Of Queensland Health’s 114,874 employees who were subject to its vaccine mandate, 2131 chose to defy the mandate.
In addition, 3246 Queensland Health staff were on leave and didn’t need to comply until their return. Taking this into account, almost 5 per cent of the health workforce had no vaccination record.
A Queensland Health spokeswoman said anyone in the workforce who worked at, or visited, a facility where care was provided in their role was required to be fully vaccinated.
“Staff who are not vaccinated and have not applied for an exemption will not be able to enter a facility where care is provided to undertake their duties,” she said.
“These staff will be notified in writing with a show cause letter. Show cause notice lengths of time will vary depending on the individual’s role and situation.”
There have been 2640 exemption applications from Queensland Health staff — 385 were approved, 831 were declined, leaving 1424 pending.
“We will continue to work with staff to find alternative arrangements for those who have received or applied for an exemption,” the Queensland Health spokeswoman said.
“This may include taking leave, working remotely or being moved into an alternative temporary role where the vaccination is not mandated.
“Exemption requests are not simple or straightforward. A range of evidence and consultation is required depending on the nature of the exemption. For example, clinical consultation is sought for people seeking an exemption for medical reasons.
“While this is being worked through, these staff will not be in the workplace.”
There are several ongoing vaccine mandate challenges in Brisbane Supreme Court involving police officers and staff, as well as health workers and Queensland Ambulance Service employees.
The first group consists of seven police staff, as well as 13 health and ambulance workers. This case has been listed for a three-day civil trial to begin on February 14.
The second group consists of a lone nurse, and 24 police staff. The police case will return to court on February 23 and the nurse’s case will be back on February 11. Both are due for directions hearings.
A Supreme Court order has been issued preventing the Queensland Police Service, Queensland Health and the Queensland Ambulance Service from acting against any of the applicants over their vaccination status, to allow their legal challenges to run their course.
Queensland Health declined to comment on the matter, but a police spokeswoman said alternative arrangements had been made for those officers and staff involved in the legal action.
“These arrangements include deploying the employees to another role, performing work from another location, being on leave or requiring them to wear a mask,” she said.