Katanning WAMMCO ‘on track’ to meet vaccine mandate deadlines for workers

Headshot of Tom Shanahan
Tom ShanahanGreat Southern Herald
Iowane Fanuku receives his jab
Camera IconIowane Fanuku receives his jab

Katanning’s abattoir workers are setting the example for the rest of the region in the race to meet WA’s COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

WA Meat Marketing Co-operative workers have rolled up their sleeves to receive a shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to protect themselves, their industry and regional WA from a virus which has now killed more than 5.1 million people worldwide.

Ninety-five abattoir workers received the COVID-19 jab at the most recent on-site clinic, hosted by St Luke’s Family Practice.

Recent clinics have boosted the Katanning WAMMCO vaccination rates to 98 per cent for a single dose and 71 per cent fully vaccinated.

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Noel Sweni at the WAMMCO vaccination clinic
Camera IconNoel Sweni at the WAMMCO vaccination clinic

WAMMCO Katanning manager Tony Bessell praised the positive response from his workers to the State’s call for mandated vaccinations by the end of the year.

He said that to date, less than 2 per cent of the workforce of 320 were expected to have issues with vaccination that could cause problems with their employment.

“We are confident of achieving an increase to near-target before the mandated deadlines of December 1 for first doses and December 31 for the second dose,” Mr Bessell said “The program is on track.”

Mr Bessell said WAMMCO had been an early supporter of the vaccination program because of the elevated exposure of meatworks to the virus.

St Luke’s Family Practice manager Claire Fleming said the local abattoir workers were “smashing it”.

“If everyone was as easygoing and willing to get vaccinated as the abattoir workers have been, we would all be done,” she said.

A cluster of shires around Katanning remain among the worst performing in WA, although Katanning’s double-dose rate increased more than 3 per cent in the past week.

As of Monday, the Shire of Woodanilling single dose rate of 64.8 per cent was far below the State double-dose average.

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