The Launceston "no vax, no visit" GP whose practice was targeted by vandals at the weekend says he is not in a hurry to get rid of the message now painted on the clinic's wall.
On Sunday the Northern Suburbs Medical Service released a policy requiring that from September 1, patients must have had at least one dose of a COVID vaccine to attend the Mowbray surgery in person.
Practice principal Dr Andrew Jackson said the measure was aimed at protecting his staff, his patients and his business ahead of future cases of the Delta variant in the community.
On Monday morning staff returned to work to find the message "stick your vaccine up your ass" had been spray painted across the clinic's back wall.
However, by Tuesday the message had been modified slightly to read "stick your vaccine up your arm". Dr Jackson said he had anticipated some opposition to the policy, but that he had been able to find the humour in the message.
"I expected some pushback, because there is an anti-vax sentiment in the community and there's also people who are anti being told what to do - not that my policy does that," he said.
"I had told my staff to direct the hate mail to me, but I wasn't expecting it to be plastered on my back wall. A vaccine isn't going to be any use if it's used in that way, so there was some humour to it."
Dr Jackson reiterated that there were exemptions to his policy, including for those awaiting their first COVID jab, essential service personnel, people attending for urgent care and children under 16.
Amid a national discussion around reopening borders and loosening lockdowns once up to 70 per cent of the population over 16 is vaccinated, Dr Jackson said he would urge other practices to consider similar no vax, no visit policies.
"I think practices that are vaccinating practices should be the ones who consider it most seriously, because they can offer the solution to people who come up against the policy and still want to attend the practice," he said.
"When Delta is circulating in the community, because borders are going to be opened ... three months from now we will look back on this policy and say 'we did the right thing'."
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