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Thousands of healthcare workers due to go on unpaid leave under vaccine mandate

Health workers outside the Covid Vaccination hub at Macquarie Fields, south west of Sydney Source: AAP

In New South Wales, thousands of healthcare workers are set to be taken off the job and placed on unpaid leave, as the state's vaccine mandate comes into effect this 30th of September.

It's been over 200 days since Australia's vaccine rollout began on February 22nd.

But now time has run out for 140,000 healthcare workers in New South Wales to get vaccinated.

From September 30th, all staff must have had at least one dose, or be placed on unpaid leave.

According to New South Wales Health, as of Monday,  94 per cent of the state's workforce have received one vaccine and 86 per cent have had two doses.


  • In greater Sydney, 94 per cent of staff have had one dose but 90 per cent are already fully vaccinated.
  • In the state's regional and rural areas, 92 per cent of health staff have had a first dose, while 84 per cent are fully vaccinated.
  • Among ambulance service staff, 95 per cent have had one dose and 87 per cent have had two.

New South Wales Health minister Brad Hazzard expects the total number of vaccinations to rise by the cut-off points.

"As at September 30th, we expect 97.5 % of the staff to have complied with that requirement to keep patients and their colleagues safe."

The remaining 2.5 per cent does include workers with genuine exemptions - but the Minister says those without a reasonable excuse will be furloughed.

"Obviously (NSW) Health would look to see if there are any other opportunities for them, but in all likelihood, like I said yesterday, and I've said many times, there won't be a position available for them in NSW Health. It's pretty simple, if you don't care enough to get vaccinated and look after your colleagues, or you don't care enough to look after your patients, you probably shouldn't be in the health system."


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