“No one is going to force anybody to do anything as a compulsory measure, but we certainly will encourage people to take this up,” Morrison said. “Everybody needs to understand what we are trying to achieve here.”
On Instagram, Larry Cook, a leading US anti-vaxx campaigner and founder of Stop Mandatory Vaccines, wrote that “Australia is pushing hard for mandatory Covid vaccination.”
This is despite assurances earlier this week from the US’ top infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, that a compulsory coronavirus vaccine remains highly unlikely. “If someone refuses the vaccine in the general public, then there’s nothing you can do about that. You cannot force someone to take a vaccine,” said Fauci on Tuesday.
It should concern everyone. Without an effective coronavirus vaccine, there currently appears to be no other viable way to return to pre-pandemic normality.
But by using the threat or even vague suggestion of a mandate to campaign against a potential coronavirus vaccine, anti-vaxxers are actually making such an order more likely. If vaccine uptake is too low to generate herd immunity, governments may have no choice but to compel vaccination, either by preventing children from attending public schools if they are not immunized, or eventually even by mandating everyone receive the vaccine.