(by Toby Crockford | Sydney Morning Herald) – Almost 2 per cent of Queensland Health’s workforce and about 1 per cent of Queensland Police Service staff have defied their employer’s vaccine mandate, new data reveals.
The mandate deadlines for health workers and QPS staff expired last week – December 17 for police and December 15 for health workers.
QPS employs about 17,200 people. As of December 19, 100 police officers and 71 support staff had been suspended on vaccine-related matters.
Another 11 police officers and seven staff had been suspended over their vaccination status, but the suspensions were revoked when they later complied.
A QPS spokeswoman said the service was confident it had the necessary staff to cover any virus or vaccine-related workplace issues that may arise.
On Tuesday, 52 police were in isolation after an officer tested positive at Surfers Paradise station, while another 49 officers from Beenleigh station were in isolation due to a COVID-positive colleague.
“A new direction was issued [by Commissioner Katarina Carroll] on December 14 requiring all members to receive a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by December 17, 2021, and a booster dose no more than one month after eligibility in accordance with ATAGI advice at that time,” the spokeswoman said.
“It is important the Queensland community has confidence and feels safe when interacting with their police. Employees who refuse to follow the Commissioner’s direction will be suspended from duty, with pay initially.”