Upper house

Western Australia plans to make COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for teachers

School teachers could be the next target group for mandatory coronavirus vaccinations in Western Australia in a bid to accelerate the state’s rollout.

Education Minister Sue Ellery said the idea was being considered by the state government amid concerns over the highly infectious Delta strain.

“In Victoria and New South Wales, they’ve imposed it, and you have to look at the impact Delta has had in the schools. It is spreading in schools and young people have caught it and are affected by it, ”she told reporters on Tuesday.

“Obviously we’ll act on the health advice, but you have to look at what’s going on in other jurisdictions. “

As NSW nears an 80% vaccination rate, WA continues to lag behind at around 53% for those aged 16 and over.

Mandatory vaccinations are already in place for many sectors of WA, including transport, health and police. Credit: PAA

WA has imposed mandatory vaccinations for port, transportation and freight workers, health and elderly care workers, police and other frontline workers.

Up to 100,000 unauthorized workers in the mining and resource sectors must also be fully immunized by the end of the year.

Almost 42,000 full-time equivalent employees are employed by the WA Department of Education with the majority of teachers and support workers.

The union representing teachers in WA public schools said it would support mandatory jabs if backed by boards of health.

“Vaccinations are widely supported by the labor movement as the best way to avoid serious health, economic and social disruption due to COVID-19 epidemics, said the State School Teachers Union of WA.

WA Education Minister Sue Ellery (file image)
Education Minister Sue Ellery said WA is considering compulsory vaccination for school staff. Credit: PAA

“Any decision to make the vaccination of teachers and lecturers compulsory must be taken on the basis of an assessment of the risks for staff, students and their families and must be the subject of a public health decree instead. than left to the employer.

The state government is also seeking legal advice on the possibility of forcing MPs to get bitten, as two upper house politicians have apparently not yet been vaccinated.

Prime Minister Mark McGowan said all 75 Labor MPs across states received at least one dose.

He acknowledged that the government had not received health advice recommending mandatory injections for MPs, but said he should lead by example.

Mark McGowan.
Mark McGowan. Credit: Matt jelonek/Getty Images

“We tell nurses and cleaners in hospitals that they need to get vaccinated. It is certain that an MP who represents the community and regularly visits hospitals should also be vaccinated, ”he said.

“Almost every day myself and my team go out and be part of the community. You mix with vulnerable people, old people, sick people… you have to set a good example and make sure that you don’t pose a risk to these people either. “

WA recorded a new case on Tuesday with a flight attendant testing positive in quarantine at the hotel.

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