly lucrative exports are carried across the globe,” Health Minister Roger Cook said.

“But these vessels also bring with them the risk of importing COVID-19 into our community.

“We need to be ever-vigilant and continue our best efforts to keep the virus out.”

Mr Cook also confirmed on Wednesday that the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was available at selected WA pharmacies with walk-in appointments for people aged over 12.

More than 470 pharmacies across WA will join the program by early October.

“Making it easy and convenient for people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 is vitally important as we look to further boost WA’s vaccination rate,” Mr Cook said.

“Having access to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine in selected pharmacies provides another option for Western Australians to get the jab.

The federal government is managing the supply and allocation of the Moderna vaccine. A million doses are expected to become available across the country this month, followed by more in October.

So far more than 2.2 million COVID-19 vaccinations have been administered in WA. Almost 60 per cent of the state’s eligible population has had at least one dose.

-AAP