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CBA begins vaccine program, testing

The major bank is opening vaccination centres as part of an accelerated pilot program to vaccinate employees and families against COVID-19.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has announced the opening of dedicated vaccination centres, initially in Sydney’s local government areas (LGA) of concern.

The major bank is going to open vaccination centres in Blacktown, Cabramatta, Auburn, Liverpool, and Campbelltown this week after opening the first centre in Parramatta at the beginning of August, and centres in Bankstown and Hurstville last week.

The lender said that additional vaccination centres would open in other LGAs of concern in NSW over the coming weeks.

The pilot program is currently open on a voluntary basis to all CBA employees, their families, and members of the household who live in the NSW LGAs of concern and are over 18 years of age.

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Priority access will be given to those employees in customer-facing roles, with bookings to then be made available for all employees who live in those LGAs, their families, and household members.

The vaccination program is being run by CBA’s corporate health provider, Vitality Works, which is an approved vaccination provider for the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Bookings will be made through an app on the Vitality Works website.

If supply of other vaccines becomes available, they may be used by the program, according to CBA.

CBA has planned to extend the program nationally as more vaccine supplies are made available.

A survey of more than 11,000 bank employees revealed that almost 90 per cent of staff intend to get vaccinated.

In addition to the vaccination hubs, CBA has rolled out rapid antigen testing for branch staff in the LGAs of concern (similar to Westpac, which has begun a testing pilot for customer-facing employees in Sydney’s COVID-19 hotspots).

Commenting on the initiatives, CBA group executive, human resources Sian Lewis said: “We know that preventative measures like vaccinations, and pre-emptive measures like increased testing, are the best courses of action at this time to help our community combat the spread of COVID-19.

“As an essential service, with one of the largest workforces in the country, we are committed to implementing safety and support measures to help keep our people, customers, and in turn the broader community, as safe as possible.”

Ms Lewis also said that while the rapid antigen testing is voluntary, “it provides our workforce the ability to detect and respond as quickly as possible to potential instances of transmission in our branches”.

“The vast majority of our people have told us they want to get vaccinated and that getting access to the vaccine at a convenient time and place will help them enormously,” she said.

“Our vaccination program, which is voluntary, will offer additional convenience so those wanting to be vaccinated can do so as quickly as possible.”

Additional COVID-19-related safety measures implemented by the major bank since the beginning of the pandemic include floor markers for physical distancing, masks, Perspex screens, hand-sanitising stations, capacity limits, and QR code check-ins.

[Related: Westpac begins COVID antigen testing pilot]

CBA begins vaccine program, testing
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