Dr Nick Coatsworth is urging corporations to “rethink” jab mandates, arguing vaccination does not reduce the transmissibility of the Omicron variant and Australians of working age are less likely to become severely ill from COVID-19.
Australia’s former deputy chief health officer Dr Nick Coatsworth says its time for workplaces to ditch vaccine mandates, claiming “there’s no public health rationale” behind them.
Speaking with Sky News Australia’s Peta Credlin on Monday, the infectious diseases physician said it was the wrong time in the pandemic to be considering COVID-19 mandates.
“We have to be vigilant about COVID-19 there’s no doubt about that,” Dr Coatsworth said.
“But what does that vigilance mean in 2022? Well it’s a very different thing to 2020 when we had no vaccine and no treatments.
“Mandates have a role but it’s very early on when you need to protect as many lives as possible when there are too many unknown unknowns.”
Australia’s former deputy chief health officer Dr Nick Coatsworth says its time for workplaces to ditch vaccine mandates, claiming “there’s no public health rationale” behind them. AAP Image/Lukas Coch.
A range of business still have a “no jab, no pay” policy in place, including Coles, Woolworths, Qantas, Virgin Australia and Commonwealth Bank.
But Dr Coatsworth said there was no longer a public health rationale for them, arguing the emergence of the Omicron variant meant vaccines no longer effectively reduced transmission.
“In the past, certainly in 2021, when the vaccines came out during the Delta outbreak, we saw that as vaccine rates increased the epidemic curve started to decrease, and there was likely effect on transmission,” he said.
demic curve started to decrease, and there was likely effect on transmission,” he said.
Vaccine mandates have a ‘time-limited role’ during a pandemic
Former Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Nick Coatsworth says vaccine mandates during a pandemic are “time-limited”.…
“But the contagiousness of Omicron has overwhelmed that, so you couldn’t have a workplace safety reason for having a vaccine mandate because it simply doesn’t reduce the risk of vaccinated co-workers getting the virus so that’s out the window.
He argued another reason to scrap the mandates was that high-vaccination rates meant Australians of working age were not severely affected by the virus.
“You’ve got to ask yourself if those two reasons don’t exist then can an Australian be fired and be without a job,” he said
Dr Paul Griffin. Picture: supplied
“With all the things that entails; financial hardship, hardship within the family, mental health issues- should we be doing this at this point in the pandemic – and I think the answer is no.”
“Corporations should really rethink any vaccine mandate that they have at the moment.”
Infectious diseases physician Dr Paul Griffin said a combination of vaccination, COVID-19 treatments and personal protection were important in reducing the need for future mandates.
“We know these new subvariants are more infectious and we do see reduced protection both from vaccination as well as from recent infection,” he told Sky News on Monday.
“That’s why we’ve expanded the eligibility for boosters to address this waning immunity, and that’s also why we’ve expanded our eligibility for antivirals.
“We need to educate people better, we need to empower them to make the right decision and really encourage mask wearing.
“We need people to get those boosters, the expanded eligibility is one thing but there’s lots of people who still haven’t had their third or fourth doses.
“We need a comprehensive strategy and if we get that right we won’t need to consider any mandates.”
Source – https://www.skynews.com.au/australia-news/no-public-health-rationale-australias-former-deputy-chief-health-officer-dr-nick-coatsworth-calls-for-workplaces-to-ditch-covid19-vaccine-mandates/news-story/ea516d7f071baf301e5246fd4f3fb529