The actress, 32, said on Tuesday she will be fully vaccinated by late February – about seven weeks after Seven’s vaccine mandate for ‘all presenters, cast and crew’ comes into effect on January 10.
Because Sam won’t be allowed on the Palm Beach set until she’s double vaxxed, her character Jasmine Delaney will be ‘written out temporarily’.
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Change of heart: Home and Away star Sam Frost (pictured) has backflipped on her previous anti-vax stance, revealing she will get vaccinated against Covid-19 but not until after Channel Seven’s ‘no jab, no job’ deadline
The former Bachelorette explained she wasn’t able to get the jab sooner because of an unspecified ‘medical procedure booked in for January’.
She also insisted she wasn’t leaving the soap permanently and that she had the full support of network executives.
When she does get the jab in February, Sam may well receive the Novavax vaccine, which was recently submitted to the TGA for provisional approval.
Temporary exit: The actress, 32, said on Tuesday her character Jasmine Delaney was being ‘written out temporarily’ because she won’t be full vaccinated until late February. Pictured on Home and Away with co-star Jake Ryan, who plays Robbo
If successful, it will be the fourth approved coronavirus vaccine in Australia, after AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna.
Many vaccine-hesitant Australians who are suspicious of mRNA and vector technology are holding out for the protein-based Novavax because it relies on older ‘tried and true’ immunisation methods.
It’s unclear if Sam falls into this category; however, she previously said she didn’t want the vaccine for unspecified medical reasons.
Mandate: Seven Productions announced on Friday it would be implementing a vaccine mandate for ‘all presenters, cast and crew’ from January 10. Because Sam won’t be allowed on set for the six to seven weeks from when the mandate starts until she’s double vaxxed, her character will be ‘going on an off-screen adventure’
‘I’m not leaving Home and Away. I’ve got a medical procedure booked in for January, so I won’t be fully vaxxed until mid to late February,’ she wrote on Instagram Stories.
‘I will be written out temporarily. Jazzy is going on an off-screen adventure for a few weeks, but I’ll be back.’
She added: ‘My bosses are amazing; we’ve been in open communication for months. [I’m] very grateful we were able to make a plan that works for everyone.’
Statement: ‘I’m not leaving Home and Away. I have a medical procedure booked in for January, so I won’t be fully vaxxed until mid to late February,’ she wrote on Instagram. ‘I will be written out temporarily. Jazzy is going on an off-screen adventure for a few weeks, but I’ll be back’
It comes after the Director of Production at Seven West Media, Andrew Backwell, sent an email to staff on Friday informing them the network ‘will only engage fully vaccinated presenters, cast and crew’.
Staff at Seven Productions, which includes Home and Away, will need to be double vaccinated from January 10 to continue work.
A Seven spokesperson said: ‘To provide the safest possible work environment for cast, crew and presenters, Seven Productions have made the decision to only engage those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, taking effect in January next year.
‘Seven strongly encourages vaccination to protect our people, their colleagues and their families.’
Excuse: Sam explained she wasn’t able to get the jab sooner because of an unspecified ‘medical procedure booked in for January’
Sam had deactivated her Instagram account on October 9, shortly after revealing in an emotional video that she was unvaccinated and her mental health had suffered as a result of other people ‘judging’ her.
The actress, who has played nurse Jasmine on Home and Away since 2017, called for less judgement towards unvaccinated Australians.
‘I was really hesitant about doing a video or even speaking up about this sort of thing, but I feel like it’s getting to a point now in the world where there’s a lot of segregation,’ she said in the video.
‘There’s a lot of harsh judgement and opinions being thrown around a lot and it’s taking its toll on my mental health for sure, and I know people around me are struggling – particularly if they’re on the side of they don’t want to get vaccinated, for whatever reason.
‘There are lots of different reasons why people are not getting vaccinated and it might be because of their medical history, their concerns, they might have family history, it could be religious reasons.’
Sam then said she hadn’t been vaccinated, but claimed she had spoken to her medical doctor as well as a psychologist about her decision; however, it’s understood she does not have a valid medical exemption.
She added tearfully: ‘It’s a really hard time to be in society right now and you feel like you are less of a human and you feel like people judge you.
Comments: The former Bachelorette had deactivated her Instagram account on October 9, shortly after revealing in an emotional video that she was unvaccinated and her mental health had suffered as a result of other people ‘judging’ her
‘And you’re too scared to talk about your opinion or your feelings and part of you wants to go, “Well, it’s none of your damn business why I’m not! And there’s good reasons why I’m not and I don’t want you to judge me.”‘
She explained it was important for the unvaccinated to look after their mental health, especially as freedoms return for fully vaccinated Australians.
‘I’m struggling a lot with my mental health and I like to think that I’m pretty on to it. I see a psychologist regularly. So I can’t imagine what it’s like for people who don’t have a support network around them,’ she said.
She added that she could ‘get in trouble’ for coming out publicly as unvaccinated, before urging people to treat each other with more kindness and compassion.
Judgement: The actress, who has played Jasmine on Home and Away since 2017, called for less judgement towards unvaccinated Australians. Her video caused controversy because of her use of the word ‘segregation’ when referring to the way society ‘judges’ unvaccinated people
Her video caused a great deal of controversy, mainly because of her use of the word ‘segregation’ when referring to the way society ‘judges’ unvaccinated people.
‘Segregation’ is typically used to describe societies that are divided due to race, religion or sexual orientation.
A Seven spokesperson said afterwards: ‘Seven strongly encourages vaccination for all our people and all Seven productions strictly adhere to the public health Covid-19 safe protocols.
‘All Home and Away cast and crew also undertake Covid-19 testing three times a week in addition to other preventative measures.
‘Sam Frost continues to work on Home and Away and follows the safety protocols in place.’