An investigatory committee of the Victorian parliament will launch an inquiry into the COVID-19 vaccination mandates implemented by the state government since October 2021.
The Pandemic Declaration Accountability and Oversight Committee, which is chaired by independent MP Suzanna Sheed, will hold a live public hearing on June 16 with the participation of medical experts and representatives of Ambulance Victoria and the Australian Nurses and Midwifery Association.
Sheed said the committee aimed to reveal the effects of the vaccine mandates to the public.
“We want to understand the impact of vaccine mandates in Victoria,” Sheed said, as reported by Herald Sun.
“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 Victorian Labor government introduced the vaccine mandates in October 2021, which compelled millions of essential workers in the state to be vaccinated.
The state government later required employees who worked in key sectors such as healthcare, aged care, disability, emergency services, and food processing and distribution to receive a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
However, the mandates were not well received by many local residents and caused large protests to break out across Victoria with the participation of tens of thousands of people.
The investigation into vaccine mandates comes as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is pushing for the fourth dose of vaccine for all healthcare workers in the state.
The premier said that many of the COVID-19 cases were coming in via hospital staff as they were moving around the community.
“Some of their immunity is waning, so getting them fourth jabs as fast as possible is very important to help keep COVID out of the hospital,” Andrews said, as reported by The Age.
“That’ll be something that I’ll be raising with the Commonwealth as soon as I can.”
The premier will speak to the national cabinet about the second booster on June 17.
The Age reported that the Victorian government did not plan to mandate the fourth dose for healthcare workers at the moment. However, employees in key sectors are required to be “up to date” with their vaccination status.