Commentary

The first signs of mandatory vaccination in Australia

A new wave of vaccinations has been precipitated by COVID-19 generating discussion on what it means for large scale events and the workplace.

August 25, 2021

Edward Jenner is credited with the introduction of the world’s first vaccine in 1796 when he used material from cowpox pustules to provide protection against smallpox. However, the informal use of vaccines can be traced back to early civilisations with evidence of inoculation practices in China, Africa and Turkey. 

A new wave of vaccinations has been precipitated by COVID-19 generating discussion on what it means for overseas travel, hospitality establishments, large-scale events and the workplace. 

We believe that health considerations are an important element of the psychological contract – the expectations employers and employees have of each other. A number of organisations including Facebook, Google, Saks Fifth Avenue, and even the Miami Heat basketball team have stated that vaccination is mandatory for employees to return to the workplace. 

And now the first signs of mandatory vaccination are emerging in Australia. Qantas surveyed its workforce, and three quarters support making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory. Health is one of the eight dimensions of wellness. It will be important for building owners and managers to have robust policies and procedures to respond to the emerging health requirements of their customers.