The Queensland government has revealed plans to finally dump the Covid-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare employees by the month's end.
State Health Minister Shannon Fentiman stated that acting Chief Health Officer Dr Catherine McDougall recommended that the mandate, in force since 2021, is now redundant.
"The Queensland government took very strong action to keep people safe during the pandemic," said Fentiman.
The decision to revoke the Covid-19 vaccine mandate parallels the state's approach to influenza.
"We don't have vaccination requirements for the flu, but we do strongly advise it," Fentiman noted. She added that the policy change reflects a "return to normality" and is supported by widespread community vaccination and immunity.
Queensland Health director general Michael Walsh indicated that the shift is expected to take effect from 25 September, pending a required consultation period.
Additionally, Walsh mentioned that health professionals previously terminated or resigned due to vaccine mandates could reapply for roles within Queensland Health. Since its implementation, the mandate has led to about 1,200 dismissals from Queensland Health due to non-compliance.
Starting today, healthcare workers who test positive for Covid-19 will face a shorter work exclusion period, reduced from seven days to five.