Travel vaccine mandate could segregate society, experts warn

Travel vaccine mandate could segregate society, experts warn
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Experts have warned mandating vaccines for travel could be problematic and promote segregation, as the Federal Government prepares to trial vaccine passports for international travel.

A new study published by the Medical Journal of Australia found mandatory vaccines must be backed by strong justification before being rolled out by the government.

Championing the research, a string of leading health professionals found a general population mandate could cause resentment and mistrust in government and public health agencies.

, Travel vaccine mandate could segregate society, experts warn,
A vaccine mandate for international travel poses a risk of segregating society, a new study has found. (Dominic Lorrimer)

“Mandates cannot be ethically justifiable if they further entrench existing disadvantage, or if penalties will be experienced very differently by different populations,” the study found.

“Supply of the Pfizer vaccine continues to be limited in Australia … access problems continue to be reported.

“Government and employers will need to improve access for workers before a mandate is enforced.”

, Travel vaccine mandate could segregate society, experts warn,
Limited access to Pfizer continues to inhibit the rollout. (AP)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said when 80 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, residents with two doses will be able to travel overseas again and those stuck abroad will be able to return home.

In a pre-recorded message to Australian expats last week, Mr Morrison acknowledged the frustrations of those stuck overseas.

, Travel vaccine mandate could segregate society, experts warn,
International travel will resume when the population reaches a high vaccination level. (Paul Jeffers.)

“I know it’s been difficult, but we are looking forward to welcoming many people home soon,” he said.

“We can get there this year, we’re looking forward to that opportunity again.

“I thank you for your patience and enduring what has been a frustrating and difficult time for you.”

Meanwhile, the Australian Human Rights Commission has warned businesses they must “be cautious about imposing a blanket rule requiring vaccination as a condition of entry”.

Australia closed its international borders 18 months ago in a bid to manage COVID-19.



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