celebrity

'I will be written out temporarily.' Sam Frost will not appear on Home and Away until next year.

In early October, actor and reality star Sam Frost posted and subsequently deleted an Instagram video sharing that she would not be getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The 32-year-old asked for "compassion" and "empathy" for those who had made the same choice as her, and said she had "good reasons" to not get the vaccine, although she did not share what they were specifically. 

"I was really hesitant about doing a video or even speaking up about this sort of thing," she said in the five-minute video.

"But I feel like it's getting to a point now in the world where there's a lot of segregation, a lot of harsh judgment, and it's taking its toll on my mental health."

She received significant criticism for her views, with many arguing that her choice put the health of other Australians in jeopardy. The public also noted that Frost was in the unique and privileged position of having been employed throughout the recent lengthy lockdown in New South Wales.

Now, Frost has shared an update about her employment to her Instagram, which she recently re-activated after taking it down following the criticism of her video.

"I'm not leaving Home and Away," she wrote. 

"I've got a medical procedure booked in for January. So I won't be fully vaxxed until mid-late February.

Sam Frost on her role on Home and Away. Image: Instagram. 

"I will be written out temporarily. Jazzy [Jasmine, Frost's character] is going on an off-screen adventure for a few weeks... but I'll be back.

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"My bosses are amazing, we've been in open communication for months. Very grateful we were able to make a plan that works for everyone."

The announcement comes just days after Seven Productions issued a fully-vaxxed or no-work mandate to staff.

An email, seen by the Herald Sun, was sent to staff last week, stating Seven would "only engage fully vaccinated presenters, cast and crew".

The Director of Production at Seven West Media, Andrew Backwell, wrote that employees from Seven programs would need to be vaccinated by January 10, when staff return after the summer break. 

Speaking to the Herald Sun, a Seven spokesperson confirmed: "Seven strongly encourages vaccination to protect our people, their colleagues and their families."

It's unclear why Frost's role is affected now, when Seven's mandate doesn't officially take effect until January. 

In her original video, Frost argued, "There are lots of different reasons why people aren't getting vaccinated — and it might be because of their medical history, their concerns they might have, family history, it could be religious reasons... there are many many many many reasons... there are a few reasons why I'm not."

She added that she'd spoken to her doctor and her psychologist, but was "going to keep that private."

Her latest post seems to imply her upcoming surgery affects her vaccine eligibility. 

Scientifically speaking, there are very few medical not to be vaccinated.

As the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) states: "There are very few situations where a vaccine is contraindicated and as such, medical exemption is expected to be rarely required."

As Sydney GP Dr Brad McKay reiterated to Mamamia, "The chance of having a medical contraindication or being allergic to all the vaccines available is slim-to-none."

Professor Kristine Macartney, Director of the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance told The Age you can even get the vaccine if you're having chemotherapy, or undergoing serious medical procedures like an organ or bone marrow transplant.

The ATAGI guidance does list ‘acute major illness’ as a reason for temporary exemption, although this would be assessed on a case-by-case basis. 

Frost has not confirmed whether she has an official medical exemption, or is simply choosing to wait to get vaccinated.

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