HEYWOOD Rural Health (HRH) has reached a significant milestone this week, with 100 per cent of its workforce now either partially or fully vaccinated.
Kicking off the vaccination process in March, all staff have now at least had their first jab, with the entire team expected to be fully vaccinated in six weeks’ time.
HRH chief executive Leigh Parker said the facility was fortunate to have no hesitancy from staff when it came to vaccinations.
With aged care workers now required to be vaccinated by September 17, Mr Parker said the service had no obligation to vaccinate some of its staff, but not all were mandated to get the jab.
“There was obviously a requirement to get our aged care staff vaccinated by this month,” he said.
“But our entire team’s willingness to get vaccinated means the threat of an outbreak within our organisation is significantly reduced.
“It would be incredibly difficult for us to have to put staff off for a period of time due to an outbreak as we’re such a small team, so to have everyone now vaccinated means we don’t have that added stress.”
Mr Parker said the health service wanted to acknowledge Barwon Health and Portland District Health for their assistance meeting the target.
“Very early in the piece Barwon Health came to the residential aged care facility in late March to deliver Pfizer vaccine to our residents and some of our staff,” he said.
“Through that we were able to vaccinate about 50 per cent of our workforce.
“Other staff members then took it upon themselves to get vaccinated, some travelling as far as Hamilton to make sure they could receive their jab.
“Without the support of Barwon Health and PDH in addition to our staff we wouldn’t have reached this significant milestone.”
Nurse practitioner Claire McGregor said she hoped all staff being vaccinated would give patients and visitors to the facility more peace of mind.
“Moving forward that is going to be part of our recruitment,” she said.
“All incoming staff will now have to be vaccinated so we can maintain 100 per cent across our workforce.”
Heywood residents who wish to access the vaccine can make AstraZeneca appointments at both HRH and Winda-Mara Aboriginal Corporation.
Pfizer vaccinations can be booked in Portland at Active Health, Seaport Medical Centre and PDH.