Victoria's Health Minister Martin Foley has said any unvaccinated authorised workers who intend to wait out the government's vaccine mandate "are taking a huge and foolish risk".
From Friday any unvaccinated authorised worker who doesn't have a booking to receive a first dose by October 22 is barred from working outside their homes.
In response, many vaccine hesitant workers have decided to take leave in the hope the mandates will be lifted over coming weeks as vaccine rates continue to rise and Victoria's restrictions ease.
Mr Foley said those workers were "taking a very big gamble" and the public health orders wouldn't change when the state hits its 70 and 80 per cent vaccination targets.
"These public health orders are there for a considerable period of time, significantly into 2022, because we have still got a long way to go in this pandemic," he said.
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Asked about how the mandate would be enforced, Mr Foley said employers would be required to show evidence their employees were vaccinated.
"There is a series of arrangements in place depending on what sector you are in... the responsibility is on the employers to cite and appropriately manage the proof of the vaccines.
"There will be authorised officers, Department of Justice officials and, depending on the sector, other regulatory agencies out there able to ensure that you carry out your obligations," he said.
Mr Foley's comments came as understaffing fears gripped a range of south-west industries including nursing, education, agriculture and emergency services, with a small but critical portion of the workforce unwilling to comply with the mandate.
The daily numbers announced at the state press conference reinforced the crucial public health benefits of the vaccine rollout.
While there were 2179 new COVID-19 cases, the second day running that cases had exceeded 2000, COVID Commander Jeroen Weimar noted just 12 per cent of these cases were fully vaccinated people. Of those in hospital with COVID-19, only 10 per cent were fully vaccinated, while for people in ICU the figure was just two per cent.
With vaccinated people making up 63 per cent of the over-15 population, Mr Weimar said it was clear evidence of the protection the vaccines provide.
"This is why vaccination is our way out of this and why it is critically important that we all protect ourselves to get vaccinated, to get fully vaccinated as swiftly and as safely as possible," he said.
Mr Weimar also addressed the myth vaccines do not stop the spread of COVID-19, which had gained prominence in vaccine-hesitant discussions.
"Unvaccinated people here in Victoria right now are 10 times more likely to catch COVID than somebody who is fully vaccinated," he said.
"It highlights again that if you are not vaccinated you are far more likely to be caught up with COVID and far more likely to end up in hospital and intensive care."
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