The Courier-Mail said this week I was out of touch for voting against vaccine mandates.
I am against vaccine mandates because they do not work, while denying many others the right to work.
Covid-19 vaccines work to reduce severe outcomes from coronavirus.
We should promote their uptake, and Australians are overwhelming getting vaccinated.
The Courier-Mail provides just one data point, New South Wales, to say that mandates work to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Cases in New South Wales are falling in a fairly typical pattern that has occurred in every country, even before vaccines were available. Epidemics always come in waves.
But there is overwhelming international evidence that Covid-19 vaccines are not stopping the spread of the virus.
Austria, Bulgaria, Serbia, Germany and the Netherlands are all experiencing record coronavirus cases despite high vaccination rates and mandates to get the vaccine.
Bill Gates, a committed vaccine advocate, said this month that the vaccines only slightly reduce transmission.
If the vaccine does not significantly stop transmission, there is no justification to force everyone to get it.
I voted against vaccine mandates because these policies are causing immense pain for people.
A constituent of mine had a severe reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine some months ago.
He spent months in hospital and still cannot return to work.
His doctors will not give him an exemption from the vaccine mandate and are instead saying he should get Pfizer.
This is just cruel.
Another lady contacted me the other day.
She is six months pregnant and does not want to get the vaccine because she is worried about the impact on her baby.
There is no evidence that the vaccine harms an unborn baby, but what happened to “my body, my choice”?
It is inhumane to force a pregnant lady to have a medical procedure against her will.
Hundreds of other businesses are at their wits’ end, with up to half their staff ready to walk off the job rather than get the vaccine.
These businesses have suffered over the past 18 months through lockdowns and border closures.
They have done so without complaint and now it may have been all for naught as they face losing their businesses for a lack of staff.
Remember when we were “all in this together”?
There is a fundamental right to work so that people can provide for their family.
I accept that mandates may make sense in some high-risk settings, like Covid-19 wards in hospitals, but the wide application of vaccine mandates will see people lose their jobs and perhaps their homes.
This is not right.
These impacts have convinced nine North Queensland councils over the past week to pass motions against vaccine mandates.
Many health experts are against vaccine mandates too.
The former deputy chief medical officer of the commonwealth government, Nick Coatsworth, said that the ACT, where no vaccine mandates have applied, is “the way it’s done”.
By the way, the ACT has the highest vaccination rate in Australia without a mandate.
Professor Julie Leask, from the University of Sydney, has called Victoria’s widespread vaccine mandate approach “disproportionate to the risks the unvaccinated pose in a population that will reach at least 93 per cent two-dose coverage by year’s end”.
It is obvious that vaccine mandates will fail at stopping coronavirus, but when that inevitably happens do not expect the Queensland Government to admit they were wrong.
Instead this Labor Government will resort to its default “blame mode”.
They could impose more draconian measures on the unvaccinated as they become the easiest scapegoat.
Children could be forced to get the vaccine as is happening in Victoria now.
If you don’t want that next, we need to push back against the state encroaching into our lives now.
Let’s restore the commonsense Australian approach of mateship, where we respect each other, even when we make different choices.
We should count our blessings that we have a vaccine and approach the remaining risks we all face with the perspective that we cannot make the world perfectly safe, but retreating to fear and division will make things a lot worse.