Buslink, the Northern Territory’s largest school and urban bus transport provider, is doing its part to ensure the safety of staff, their families and loved ones and the wider community, launching a COVID-19 vaccine incentive program for employees who have their first dose before the end of August.
While it is not mandatory for employees to have the vaccination, Buslink parent company ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC) group is recommending all staff do so in order to have the “strongest protection available”.
CDC’s HSEQ & Systems Manager for Regional Australia, Pele Wendt, who is based at Buslink’s Berrimah Depot in Darwin, had her first Pfizer shot today.
She believed having her shot was necessary not only to keep herself and her young son safe, but also allow her to safely visit her family overseas.
“I have no family here in Darwin and all of my family live overseas – I haven’t seen them in two years,” she said.
“They’re not getting any younger and have health issues so I believe that when we do get back to international travel, it (having a vaccination) will be a requirement. And it’s also just the right thing to do.”
Ms Wendt’s parents and siblings live in Samoa in the South Pacific. Before the pandemic began, she visited at least once or twice a year.
“Being isolated from them is taking a toll on me, personally,” she said.
While her son was only young, three-years-old, she said she wanted to be able to maintain his connection to his other family and while video calls were regular it just wasn’t the same.
“I’m really pleased I got a spot and I’m hopeful that other people will take the opportunity to get vaccinated too,” she said.
CDC Australia’s Regional Australia Division general manager People and Culture, Rowena Van Malsen, said locations and hours of operation for employee’s closest vaccination hubs were made available.
“Unlike the mainstream flu vaccinations, we are unable to arrange onsite administering of COVID-19 vaccinations at CDC locations,” she said.
“However, we are keen to ensure that as many employees as possible receive the vaccination, and to have a good understanding of our company-wide vaccination profile.
This will help us assess risks to our workforce, should a wave of infections occur in the community.”
Ms Van Malsen encouraged those who had questions or concerns about the vaccine to contact their regular doctor.
Employees who present their vaccination certificate, medical certificate or MyGov statement that confirms they have received the vaccination, and advise as to the date of their second shot to be administered, will each receive a $30 Coles Group and Myer Gift Card.
“We encourage everyone to get involved and continue our fantastic record of looking after ourselves and each other,” Ms Van Malsen said.