COVID-19 update: Change to Public Health Order - mandatory vaccinations

Message from the President

Firstly, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year. I hope you were able to take a well-earned break over the Christmas/New Year period.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 continues to impact our daily lives and I am writing to provide an important update on mandatory vaccinations. As you will be aware, on 21 December 2021 the Council circulated advice to all dental practitioners in NSW alluding to the NSW Government’s intention to revise its Public Health Order relating to mandatory vaccination requirements. 

On 23 December 2021, Public Health (COVID-19 Health Care Workers Vaccination) Order (No.3) 2021 commenced. This new Order now requires mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for all registered dental practitioners in NSW, regardless of practice setting. It also now extends to staff working within a private/office-based setting. Practitioners and staff working in these settings are categorised as stage 2 health care workers within the new Order. 

Stage 2 health care workers are required to have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by 31 January 2022 and their second dose by 28 February 2022.

Further to this, the NSW Government has announced that Public Health Orders relating to mandatory vaccination requirements will be extended to include boosters.

Employers are responsible for taking reasonable steps to ensure workers comply with the Order.

Workers will need to provide evidence of having received a COVID-19 vaccination if requested to do so by their employer. Employers will be able to request this information.

An exemption is available for a worker if they are unable to be vaccinated with any COVID-19 vaccine available in NSW due to a medical contraindication.

Additional information is available on the NSW Health website. If you have any queries regarding the new Order, you should direct these enquiries to NSW Health.

I would like to remind you that, as a registered dental practitioner, you are obligated to adhere to Public Health Orders. In addition, the Dental Board of Australia (the Board) has outlined its expectations relating to dental practitioners/students and COVID-19/vaccinations.

We all continue to have a responsibility, both from a professional and personal perspective, to ensure that we are protecting ourselves and those around us.

I encourage you all to keep abreast of the latest health advice regarding COVID-19, and this can be accessed via the NSW Health website.

Clinical Associate Professor F. Shane Fryer OAM
President, Dental Council of NSW