COVID-19 and Vaccination Policy


Family First recognises that the development of vaccines is one of the most important public health measures of the previous century.


Adoption of widespread vaccination has prevented untold suffering through the suppression of diseases such as measles, tetanus, diphtheria, polio and rubella. Vaccines have led to the elimination of smallpox.


We support a strong and thorough accreditation system to make sure that approved vaccines have been subjected to rigorous testing to assess their safety and efficacy.


Vaccines must be easily accessible through the public health system.


While we believe high vaccination rates are fundamental to ongoing optimal public health, Family First does not support compulsory vaccination. Allowing government of whatever persuasion to mandate our health decisions is not acceptable in a free society.


COVID-19


COVID-19 has been a terrible pandemic that has had an enormous effect around the world. By world standards Australia has had considerable success in limiting the spread and consequences of the disease.


Our health clinicians have undertaken their duties with dedication and diligence. They deserve our thanks and respect, as do teachers, police, retail staff and many others who have had to adapt quickly to minimise the effect of COVID on our community.


Families have faced challenging circumstances with changes to employment or loss of jobs. Many families have had to adjust to adopting home based education and care. There are many instances of heartbreaking absences and separations.


As a community we have accepted extraordinary measures that impact our liberty and change our natural expectations of enjoying family life.


Restrictions and ‘lockdowns’ have had many devastating costs:


• Harm to mental health and wellbeing

• Extra costs for small and family businesses

• Unemployment and reduced work opportunities

• Increased Government debt which will take many years to repair.


COVID vaccines will play a significant role in restoring our community to optimal health. Regrettably the initial rollout of the vaccines was less than ideal but as a community we have now reached high vaccination rates.


High vaccination rates are important in combating the disease and ending lockdowns or other restrictive measures. Family First therefore supports public promotion campaigns to encourage COVID vaccination. The keys to driving up vaccination rates are public confidence, greater availability and convenience.


Therefore:

Family First does not support compulsory vaccination for COVID-19 other than in very limited circumstances where workers are interacting with vulnerable people such as in aged care.


Family First believes in the fundamental right to refuse treatment which has long been a cornerstone of medical ethics.


Family First does not support proposed mandatory ‘Vaccine Passports’ for people who have had COVID-19 vaccinations. A mandatory ‘Vaccine Passport’ would reduce people who refuse vaccination to the status of second-class citizens.


Family First notes that high vaccination rates have been achieved, and diseases far more deadly than COVID effectively suppressed, without resorting to mandatory vaccination.


Family First believes further public health measures in relation to COVID must be carefully and cautiously assessed. This assessment must take into account clinical advice regarding efficacy, the impact on families and the restriction to our liberty.


Australians have been largely co-operative and diligent in fighting the spread of COVID.

Our nation’s people deserve commendation for our efforts.


We recognise the measures we have implemented as a community have restricted our liberty in ways unprecedented in peacetime. Family First does not support permanent measures that negatively impact our freedom. We must be vigilant that the COVID pandemic is not used as an opportunity to entrench unwarranted or unjustified government intrusion in our lives.