The Victorian government is ‘stepping up the fight’ against the flu this season by making vaccinations compulsory for frontline doctors and nurses caring for the state’s most vulnerable patients.
According to an announcement by Premier Dan Andrews, legislation is currently being introduced to make it mandatory for frontline healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated.
The Health Services Amendment (Mandatory Vaccination of Healthcare Workers) Bill 2020 amends the Health Services Act 1988 and the Ambulance Services Act 1986 to provide the Secretary of Health powers to give vaccine directions to public and private hospitals, health services, health service establishments and ambulance services.
Currently tabled in the Legislative Council (at the time of publishing), the new bill specifies requirements for persons employed or engaged by those entities to be vaccinated or ‘prove immunity’ to specified diseases.
According to the initial introduction print, the purpose of the new direction is to “ensure the health and safety of patients, employees and other persons working in or visiting health services, by limiting the risk of transmission of vaccine-preventable disease”. The bill explains:
The proposal notes that such consequences for refusal may include that the worker is redeployed to a different area of the hospital, or that the worker’s employment or engagement is terminated.
Furthermore, a failure for an institution to comply may result in the registration of the health service establishment being suspended or revoked in accordance with relevant legislative structures.
The new laws will mean healthcare workers must be fully vaccinated to ‘protect’ themselves and patients against the flu each year, as well as whooping cough, measles, chicken pox and hepatitis B.
If passed, the laws will represent the final step in an incremental creep of enforcement measures for healthcare workers over the last decade in Australia.
NO JAB, NO JOB
The move is the latest example in a trend that has seen both public and private sectors introduce policies requiring vaccinations for work, leaving many concerned that it was only a matter of time before proof of ‘immunisation’ may soon become a mandatory requirement for all employment.
Across the entire service of Victoria, 84 per cent of staff received the influenza vaccine last year, but among some sites — particularly aged care — it was up to 100 per cent of staff and residents.
However, according to BHS Chief Medical Officer and Associate Professor, Rosemary Aldric:
“The vaccination won’t necessarily protect a person from getting the flu but it will minimise or reduce the severity and length of the condition.”
It was announced in April 2018 that vaccination programs offered to all staff in residential aged-care homes in NSW would become compulsory, and it will now be required that every aged care provider offers the flu vaccine to every single worker.
Earlier that year, the Australian government released a directive requiring all staff in “high-risk workplaces” to provide information on their flu vaccination status, including restricting access to work in certain areas for those who refuse to comply.
At the time, many suspected this was a push towards mandatory restrictions across all areas in the near future, and now with this announcement, the concerns have become a reality.
Believe it or not, there is no universal requirement across Australia that staff in workplaces be vaccinated against infectious diseases, either for their own protection or those in their care.
Furthermore, despite numerous campaigns promoting the flu vaccine to Australian health workers over the last decade, uptake has been documented to range from only 16% onwards.
Could healthcare workers set the precedent for a wave to come across other industries? Is it only a matter of time before the coercion becomes open tyranny?
In recent years, Australia has seen increased programming from mainstream media and government authorities urging various changes across workplace private policy and public legislation.
The aim is to slowly coerce the population into receiving vaccinations – or miss out. For example, some roles within Queensland Health are now designated specifically as ‘Vaccination Preventable Disease (VPD) risk roles’.
Furthermore, most workplaces run intensive vaccination programs, which may include mass immunisation clinics, mobile carts, posters and email reminders, and some industries will not accept you as an employee or your child into care without updated vaccination documents.
To implement compulsory staff vaccination would not be hard. We are already here. Media propaganda surrounding vaccines remains strong enough to convince private sector employers that they simply need to develop a vaccination policy and then direct staff to comply with it.
Many civil liberty groups and pro-choice campaigners have expressed concerns in recent years that, while not openly mandatory just yet, subtle changes in vaccine perception and policy in Australia will lead the public to a system where vaccination will be a staple for essential activities in life.
This has already begun to occur overseas, where a requirement to serve the greater ‘social good’ has punished multiple employers and industries for not incorporating policies to help curve falling rates – because apparently discrimination is allowed if ‘it goes to a person’s ability to do the job’.
Hundreds of workers have been fired in other countries for opting out of the flu vaccination when their employer required inoculation. In 2012, TriHealth, the largest employer in Cincinnati, Ohio, terminated 150 employees who did not comply with their flu vaccine mandate.
The Australian government’s claims of safety and efficacy of vaccines are being underpinned by non-objective science provided by an oligarchy of pharmaceutical companies through industry-funded institutions and lobby groups.
Despite this, the pro-vaccine lobby continues to push the notion that herd immunity is required in order for society to protect itself from diseases of the modern world. Healthcare is the first step.
We have been contacted by groups opposing the bill on the ground. Stay tuned for a report on the reactions and responses from concerned citizens in Australia.
Making Vaccination Mandatory For Healthcare Workers | Premier of Victoria
Health Services Amendment (Mandatory Vaccination of Healthcare Workers) Bill 2020 | Victorian Legislation
EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM | Victorian Legislation
The Influence of Big Pharma in Australia | TOTT News
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