MCA reveals priority groups in vaccine delivery

The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) has mapped out sub-groups in the resources sector who will be given priority COVID-19 vaccinations.

This includes workers that have a high risk of severe illness due to COVID-19, such as Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders, people aged over 50, immune-compromised people and specialists travelling to remote areas.

Other workforce sub-groups include site-based medical services, fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers and communities, essential delivery workers and safety workers.

The vaccine sub-groups were announced in a National Resources Sector Position Statement on COVID-19, which was released in conjunction with the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA).

MCA chief executive Tania Constable said the position statement would ensure the resources sector did not impact the health of the regions it operated in, particularly those at higher risk of illness, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees.

“The approach is also aimed at maintaining operations, business continuity and production for the benefit of industry, workers, communities in which the industry operates, energy and fuel security and Australia’s economy,” she said.

The report suggested that some resource industry operations could serve as vaccination centres in remote areas.

The MCA also recommended that resources companies develop a record management system for vaccines.

“Companies that may require vaccination for specific roles with a high risk of transmission should support access by employees to the vaccine,” Constable said.

“Employees will be able to demonstrate vaccination (or medical exemption) through Express Plus Medicare and MyGov apps and each company should develop a confidential record management procedure for employees for secure provision and recording of this information.”

Coronado has registered around 400 employees for essential work COVID-19 vaccinations in the United States, with around 70 of the company’s US employees already receiving the vaccine.

For Coronado’s Australian workforce, the company plans to roll out vaccines that align with the Federal Government’s timetable.