The Australian Airports Association (AAA) has called for aviation workers to be prioritised to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, due to their exposure to a high number of passengers.
AAA Chief Executive, James Goodwin, said airport staff were frontline workers and could potentially have a higher risk of coming into contact with the virus.
“We acknowledge health, emergency services workers and the vulnerable should be at the front of the queue but aviation workers must not be forgotten in the rollout of Australia’s vaccination program,” Mr Goodwin said.
“While all Australian airports have strict COVID-19 protocols in place to help prevent the spread, many workers will still need to have direct contact with passengers.
“Airports are critical infrastructure and have been keeping international terminals open to help the government bring Australians home from overseas, highlighting the need for aviation workers to be prioritised for the vaccine.
“As vaccines begin to rollout across the globe, the appetite for international travel will increase and aviation workers will need to be protected.
“The government must make it clear whether a vaccine will be mandatory for those wanting to travel overseas and how it will be proven and recognised.
“Compulsory COVID-19 immunisation and a vaccine passport will likely be the key to Australia opening its borders and allowing passengers in without having to quarantine.
“The government could also look at making doses of the vaccine available for people to purchase if they need to go overseas.”