Slow uptake of COVID vaccination from Mid West Ports Authority workforce

Phoebe Pin and Peter LawGeraldton Guardian
An aerial view of Geraldton Port.
Camera IconAn aerial view of Geraldton Port. Credit: Mid West Ports

The Mid West Ports Authority last week had one of the worst COVID vaccine mandate compliance rates among State Government agencies, but figures show more staff have since rolled up their sleeves.

The West Australian this week reported 1939 of the 77,552 public sector workers captured by recent mandates had failed to get vaccinated before last week’s deadline and faced losing their jobs.

Police officers, firefighters and prison guards, as well as people who work in child protection, homelessness and drug and alcohol services were all required to have at least their first dose of the COVID vaccine under the mandate.

A detailed breakdown supplied by the Public Sector Commission showed that as of December 1, just 89.7 per cent of MWPA staff had received their first jab.

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But updated figures reveal that figure had jumped to 94.5 per cent cent as of Thursday, with 81.6 per cent of employees fully vaccinated.

Authority acting chief executive Damian Tully said front-line staff who have direct contact with international seafarers were required to be fully vaccinated by November 12, and staff currently engaged in this area had complied with this direction.

Mr Tully said any employee who was unable to meet the the December 1 deadline was now working with MWPA to “develop a plan moving forward”.

Public Sector Commission data shows Lotterywest was the Government entity with the worst compliance rate as of December 1, with only 68 per cent of the workforce vaccinated.

The next worst was the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, where 85.7 per cent of the 481 staff captured by the mandate had complied.

This was followed by the Department of Justice (89.8 per cent of 5339 workers), Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (89.2 per cent of 1376 workers) and Forest Products Commission (90 per cent of 60 workers).

At the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, 1814 staff had to get the jab and 95.8 per cent had done so, while 98.1 per cent of WA Police officers and staff had complied.

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