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200 SA police still unvaccinated as deadline hits

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Police Commissioner Grant Stevens says around 200 police officers and staff remain unvaccinated despite a mandatory jab deadline coming into effect today.

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All SAPOL staff were handed a mandatory vaccination order on October 27 requiring them to have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by November 15, as well as a booking for their second dose.

The direction also requires SAPOL workers to provide evidence of vaccination on request.

Police commissioner Grant Stevens today said while he was not sure of the exact number of unvaccinated police staff, SAPOL is estimating it is working with a number of around 200.

“It’s still too early for us to tell how many individuals will be affected by that in terms of their decision not to be vaccinated,” Stevens told reporters

“Some of those people may still be on leave or considering their position in relation to that.

“At this point of time, we’re working with a number of around 200 police staff plus some public servants.

“But it will be sometime before we know the exact number of people who are electing not to be vaccinated and accessing other leave requirements as a result.”

SAPOL has a budgeted workforce of more than 6050 full time equivalent workers, according to the 2021-22 State Budget.

Stevens has previously said SAPOL will “have to work out how we manage those [unvaccinated] people going forward”.

Earlier this month, the Police Association of South Australia rejected the mandatory vaccination order at a meeting of delegates on the issue.

After the meeting, delegates agreed to “support each member’s individual right to undertake vaccination by choice rather than coercion” and lamented “division” within the workforce over the order.

The union’s statement also said they “understand the concern that standing down unvaccinated will exacerbate the existing staffing issues within the workplace” and would seek legal advice about the position of those unwilling to be vaccinated.

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