NSW and Queensland governments clash over NRL flu jabs

The Queensland and New South Wales governments are taking opposing stances on mandatory flu shots. Pic: Getty

NSW's chief health officer has urged all NRL players to receive the flu vaccine, but says she won't step in to stop them from training or playing if they don't.

Up to 20 players across the NRL have so far refused to be vaccinated for varying reasons ahead of the May 28 restart, either for having suffered adverse reactions in the past or on ethical and/or religious grounds.

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A biosecurity document sent to players and governments last week by the NRL said all players must receive the vaccine, unless they sign a waiver to continue playing.

But the Queensland government has stood firm insisting players must receive the jab, with Gold Coast duo Bryce Cartwright and Brian Kelly stood down for failing to do so.

However, NSW CHO Kerry Chant reaffirmed on Monday her state won't follow Queensland, leaving the decision to the NRL.

"It is really a matter for the NRL as a workplace employer to consider their occupational health and safety obligations," Chant said.

"Clearly there will be ramifications for them.

"It is in their best interest to exclude any flu-like illness amongst players because according to their plan any player who has any respiratory illness is not allowed to play.

"And it potentially will take the whole team out."

Chant's comments follow the NSW government's push for as many people as possible in the state to have the needle, in a bid to slow down the spread of the flu during the COVID-19 crisis.

Stars argue they shouldn’t be forced into flu shot

Her stance comes after players' union board member and Cronulla captain Wade Graham put pressure on his colleagues to get the needle.

However, Manly five-eighth Dylan Walker has been vocal in his right to have a choice over whether to receive the needle.

"Whether you want to approach a headache with some rest or with a tablet, is up to you," Walker posted on Instagram over the weekend.

"Whether you want to inject a vaccine or not, is up to you. Whether you eat certain foods or not, is up to you.

"Some things are more controversial than others, but that does not mean that everyone should be forced, expected or coerced to do the same thing.

"Health means something different to us all."