Almost 400 South Australian health sector workers have been forced to take leave after refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, according to figures released by SA Health.

Key points:

  • SA Health has recorded 391 of its staff as refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 
  • From yesterday, unvaccinated workers were forced to take leave 
  • The Health Minister maintains the removal of staff is not having an impact on clinical services

Late on Tuesday, SA Health responded to the ABC’s repeated requests for the total number of unvaccinated staff across its health networks to be provided.

SA Health has recorded 391 of its staff as refusing to be vaccinated — 263 staff members in its metropolitan local health networks, and 128 across its regional divisions.

The highest number of unvaccinated staff has been recorded at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, with 125 refusing to get the jab.

Just over 100 staff under the umbrella of the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, which includes the Royal Adelaide Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, have refused to be vaccinated. 

Fifty-three staff in the Barossa Hills Fleurieu Local Health Network are unvaccinated and 39 healthcare workers in the Riverland Mallee Coorong region refused the jab. 

Local Health Network

Staff who have reported refusal of vaccine

Central Adelaide


Northern Adelaide


Southern Adelaide


Women’s and Children’s


Barossa Hills Fleurieu


Flinders and Upper North


Limestone Coast

Yorke and Northern


Riverland Mallee Coorong


Eyre and Far North


Earlier on Tuesday, Women’s and Children’s Hospital CEO Lindsay Gough said 133 of her staff had not been vaccinated.

Ms Gough said the staff worked in a range of roles and some were on maternity leave.

“I am not aware of any doctors who have turned down vaccines, but as I say it’s not across any particular area,” she said.

“We are not having problems in staffing areas because it’s spread pretty much across the whole network.”

SASMOA chief industrial officer Bernadette Mulholland is concerned about the impact the removal of staff will have on the delivery of services. (ABC News)

South Australian Salaried Medical Officers Association senior industrial officer Bernadette Mulholland said the removal of 133 staff from the Women’s and Children’s Hospital would have a significant impact. 

“Certainly of all the hospital services, Women’s and Children’s is the least able to afford a loss of 130 staff.” she said.

“Each service within that hospital is small but specialised. They have very limited staff and indeed in a number of those services, they are understaffed. 

“It would be very difficult to see how that is not having a significant impact on the day-to-day operations.” 

SA Health’s mandatory vaccination direction came into effect yesterday, with all healthcare workers required to have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and show evidence of a booking to get their second dose. 

Health Minister Stephen Wade said none of the local health networks were experiencing any issues in the delivery of clinical services as a result of the mandate coming into effect. 

“Both the Northern Adelaide Local Health Network and the Flinders and Upper North are around 99 per cent,” he said.

“In terms of the other networks, I think it’s important to appreciate that a number of the networks [are] including in that number … people who are currently on maternity leave, and other forms of leave.

“They wouldn’t be expected to be vaccinated until they return, so we are very encouraged with the progress thus far.” 

The mandate prompted a number of healthcare workers to rally against mandatory vaccination in the CBD earlier on Tuesday. 

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