Unvaxxed Geraldton numbers unknown as mandates come into effect for key industries

Phoebe Pin & Michael RobertsGeraldton Guardian
Work clothing laid by anti-vaccination protesters on the steps of parliament House, Perth.
Camera IconWork clothing laid by anti-vaccination protesters on the steps of parliament House, Perth. Credit: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

COVID-19 vaccine mandates came into effect for much of the workforce this week, but uncertainty remains over the number of unvaccinated Geraldton residents at risk of losing their jobs.

Protests across the State coincided with the Wednesday deadline for certain occupations and industries, including police, firefighters, corrections services, border and air transport, and meat workers, to have had their first jab to continue working.

For weeks, residents have been gathering at events and staging marches outside Member for Geraldton Lara Dalton’s office to express their angst over the mandates.

As of Tuesday, almost 98 per cent of WA Police employees had indicated they were vaccinated, and 49 said they had not — and did not intend to — get their jabs.

A WA Police spokesperson said all were stood down from duty and discussions were ongoing, with an additional 150 employees who had not yet confirmed their vaccination status.

It is not known if any of these staff are based in the Mid West, but Geraldton Police Station officer-in-charge Chris Martin said he was unaware of any local employees who had not received the jab.

A Department of Fire and Emergency Services spokesperson said it was not known how many (if any) Mid West staff were not yet vaccinated.

“With the mandates in force from (Wednesday), the State Government is in the process of verifying proof of vaccination for relevant employees and will provide an update once that work is complete in the coming days,” they said.

Employees who fall under current mandates are required to be double-dosed by December 31.

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