Legislative Council: Tuesday, November 15, 2022


COVID-19 Vaccinations

In reply to the Hon. S.L. GAME ().28 September 2022).

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, Attorney-General, Minister for Industrial Relations and Public Sector): The Minister for Health and Wellbeing has been advised:

COVID-19 can have serious complications including acute respiratory failure, acute cardiac injury, blood clots, pneumonia, among many other severe outcomes. Vaccination against COVID-19 offers the best protection against severe outcomes.

The COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia have been assessed for safety and effectiveness by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The TGA undertakes ongoing surveillance and monitoring of the COVID-19 vaccines so that any potential safety concerns can be addressed promptly. Additionally, all COVID-19 vaccination directions have had provisions in place that enable a person to apply for a medical exemption and SA Health has a structured process to manage this.

South Australia has had arguably the fewest vaccine mandates of any Australian jurisdiction and these were only introduced for the highest risk settings. Regular assessment of the risk posed by COVID-19 in our community informs the decision regarding whether mandatory vaccination continues, and if so, for which sectors and in what form. As the acute phase of the pandemic draws to an end and as we transition to an ongoing management model for COVID-19, the government is committed to balancing the risk whilst keeping legal requirements to a minimum.

There are no government mandates in effect to the general population.

Currently, the requirement for COVID-19 vaccinations still applies to occupations working in public and private hospitals, disability care, residential aged-care facilities and ambulance services. Directions that were previously in place for primary care and allied health, police, education and fire services have ended.