Tue. Dec 7th, 2021

Victoria has registered 1,890 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19.

Five people also died, bringing the death toll from the current outbreak to 85.

That brings the total number of active cases in the state to 18,342, of which 74,105 Victorians were tested for COVID yesterday.

State-run sites administered 39,861 doses of the vaccine, with more than 85 percent of Victorians now receiving at least one injection of a COVID vaccine and more than 57 percent fully vaccinated.

Leading GP says legitimate vaccine exemptions ‘extremely rare’

The latest vaccination figures come as health authorities acknowledged reports of some Victorian doctors giving their patients medical exemptions from the COVID-19 vaccine.

“I have heard these reports. There are very specific reasons for exemptions under the CHO’s guidelines and they relate to specific contraindications to the vaccine,” said Deputy Health Secretary Kate Matson.

Exceptions may be granted if a person has suffered anaphylaxis following a previous dose of a vaccine.

Matson said legitimate reasons for granting exemptions were rare and that granting an unnecessary exemption was considered a breach of public health orders.

“The penalties are well outlined in the CHO guidelines and in the Public Health and Welfare Act.”

Karen Price, chair of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, said the forthcoming deadline for mandatory vaccination of authorized workers in Victoria may have encouraged people to apply for exemptions.

“There has certainly been a lot more anecdotal evidence that people have started asking about them,” she said.

Dr. Price said she had only heard of a case in a western suburban suburb where unjustified exceptions were granted.

“I have heard that it was widely known within this community and that there was a community group where it was talked about that one could get a medical exemption,” she said.

Dr. Price also acknowledged anecdotal reports from colleagues of some Victorians who visited many different doctors in a row looking for a doctor to sign an exception.

She encouraged people to talk to their doctor about any vaccine problems, but said it was safe for the vast majority of people.

“We are happy to have a conversation about it, but we know that the exceptions for vaccinations are vanishingly rare,” she said.

Dr. Price also said immunocompromised people should not avoid the vaccine and would more than likely be advised to receive a third dose for additional protection.

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