The Queensland Government’s Department of Health is working to encourage approximately 7,000 staff members who missed the state-mandated October 1 deadline to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for the first time.
A Queensland Health spokesperson told The Courier-Mail that he had filed about 1,900 exemptions from Queensland Health and Hospital Services staff who did not want to be vaccinated.
After trying to recommend vaccinations to staff, a spokesperson said Queensland Health “worked with these staff to seek alternative options to keep staff and the workplace safe.”
“We are currently in the process of exemption and will notify staff when the exemption results are complete,” said a spokeswoman.
That said, the majority of state health care workers (about 108,000 out of 115,000) have been vaccinated with at least one COVID-19 vaccine, according to Courier-mail.
Unvaccinated medical staff are now reported to be forced to take vacations or undergo an increase in COVID-19 testing to increase the level of PPE worn in patient facilities.
Almost 71% of eligible Queenslanders have been vaccinated once and 54.1% have been fully vaccinated by Tuesday, but Prime Minister Anastasia Parasek is concerned about vaccination outside the southeast.
She urges unvaccinated Queenslander to take her first dose by mid-November, and those who have taken jabs by then will take a second dose in early December.
“Although immunization rates are rising in Queensland, there are areas in central Queensland, indigenous communities in the northwest and northern parts of the state that need to be protected,” Paraschuk said. I told Congress on Thursday.
“So now we need a huge drive. I said the next six weeks are important for Queenslander to receive its first dose.”
The Prime Minister’s warning comes after Wednesday night hinting that November 17th is considered the deadline for people to get their first jab.
“We’ve done everything we can to keep you safe, but the next step is up to you,” Parasheck wrote on Twitter.
“If you don’t protect yourself, we can’t protect you.
“I need you to be vaccinated, and I need you to get it now.
“It takes five weeks from the first vaccination to full vaccination.
“From today to the five weeks of November 17, it’s very close to Christmas.”
AAP contributed to this report.