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Melbourne Braces For Further Unrest Following Days Of Protests As the Land Down Under copes with one of the world’s most severe COVID-19 lockdowns, the government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison has further tightened the screws by requiring the country’s health workers to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.
Morrison’s sweeping Oct. 1 order applies to public hospitals, ambulance services, private hospitals, general practitioners, private nurse offices, consulting offices, pharmacies, and private pathology centers. The new order also covers student nurses, doctors in residency, and health employees at the Defense Department.
“It’s pretty simple,” New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard said. “If you don’t care enough to get vaccinated and look after your colleagues if you don’t care enough about your patient, you probably shouldn’t be in the health system.”
The move comes as Australia battles the Delta variant, which has spread rapidly despite crippling lockdowns and tightly sealed borders. Australia’s two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, along with its capital, Canberra, are in the midst of a weeks-long hard lockdown in an effort to control the disease’s spread. The country has scrapped plans to reach Zero COVID and instead is focusing on mass vaccinations.
Not surprisingly, the new rules have triggered a backlash. Liberal National MP George Christensen compared the vaccine mandate to slavery and “apartheid” in his popular online broadcast.
“This is not an anti-vax thing. This is about freedom, and it’s about choice, and it’s about telling governments and corporations, you know what, we might be your employee but we’re not your chattel. We’re no longer in a slave relationship where you can demand certain things be done to my body,” he told his listeners.
Christensen and his supporters – both skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccines and opposed to the heavy hand of government and corporations – appear to be facing an uphill battle. In addition to the government in Canberra and state and territorial governments, the vaccine mandate is endorsed by the Australian Medical Association (AMA). “The public has an expectation that when they go to the doctor, they will be safe and that staff will have […]
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JD Rucker – EIC