Businesses lead ACT vaccination push as the cost of Melbourne’s lockdown hits $1.4 billion

As Canberrans aged 40 – 49 join the list of those eligible for a COVID vaccine, the Canberra Business Chamber and ACT business leaders are calling on all employers to promote vaccination and support employee awareness of and access to the vaccine.

“For anyone in doubt that COVID can impact any city, and any Australian, the swift Melbourne lockdown – and contract tracing alerts as close to home as Goulburn and Jervis Bay – is a wake-up call,” says Chamber CEO Graham Catt.

The cost of the Melbourne lockdown to the economy is estimated to be around $1.4 billion, but Mr Catt says, “the real impact on individual businesses, their owners, the people they employ, and their families will be severe and felt for many months to come.”

Mr Catt says Canberra businesses are rallying to support their people, including:

  • Making it clear that booking and attending a COVID vaccination appointment is a priority that will be supported and comes before other work.
  • Explaining why the business supports vaccination as a way to look after the health and safety of their people and their families.
  • Running information sessions, and giving people the opportunity to openly discuss any fears and concerns with health experts.
  • Making it clear that while a business supports vaccination, it is an individual choice and a decision not to vaccinate will be respected.
  • Recognising that there can be side effects including fever, and supporting staff with time off when these effects are severe, and encouraging open discussion.
  • Providing all employees with information about who is eligible and how to book a vaccination.

New research from Sydney University shows three-quarters of Australians would support a government requirement to be vaccinated in order to work, travel or study, and that staff and community members want businesses and organisations to lead and support the government in this vaccination program.

“For many years businesses have done all they can to support and encourage their staff to have the flu vaccination,” said Mr Catt. “Right now our city, our community and our businesses face being shut down if we have even a tiny outbreak, so leadership and support for employees has to be our highest health and safety priority.”


Three-quarters of Australians would support a government requirement to be vaccinated in order to work, travel or study. This number is higher than the number of Australians who would agree to the vaccine voluntarily, a survey has found.

Australians support mandatory COVID-19 vaccine: survey – The University of Sydney

As of today people aged 40-49 can book in for the Pfizer vaccine