The vast majority of Australians have declared they would consent to a COVID-19 jab, as the first phase of Australia’s vaccination program begins on Monday.
According to survey data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 73 per cent of Australians agreed or strongly agreed they would opt for a COVID-19 vaccination if it was available and recommended to them.
ABS head of household surveys David Zago said the latest Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey conducted from 11 to 18 December explored Australia’s attitudes towards COVID-19 vaccines.
“Men were more likely than women (76 per cent compared with 71 per cent) and people aged 65 years and over were more likely than people aged 18 to 64 years (83 per cent compared with 71 per cent) to agree or strongly agree with getting a COVID-19 vaccine,” Mr Zago said.
“Almost three in five people (58 per cent) agreed or strongly agreed that they would try to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as it is available to them.”
You won’t be forced to get a vaccination
While the majority of Australian are in favour of receiving a COVID-19 jab, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) and Safe Work Australia (SWA) have stressed that the overwhelming majority of employers should assume they will not be able to require their employees to be vaccinated.
“The latest guidance provided by the FWO and SWA reinforces the federal government’s broader vaccine policy that vaccination should be voluntary,” Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations Christian Porter said.
“As the Prime Minister has said many times, the government expects that the overwhelming majority of Australians will want to be vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones, and so they can get on with their lives without disruption.”
However, in a previous conversation with nestegg, Australian employment and industrial law barrister Ian Neil urged employees to get vaccinated if they work in a field where it is considered lawful and reasonable.
“Employees have an obligation to obey the lawful and reasonable direction of their employer, and in most cases, it will be lawful and reasonable for employers to direct or require their employees to be vaccinated,” Mr Neil said.
He said that a person’s field of work will determine what is, in this case, considered “lawful and reasonable”.
“There will always be debates about the reasonableness about the requirement to get vaccinated, [and] the answer to that debate will depend in part on what sort of work the employee is doing,” he said.
“It is obviously much more reasonable for employees in care facilities or in hospitals, for example, to be vaccinated compared with people who work alone.”
Vaccine rollout to determine Australia’s economic recovery
While the vast majority of Australians are in support of the vaccine, minutes from the RBA’s monthly meeting have shown it is imperative to the economic recovery.
During its monthly meeting, the RBA said growth forecasts for the global economy and Australia’s major trading partners had been revised a little higher as a result of fiscal and monetary policy remaining highly expansionary.
“However, the brighter outlook did not change members’ assessment that the global recovery was still likely to be bumpy and uneven, with most economies expected to be well short of their pre-pandemic trajectories at the end of the forecast period,” the RBA said.
“Labour markets were therefore likely to have considerable spare capacity for some time, resulting in subdued inflationary pressures. The spread of the virus and the speed of vaccine distribution remained key determinants of the outlook.”
Article republished courtesy of nestegg.com.au