Legislative Council: Wednesday, September 28, 2022


COVID-19 Vaccinations

The Hon. S.L. GAME (15:33): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Attorney-General, representing the Minister for Health and Wellbeing, a question on COVID-19 vaccinations in South Australia.

Leave granted.

The Hon. S.L. GAME: 98.1 per cent of Australians have had one dose of the approved COVID-19 vaccines; 96.4 per cent of people have had two doses of the vaccine; and 71.8 per cent have had three doses. This is the first time in history when the bulk of our population has been vaccinated against a disease, yet the frequency of that disease continues at a high rate. The vaccine has been shown to not be effective in reducing transmission. There have been over 10.2 million reported cases of COVID-19 in Australia, 766,000 here in South Australia, and this week alone a reported 3,037.

We now have a situation in the state where people can visit a person in an aged-care facility without being vaccinated at all, yet there continues to be a negative impact for people who are not classified as fully vaccinated. Several sectors continue to have policies excluding unvaccinated staff from working. These mandated vaccination policies are based on earlier government precedents. There has been no advocacy by the government to give these sectors the confidence to alter their policies.

People may not be fully vaccinated for a number of reasons, including a bad reaction to a previous dose of the vaccine, being young and healthy or having gained natural immunity from a prior infection, cultural restrictions, and a genuine fear of the vaccine. My questions are:

1. What will the Malinauskas government do to reverse this damage caused by mandates which were implemented by government precedents?

2. Will the government remove vaccine mandates for the general population, given it has no significant effect on reducing transmission?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector) (15:35): I thank the honourable member for her questions. I will be happy to pass on the questions in relation to the scientific evidence for the efficacy of vaccines to the minister in another place and bring back a reply.