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SA 'considering' mandatory teacher vaccination

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South Australian health authorities are considering introducing mandatory COVID vaccinations for teachers and school staff.

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Chief Public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier yesterday told reporters “it’s definitely something we are looking at”.

“We have to think through all of the pros and cons in going down that path and we’re in the process of doing just that and also looking at what other states have done in that regard,” she said.

Premier Steven Marshall said SA authorities had been “loath to introduce anything mandatory outside of the national cabinet framework” but “we’ll look at it carefully”.

“We are looking at all of those matters at the moment,” he said yesterday.

“I don’t have anything to report today but very happy to look at that more closely into the future.

SA chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier and Premier Steven Marshall at a press conference. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily“Some states have made it mandatory – I think Victoria has made it completely mandatory – but they do find themselves in a very different situation much earlier than we have so we’ll look at it carefully.”

The State Government yesterday announced COVID vaccination hubs would open at another 54 schools in lagging areas across Adelaide and the regions, as data shows South Australia still has the second-lowest rate in the country for 12-15 year olds.

The hubs are on top of 24 already operating at SA schools, with health authorities hoping to vaccinate 34,000 students by the end of the school term.

The sites have been chosen in areas to give priority access to vulnerable communities and those with lower vaccination rates.

The Education Department is also conducting a ventilation audit to see if any modifications are needed in schools to help reduce the spread of the virus, once borders open on November 23 and the virus enters SA.

The audit is expected to be completed in early December.

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