Whether you are ready or not, the first phase of COVID-19’s vaccination is rolling out in Canberra on Monday 22 February 2021. The COVID-19 Vaccination & Impact is explored herein.
Is it compulsory? Is it safe? Will it be mandatory in the workplace? Australians are asking these questions with no clear answers.
Is it compulsory?
While it does not appear the NSW Government or the Australian Federal Government is going to make vaccination mandatory, it seems likely it will be left up to venues or businesses to make that decision. Some businesses and venues: government services, pubs, clubs, entertaining services or others may restrict those who are not vaccinated from entering their premises.
This will most likely to apply to airlines and interstate travel.
Those who are concerned about the safety of the vaccine will have the right to refuse being vaccinated. They will, in return, have to make a considerable sacrifice in accessing venues and services.
Most businesses are concerned about whether or not to make vaccination a requirement in order to access their premises, and in order to end the work-from-home policy. That is: no vaccine, no service.
On the one hand, if this policy is implemented, businesses may lose income and customers from those not vaccinated. On the other hand, businesses may be held liable if a person catches the virus on their premises.
A new regulation recently introduced says that while taking the vaccination itself may not be compulsory, the details of those who are vaccinated must be kept on a register.
Is it safe?
There is a considerable hesitation when it comes to the question of the safety of the vaccine. Australians are concerned, like the rest of the world, whether the vaccine is properly tested and whether there are long term side-effects we have not seen yet.
Politics aside, a number of authorities have ruled out publications made by news organisations based in the United States of America on the question of unreliability. It also does not help that social media platforms are allowing their users to publish non-credible and/or unsubstantiated statistics and findings about the vaccine. For example, one news organisation published a set of statistics suggesting that elderly residents who received the COVID-19 vaccine passed away shortly after. It failed to tell its readers that the causes of death were not related to receiving the vaccine. As the saying goes: correlation does not infer causation.
Allergic reactions have also been reported throughout the world from those who received the vaccine.
At the present time, it appears that Australians have no choice but to adopt the ‘let’s wait and see’ approach.
Will it be mandatory in the workplace?
There are currently no laws or orders requiring employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The exception is: if an employee interacts with people who have a high risk of being infected with coronavirus. Those high risk people include those passing a border control, or staying in a hotel quarantine.
The vaccine may be necessary if workplace normalcy is to be resumed in the near future. Otherwise, employers and employees ought to expect working remotely to be the new norm.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Professional advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.