Qld mandates jab for COVID hospital staff

Queensland will mandate vaccination for workers at the state’s five COVID-19 hospitals after a report into a breach which led to a lockdown in late June recommended it.

The independent report into the circumstances in which a 19-year-old clerical worker became infected near the COVID-19 ward at Brisbane’s Prince Charles Hospital, two months ago, was released on Monday.

The woman caught the Delta variant before passing the virus on to two family members and holidaying on Magnetic Island, near Townsville.


The government locked down Brisbane, Townsville and Magnetic Island for three days after she tested positive.

Professor Paul Griffin’s report found no wrongdoing by any hospital administrators or staff, but recommended that workers near COVID-19 wards in hospitals should be vaccinated.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath says the government will go even further and mandate vaccination for any workers on the grounds of all the state’s five COVID-19 hospitals.

“We want to mandate it for every health worker working in a COVID hospital,” she told reporters on Monday.

“Now of course we would like every health worker across the state to be vaccinated.”

Ms D’Ath said 83.8 per cent of staff have had one dose of a vaccine and 77 per cent of staff are fully vaccinated at the state’s COVID-19 hospitals.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said she has long pushed for all workers at COVID-19 hospitals to be vaccinated.

“I genuinely said that and I believe that we should vaccinate everyone who works in a COVID hospital,” she said.

“That was my view back then, but we’ve got to get there, we can’t do things overnight.”

Meanwhile, Queensland is closing on COVID-zero and truck drivers have protested against the state’s vaccine rules.

No new locally acquired COVID-19 cases were reported on Monday while there were two overseas-acquired infections in hotel quarantine.

Queensland has now gone 23 days without a case being infectious in the community, and had 26 active cases as of Sunday.

“No community transmission overnight. Keep up the donut days, Queensland,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk tweeted on Monday.

With the government trying to suppress COVID-19, only essential workers who have had at least one dose of a vaccine are allowed to enter from NSW, where an outbreak is growing.

“Every day we stop that virus crossing into Queensland, it gives us a chance to vaccinate another 50,000 people,” Dr Young said.

A group of truck drivers protested against those rules by using two prime movers to block off the Pacific Motorway at Reedy Creek on the Gold Coast for two hours on Monday morning.

Traffic was backed up for kilometres with one driver named Brock, who did not give his surname, saying workers were fed up with the rules.

Video footage showed federal One Nation senator Pauline Hanson and her advisor James Ashby at the protest.

Police eventually moved the trucks on, but Queensland Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon lashed out at the protesters.

The action comes as Queensland becomes the first state to trial rolling out COVID-19 vaccines to international seafarers arriving in local ports with the support of dockers and shippers unions.

© AAP 2021