Thousands of department workers unvaccinated as mandate kicks in

By Jackson Graham

November 2, 2021

Yvette D'Ath
Queensland health minister Yvette D’Ath. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Thousands of Queensland Health staff remain unvaccinated as the state passes the deadline for them to be innoculated to go to work. 

Between 92% and 95% of the 115,000-strong public workforce was vaccinated as Queensland’s mandatory powers for the sector came into effect on Monday. 

Queensland health minister Yvette D’Ath said it was “expected” that some would not have received their jab in time.

We will put in place measures to manage any workforce shortage that may occur,” D’Ath said.  

Workers yet to be vaccinated have now been sent a show-cause notice and will be suspended on full pay. 

The Mandarin reported last month that officials at the health department had submitted more than 1,900 exemption requests in early October, but the number the department was expecting to grant on medical grounds was much smaller. 

D’Ath expressed confidence vaccination among health care workers would rise daily, as it had once mandates for inoculation of aged care workers began. 

We are now at 100% with all of our aged care workers in our public settings having had their first dose and 96.3% with their second dose,” she said. 

Of those not vaccinated in Queensland Health, the majority work in managerial and administration roles, and not in clinic settings, D’Ath said. 

“When we do start getting those cases that we will get … we have the staff who are vaccinated and can manage any of those cases as they come into our hospital system,” she said. 

“I am very confident we will end up with very high [vaccination] rates.” 

Queensland recorded zero new community cases of COVID-19 and one case in hotel quarantine. 

Queensland’s border is due to open just before Christmas for vaccinated people, when the state is expected to have 80% of its population over 16 fully vaccinated.


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