Mandatory vs Voluntary Vaccination

But, isn’t vaccination voluntary in Australia, I hear you ask?

The government has been conflating the meaning of “mandatory” ever since they introduced No Jab No Pay in 2016, however in relation to Covid-19, our Prime Minister Scott Morrison first told Australian’s in August 2020 that any Coronavirus vaccine should be as “mandatory as possible”.​[1]​ Only 24 hours later backtracked on his statement and claimed there had been an “overreaction” to his statement.​[2]​ He went on to explain that vaccination won’t be compulsory, and will only be “encouraged”.

What our PM did here was deliberately conflate the meaning of “mandatory”.

What does “mandatory” mean?

So what does it mean to refer to “voluntary” or “mandated.” Firstly, let’s be clear on the types of language used regarding mandates.

  1. Mandates that are linked to a service, payment or attendance.
  2. A law that makes vaccination compulsory.

It is unlikely that option 2 would ever be considered in Australia. That would mean either fines or a criminal offence for choosing not to vaccinate. It is under option 1 that the government are making their sinister moves while still calling vaccination “voluntary”.

Under the law, something that is “forced” or “mandatory” has a very high bar to test. For example, if someone was holding a gun to your head and threatened to shoot you unless you did something, this would likely be considered that you were “forced” to do that thing. However, in situations like choosing between your job or remaining unvaccinated this means you still have the option of choice. Even though a requirement to be vaccinated to work is extremely coercive, you still have the option to quit your job.

From a moral perspective, a No Jab No Job policy means that for some people they have no practical choice. Many people simply cannot afford to give up their jobs, and therefore they feel like they have no choice but to keep their job. In a moral/practical sense, the vaccine is mandatory for them. But this doesn’t pass the very high legal test to be considered “force”. This is certainly how defenders of coercive vaccination have argued this for No Jab No Pay and Play since 2016. Essentially, unless you are being held down and jabbed by force against your will, you still have a choice. As far as the public is concerned, irrespective of the legal definition, vaccination is now being progressively made mandatory for people to be able to keep their jobs.

Essentially, unless you are being held down and jabbed by force or charged with an offence, you still have a choice.

So when the government says “vaccines are not mandatory”​[3]​ they are not being totally honest with you. We are now witnessing new “voluntary mandates” each day. Irrespective of whether mandating vaccination is legal or not, what is happening is simply NOT OK. Under a democratic society it is simple not ok to ever, under any circumstance, threaten people’s livelihoods unless they undergo a medical procedure they do not wish to. Mandatory vaccination will inevitably lead to reduced trust in the government, discrimination of minority groups, adverse reactions to vaccines and a two class society as the public are increasingly encouraged to turn on their fellow unvaccinated peers.

Anytime someone says to you “but vaccination isn’t mandatory, you still have a choice”, send them this article.

Where does this slippery slope end?

Note: None of information should be construed as legal advice. If you are affected by any vaccination mandates you should seek out professional legal advice from a solicitor.

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  3. 3.
    Sky News: “We do not have a mandatory vaccination policy”: PM Morrison,