Vaccines Don’t Stop Transmission: NSW Premier Pushing Public Service to Scrap Mandates

Vaccines Don’t Stop Transmission: NSW Premier Pushing Public Service to Scrap Mandates
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet addresses the media in relation to poker machines in Sydney, Australia, on Feb. 6, 2023. (AAP Image/Bianca De Marchi)
Daniel Y. Teng

Widespread vaccine mandates in Australia’s most populous state New South Wales (NSW), should be scrapped, according to (NSW) Premier Dominic Perrottet.

The premier said he issued the directive to the state’s public service but conceded certain areas were keeping mandates going.

“I’ve made it abundantly clear what my position is on this, and it’s based on evidence. There’s no evidence that vaccines in the current environment have any impact at all on transmission of COVID,” he told Radio 2GB on Feb. 27.

“I couldn’t have been clearer to the public service here in New South Wales to end vaccine mandates, and the majority across the public service have done so. I’ve also made it very clear to the private sector and work closely with them to end vaccine mandates,” he added.

The premier explained that he directed the public service to only issue vaccine mandates in specific circumstances, otherwise, they were to be removed.

“There are certain areas in the public service where I do not have that power,” he added.

Mandates Still Barring Health Workers from Their Jobs

Perrottet was answering a question from John Larter, a paramedic who lost his position because he refused to get vaccinated.

Larter and his wife, and an emergency nurse, are still fighting to be reinstated with an action progressing through the state’s Industrial Relations Commission.

Perrottet was treasurer of the state during the pandemic years and was a vocal critic of lockdowns and mandates.

Upon his accession to the premiership, he accelerated the timeline of winding down lockdowns, with New South Wales becoming the first jurisdiction in Australia to drop restrictions altogether—despite criticism from media outlets and sectors of the medical community.

Perrottet now faces a tough election fight on his hands, with the Labor Party polling ahead of the Liberal-National Coalition government as of Feb. 27.

Popularity of the Jab Quickly Waning in Australia

Meanwhile, the appetite for vaccinations has waned in Australia, despite the country having one of the highest jab rates in the world for much of the pandemic.
The Department of Health reports that 19,830,999 Australians have received two jabs, and 14,355,499 of those have received a third dose.

But the Department only reports 5,480,619 individuals having received the fourth dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Feb. 27.

Medical opinion on the impending fifth dose is mixed, with some experts saying it is a must, while others are more sceptical.

“Australians have very little idea of the scale of the problem at the moment, including the risk to themselves,” said Brendan Crabb, director of the Burnet Institute.

“I have absolutely no doubt that Australians don’t know that COVID is putting 50 times more people in hospital than the flu, that it’s killing 50 to 100 times more people than the flu, that five percent of them if they get infected, even if they’re vaccinated, are likely to get long COVID,” he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

This is in contrast to former Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth—an infectious disease and respiratory specialist—who said booster shots were only a temporary solution.

“Let’s understand the science, if you get a fifth dose, your protection is enhanced for around about 8-12 weeks, and then it returns after the fourth dose or the third dose,” he told Nine’s Today show.

“It is a very transient protection, it is not protection for life,” he added. “That is the problem with these boosters, and eventually, we will have to stop with these recommendations for ongoing boosters.”

The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommends the fifth booster for 18 to 64-year-olds with medical comorbidities that may increase the risk of COVID-19.

“Other adults aged 18 to 64 may consider a booster dose in early 2023, based on an individual risk–benefit assessment with their immunisation provider,” the body states.