Australia

Growing number of nurses, police apply to challenge COVID vaccine mandate

A growing number of nurses and police officers have applied to challenge their employer’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

On Thursday, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the Nurses’ Professional Association of Queensland had applied to the Supreme Court requesting to have the mandatory vaccination of health workers overturned, on grounds that it was unlawful.

Queensland nurses and police officers have challenged vaccine mandates in the Supreme Court on Thursday.

The application, on behalf of a Metro North nurse Leesa Daphne Porter, said the directive by Queensland Health Director-General John Wakefield that all staff must be fully vaccinated by the end of October, “imposed and will continue to impose” on employee contracts and that such terms were beyond the scope of powers.

In an affidavit signed by Jack McGuire, NPAQ’s Assistant General Secretary, he said he was not aware that any of their members were consulted in regards to the vaccine.

In Ms Porter’s affidavit, she said she was a registered student nurse who is employed as a phlebotomist at Caboolture Hospital, adding that she attends wards at the hospital dealing directly with patients to take blood samples.

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Ms Porter said she received a copy of the vaccination requirement, but “was not consulted, nor was I invited to consult, about the making of the directive”.

“After reading the directive, I understood that I was group 2 employee, as I work in a hospital in a patient-facing role. As such I am required to obtain the vaccine under the directive,” Ms Porter said.

“Neither in the directive, nor in the policy, am I informed about the nature of the ‘exemptions’ to compliance with the direction.”

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