Vaccine Passports are an Affront to Law and Liberty

Recent polls suggest most Australians support vaccine ‘passports’. History, however, is littered with examples of a popular opinion being dead wrong. Approval for assisted suicide is also popular, according to opinion polls.

I am not against vaccines. However, governments, bureaucracies and business leaders have no right to enforce or to coerce an individual to take a medical treatment against his or her better instincts or judgement. This is known as the principle of informed consent and the Australian Immunisation Handbook makes it clear that vaccines “must be given voluntarily in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation.” What is more, the decision to take a medication must remain the sole preserve of the patient-doctor relationship, so that particular individual circumstances can be considered.

Yes, it is important to safeguard as far as possible from COVID. However, there must be a sense of perspective, which has been seriously lacking, especially from the media. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the ‘flu claimed nearly 1500 in 2019, including 37 on one day alone in Adelaide. Yet there was zero discussion about the need for a ‘flu vaccine passport’, or any suggestion that we crush businesses and livelihoods to ‘stop the spread’.

COVID is very often worse than seasonal flu, but it is also true the Wuhan virus isn’t the Spanish flu of 1918-1920. Estimates of death from that pandemic range between 30 and 50 million, with some estimates going as high as 70 million, many of whom were women in child-bearing age.

Here are the undisputed facts about COVID from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The average lifespan of an Australian is 82.6 years. The average age of Covid fatalities in Australia is 85. Since the pandemic began, the COVID fatality rate for Australians under 50 is four in 12,000. Sixty-six per cent of COVID deaths have been in nursing homes. Seventy-three per cent of COVID deaths involved pre-existing chronic health conditions, and a higher number involved non-chronic but somewhat serious health complications. It would be difficult, therefore, to justify discrimination on the basis of vaccine status, especially if one has no pre-existing conditions, or is not in a vulnerable category.

However, in Australia, it seems we are being steamrolled towards medical segregation, where unvaccinated people will be considered ‘unclean’ and thus unfit to participate in society. This reminds me of how lepers were considered ‘unclean’ and segregated. Is treating unvaccinated people as pariahs faithful to the Gospel message of that special brand of love called charity? If our media, politicians and bureaucrats cannot see any problem with demanding that perfectly healthy people undergo a medical procedure in return for permission to participate in society, or to work, then we have a much bigger problem than COVID-19.

In the UK, plans for a vaccine ‘passport’ have been abandoned. In reporting on this development, the Sunday Times made some interesting observations. The report, based on a survey by Imperial College,  stated that:

Vaccine passports are being viewed as a redundant measure in light of ongoing community transmission. New research also suggests that domestic vaccine passports increase hesitancy and distrust of governments.

In terms of ongoing transmission, the Times noted that, with a high percentage of the population double-dosed between 1 February and 29 August there have been – wait for it – 1054 deaths among the vaccinated and 536 COVID deaths in the unjabbed over the same period. So much for the ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’

Additionally, ethical concerns have been raised in relation to certain coronavirus vaccines that have either been derived from the cell lines of an electively aborted foetus, or laboratory testing of them has been conducted utilising such cell lines. Last year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised that he would be sensitive to these concerns. In his words: “These are personal judgements that people make and you’ve got to always be respectful of other people’s views.”

In this spirit, the Australian Catholic Medical Association has asked for protection for workers who will not be vaccinated on conscientious grounds. Recently, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference held that “no-one should be coerced to receive any vaccine” and that “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation.”

But aren’t Christians supposed to love their neighbour? Shouldn’t they get vaccinated for the common good? Sure, but they should be vaccinated of their own free will. Our fundamental freedoms, especially those of speech, movement, conscience and religion are inalienable. They are not to be ransomed back to us in the name of compliance – no matter how worthy the cause.

Dr Rocco Loiacono is a lecturer at Curtin University Law School

24 thoughts on “Vaccine Passports are an Affront to Law and Liberty

  • seagull says:

    Surftilide, get real and get vaccinated. You will eventually get COVID. With the vaccine you won’t get as ill. Without, you will expect an ICU bed to save you if needed. That is all that the vaccine does. And make sure your parents/ grandparents get vaccinated – they are the ones who could die if you infect them. It is you civic duty towards your community.
    And stay away from those websites run by quacks, conmen and religious loonies – they are riddled with false information .

  • pgang says:

    My sister and her husband are genuine stalwarts in their small-town Victorian community. Because they are not morons, they chose to not be experimentally vaccinated against a virus that hasn’t come anywhere near their town, knowing that the health risks from the misnamed ‘vaccine’ infinitely surpass anything the non-resident virus could do to them.
    So they have lost their semi-retirement, low-paid part-time jobs, which they relied on to put food on the table. There are not enough four letter words in the lexicon to express my contempt for the Victorian and Federal bureaucracies which have not only allowed this to happen, but actively encouraged and enforced it upon two of the most upright people in this miserable socialist, satanic nation. Nor can I sufficiently express my anger against the craven soul who obligingly signed their termination papers. Repent, you fool.

  • Elizabeth Beare says:

    I am a double-vaxxed 79 year old woman with two comorbidities (high blood pressure and pre-diabetes) although generally in otherwise good general health. This coming week I am inviting around some friends who are vaccinated and others who are not, all of whom I know will only attend if they feel well. I don’t feel at any more particular risk in doing this than I do in any other social interactions I have. Nor can I understand why, looking at the data, others do feel so threatened by unvaxxed people, who are usually those who take extra care of their health. Clearly there has been a lot of fear whipped up for political purposes re ‘vaccine passports’.
    I have no objection to showing a vaxx certificate for international travel; I have done this for much of my past travelling life. In medical and aged-care situations and other places where there may be concerns about a vulnerable and debilitated group of people in close proximity to each other, I believe those unvaxxed could satisfy health requirements by a regular negative quick Covid test. In fact, the vaxxed should also provide this in such circumstances, as they can be carriers of this virus too.
    A ‘passport’ in order to live a normal life in this country is a very retrograde step. I refuse to live in an apartheid society against other Australians and more of us should refuse by our actions do so. Well said indeed, Rocco L.

  • Katzenjammer says:

    It’s so exciting to be alive in such a historical moment in time when only a brief two decades ago years rendered with two numerals was going to demolish the modern civilised world, and CO2 the building block of all living plants and creatures has been discovered to soon cause the demise of our species, and there’s a sickness travelling the whole world where most don’t know they’re ill until a test advises them. We ought to be so glad we’re well past those centuries of primitive superstitions about witches and theories of miasma causing disease. It’s the twenty first century. Everyone is intelligent now. Education in the principles of critical thinking allows us to rationalise our sentiments and prejudices. I’m educated and that’s what I think so it must be true.

  • Adam J says:

    I’m half vaccinated but naturally extremely cautious about who I interact with due to an underlying condition. I appreciate the focus on good hygiene and social distancing of the sick (seriously don’t go to the work with the flu, guys). But the passport stuff is abhorrent, especially when 80-90% will be vaccinated anyway. So much for herd immunity.

  • exuberan says:

    I dont agree with the Spanish Flu analogy quoted in the article. My feeling is that had the Spanish Flu been Covid 19 in 1918-20, the result then would have been far far more catastrophic. Also the analogy does not allow for the 100 years improvement in Medicine and Hygeine since that period.

  • ianl says:

    @Katzenjammer Kid

    Well mocked 🙂

  • mandswilson says:


    You are fudging the maths when you compare death rates among the vaccinated and the unvaccinated.
    You say they there have been: “1,054 deaths among the vaccinated and 536 COVID deaths in the unjabbed over the same period.”
    You are looking at actual numbers when you should be looking at the ratios. There are now only very few people who haven’t been jabbed. Because the percentage of jabbed people is getting so high – now not far off 90% – it is not surprising that in absolute terms, more jabbed people with get it than non-jabbed people.
    But if you look at the incidence of COVID, the percentage of unjabbed people who get it is much higher that for the jabbed people

  • Peter Marriott says:

    Good piece Rocco, thank you. Couple of points : once the vaccination numbers get above a certain percentage the numbers of infections in the vaccinated must exceed the numbers in the unvaccinated, bearing in mind that none of these types of vaccines guarantee a person will not be infected, as is the case with the flu vaccine…..but it will be a milder infection in the absence of serious morbidities of course. Domestic vaccine passports are something I would not agree with and I don’t think a flu virus of any description warrants international health passports. I used to carry them during the smallpox days ( which I seem to remember reading somewhere has reappeared ), and also when I visited Africa for cholera and typhoid and a few others depending on the country, and I certainly never regarded it as an affront to my sense of freedom but the diseases were far worse than this latest flu type. However I want to get back to international travel with no lockdowns or offensive masks etc. and would accept them if that’s what they enforce.

  • lbloveday says:

    Quote: In this spirit, the Australian Catholic Medical Association has asked for protection for workers who will not be vaccinated on conscientious grounds. Recently, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference held that “no-one should be coerced to receive any vaccine” and that “vaccination is not, as a rule, a moral obligation.”
    Apparently the Archbishop of Brisbane dissents:
    The Archbishop of Brisbane has issued a diktat banning priests who are not double vaccinated and threatening to suspend the faculties of priests who conscientiously object to any jab which requires some of the guts of an aborted baby.
    “Clergy not doubly vaccinated are failing in their duty to care for the faithful,” Abp. Mark Coleridge snarls, ordering any cleric who does not comply to “stand aside from pastoral duties in his parish and from all pastoral ministry until he has been fully vaccinated.”
    “Should a priest or deacon in such circumstances decline to stand aside voluntarily, I will need to consider the temporary suspension of faculties until he fully complies,” Coleridge threatens in his four-page internal letter dated last Monday
    “All diocesan clergy, including religious engaged in a parish,” the letter says, “are ordered to submit evidence of vaccination no later than Dec. 15 by “uploading a valid vaccination record to the Aurion Employee Self Service (ESS) portal.”
    More details at

  • andrew2 says:

    Thank you for this article.
    The vaccine passport is just one aspect of government action during this time which has demonstrated a willingness to assert power without consideration to individual rights.
    I would also point out the example of the snap NSW lockdown which we went into only to find out that a nasty condition for our release was later added, that of a vaccination threshold. Another example is the Health Orders requiring mandatory vaccination in certain industries, like education, with no concern about what impact that would have on individual families who found themselves instantly unemployed. Another example is the way the Federal and State governments cooperated to ensure they didn’t fall foul of the Australian Constitution’s instruction on civil conscription – by getting the State governments to do all the dirty work. It is all jack-boot tactics.
    We are not free. We probably never were. The horror is that they majority of Australians think the passport is ok, meaning we are unlikely to ever see more freedom in the foreseeable future. What seagull wrote above is correct in the current environment, but the current environment was engineered by the bureaucrats. What seems like common sense to a slave is not common sense to a free man. External freedom comes with a commitment to self control and opinions like those of Seagull about “civic duty” indicate that people do not trust others with the responsible use of their freedom.

  • Lo says:

    The wording of the Passport above is quite disturbing.
    This individual has received all REQUIRED Covid-19 vaccines. Required for what? By whom? Not mandatory?
    The wording has been carefully considered. The capacity to change the requirements overnight is a real probability.
    This is our Federal government.

  • Lo says:

    If I were not crying Katzenjammer, I would laugh. You are so right.

  • Sindri says:

    “In terms of ongoing transmission, the Times noted that, with a high percentage of the population double-dosed between 1 February and 29 August there have been – wait for it – 1054 deaths among the vaccinated and 536 COVID deaths in the unjabbed over the same period. So much for the ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’”

    Presumably this comparison is intended somehow to demonstrate that the benefits of vaccination are questionable, if not illusory, and that vaccination does little or no good. The statistic is quite obviously meaningless on its own. It’s highly likely that the vast majority of the 1054 deaths were very old people, probably with co-morbidities, for whom vaccination didn’t do any good. The statistic says absolutely nothing, nothing at all, about the effectiveness of vaccination in the general population. A moment’s thought, of the kind contributors to this magazine used to engage in, would have led to that realisation.

  • Kenn Iskov says:

    Claim of more deaths among vaccinated compared to unvaccinated not sustainable, and worthy of sign waving street protesters. Better information here from the Royal Aust College of GPs: who by deep involvement know the reality of what is going on. Numbers mined from a newspaper article scarcely rank as evidence. The facts are otherwise. Quadrant is becoming annoyingly partisan on this issue, Sort of Yin and Yang with the ABC!

  • Citizen Kane says:

    ‘It’s highly likely that the vast majority of the 1054 deaths were very old people, probably with co-morbidities, for whom vaccination didn’t do any good.’ This comment from an above post is typical of the cognitive dissonance that has been writ large across so much of this debate. That cohort is of course the cohort that has been susceptible to death from COVID irrespective of the presence of vaccines or vaccination status since the very outset of the pandemic. It is an irrefutable fact that the mean age of death in most western countries from COVID is above the mean typical lifespan in both men and women in those very same populations and that 99.97% of all people who contract COVID do not die from it (probably far fewer as a percentage than that even as many mild and asymptomatic cases would go unreported). The only meaningless comment here is the one highlighted above.

  • Citizen Kane says:

    The higher number of deaths per 100 000 in fully vaccinated people aged between 40 – 79 is seen in the official UK statistics as provided by UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA)

  • seagull says:

    Rocco, your post is a falsification of the extensive UK data. See I am sorry I cannot post the relevant table.
    The vaccine effectiveness in preventing death is 70 – 98% depending on age group, and this is old data.
    It is sad to see an espoused Christian engaging in falsehood for a misplaced ideological cause. A true Christian would get vaccinated. Comparisons with influenza are not valid.. You cannot say if any of the thousands of cell lines used in vaccine production are from “electively” aborted fetuses – they are laboratory manipulaty cell cultured from a wide range of sources. Claiming a Christian position is sad to see. Go to your theologian for a reality check – ask him about competing evils. All of you, please stop promoting anti-vax falsehoods, copied from anti-vax social media and websites, on Quadrant. Do some proper reading on the data the is available on many scientific site.

    [ Seagull ]

  • Rebekah Meredith says:

    seagull–I think that you should re-read the final paragraph of this piece. The author’s main point is that these shots should not be forced. A Christian should never support the destruction of liberty, the ostracizing of a scapegoat group, or the theft of people’s businesses and livelihoods.
    A Christian should not take into his body something that has a very real chance of harming him and has unknown future effects (these jabs have not had time to be properly tested and are using techniques previously untried in vaccines) on him and future generations, to protect him from something that has almost no chance of killing him or even making him very sick (as is the case with the majority of the population). I was concerned about the jabs before I ever read any “anti-vaxer” statements, on-line or anywhere else. With the madness and extreme control in use since the wuflu became news, it certainly crossed my mind that these might be more than vaccines.
    And for the umpteenth time: if the vaccine protects you, you don’t need me to get it. If it doesn’t protect you, what good does it do me to get it?

  • talldad says:

    I must object (again) to the use of the expression “vaccine passport.”

    Under the current onerous rules, we are required to declare whether we have had two injections of particular substances. We are not required to demonstrate the absence of infection or any immunity. But the expression is being used as a surrogate for immunity.

    Consequently, a person without symptoms and without any Covid present (but who has not been jabbed) is assumed to be Covid-positive only by operation of subordinate law, not by any medical diagnosis.

    Only 113,000 Victorians have tested positive via PCR across the 21 months, representing just 1.66% of the population, so the risk of actually testing positive is extremely low. However, 98.34% of Victorians have been severely and disastrously impacted by government regulation for the sake of the other 1.66% of whom only 1280 have succumbed fatally.

    Across the whole population, the probability of actually becoming infected or of succumbing to the virus is extraordinarily low. Does anyone have an equivalent probability for road trauma?

  • Citizen Kane says:

    Seagull, your linked report is from week 26 of 2021 – completely out of date with current developments in the UK – strange that you should attack the author about falsification of data in this context. As time passes the statistics are trending further and further towards greater hospitalisations and deaths among the vaccinated – not less as you seem to suggest. The moralizing you then undertake appears to completely lack any reference to logic – either you are vaccinated and imbued with all the assumed protections you think it imbues you with and therefore the unvaccinated are a threat to no one but themselves or you are vaccinated and at risk from the unvaccinated because the vaccine is largely ineffective – in which case you are at risk from both vaccinated and unvaccinated fellow travellers. Its an either / or proposition – take your pick!

  • joemiller252 says:

    Quite so Rocco. Seagull and others, this is not an argument about the health benefits of vaccination. It’s about coercion of citizens by governments. Haven’t we seen enough of that?

  • seagull says:

    Yes, you are right. I did not put up the latest UK report. Here is a November report. These reports are carefully constructed by epidemiologists and statisticians
    I cannot post the key tables from these reports, but here is a summary from the NSW surveillance report at

    From Table 13: Number of cases with a severe outcome (ICU and/or death), and proportion of cases with a severe outcome amongst all cases, by age, time of infection, and vaccination status.:
    “Interpretation: Prior to 15 June 2021, 4% of cases had a severe outcome, with an increasing risk of severe outcome with increasing age. Although vaccination was available in Australia for elderly groups before 15 June, there were very few locally acquired cases between February 22 (when vaccination began) and 15 June. Since 16 June, the likelihood of a severe outcome for un-vaccinated individuals is similar to the pre-delta period, while the likelihood of a severe outcome is substantially reduced amongst fully vaccinated individuals. Increased age remains a significant predictor of increased risk of a severe outcome, but the protective effects of vaccination are also more apparent as age increases. The analysis does not take into account the reduced risk of contracting COVID-19 amongst fully-vaccinated individuals.”

    Citizen Kane and others, please stop these lies: Quote: ” As time passes the statistics are trending further and further towards greater hospitalisations and deaths among the vaccinated – not less as you seem to suggest.”

    Vaccination is about civic and/or Christian responsibility to others, nor selfish personal “rights.”

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