Our number one priority since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic has been to keep Tasmanians safe and secure.
Vaccination remains a key step towards a COVID normal way of living, and Tasmanians continue to do the right thing and roll up their sleeves as we reach the end of week three of Operation Delta Shield’s Super Six Vaccination Blitz.
This week we passed 60 per cent of eligible Tasmanians having had a first dose, and we are on schedule to pass our target of more than 63 per cent of Tasmanians having a first dose by 12 September, 70 percent by mid-October and 80 percent by mid-November.
We also continue to lead the other states and territories with close to 44 per cent of eligible Tasmanians fully vaccinated.
Our next super clinic is in Burnie next weekend and there are still some appointments available, so if you live in the North-West, please take this opportunity and book now.
Bookings are now open for 12 – 16 year olds to be vaccinated, with vaccinations to commence for this age group from 13 September. In October there will also be a series of Youth Super Clinics for 12–17 year-olds across the state, to help vaccinate and protect our young people more quickly.
Today another important step has been taken with the decision to require all health care workers in our State health care settings, both public and private, to be vaccinated, with a first dose by 31 October 2021.
To date, around 80 per cent of health care workers have received the vaccine and while we do not take this step lightly, it is critical to ensure the protection of our health workforce and the protection of vulnerable patients in their care should an outbreak of the Delta strain occur in Tasmania.
A public health direction will be issued to support this requirement, and we will finalise all of the details, including the definition of health care worker and premises over the next week.
We will also engage with Unions on these details and the implementation plan moving forward.
These are difficult times and the escalation of cases in jurisdictions, including NSW, Victoria and the ACT, is a stark reminder of how challenging COVID-19 is, and our thoughts are with those currently undergoing extended lockdowns.
We continue to do all we can to reduce the risk of COVID-19 entering Tasmania, as we continue to get our vaccination rates up.
The best thing we can all do right now is to continue to work together to reduce the risk.
Keep up the COVID-safe behaviours, and don’t wait – vaccinate.