COVID-19

Probe into Andrews govt’s vaccine mandate

The Pandemic Declaration Accountability and Oversight Committee has revealed it will publicly interview a range of witnesses this week to explore the effects of the mandates.The Andrews Government introduced widespread double-dose mandates in 2021 for workers as it sought to wind back restrictions with high coverage.Third dose mandates are also in place for frontline workers such as healthcare professionals, police and emergency services.But the mandates have attracted a strong backlash from those who oppose jab requirements and were a key issue during violent protests outside the CFMEU building last year.Victoria’s chief health officer has also previously advised Health Minister Martin Foley that worker vaccine mandates could now be gradually wound back with consultation from industries.Among those to give evidence on Thursday will be epidemiologists Professor Catherine Bennett and Professor Nancy Baxter.Victoria’s emergency services will also be represented by Ambulance Victoria’s Deputy Commander of Covid Matt McCrohan and state secretary of the Australian Nurses and Midwifery Association Lisa Fitzpatrick.“We want to understand the impact of vaccine mandates in Victoria,” committee chair Suzanna Sheed said.“It’s important to understand and communicate to the public the impact that the vaccination mandates have had on our workforce and the role they play in suppressing the spread of the Covid virus.”The hearings will be held on June 16 and be broadcast live.

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