Less than a year ago, the Australian Government told us that vaccination against COVID-19 would be voluntary.1 But anyone paying attention, even back then, knew their position would change. That change has now come. Only last week, acting PM Michael McCormack told Sky News that Australians “have to get the jab.” Repeat: “have to.” How will they know if you’ve had it? By introducing vaccine passports. That is, digital proof of vaccination.
Vaccine passports are only one of many ways the COVID- 19 pandemic has led to greater surveillance but it’s by far the most dangerous. What if you don’t want the experimental jab? Does that mean you can’t work? Attend concerts? Buy groceries? Travel nationally? On the last point, the answer is yes, according to PM Scott Morrison. If you don’t want the jab, you can kiss interstate travel goodbye.
What form will these passports take? According to Government Services Minister, Stuart Robert, the answer is myGovID.2 According to one estimate, there were as many as 15 million myGov accounts in existence before the pandemic. One can assume this number is far greater now, given that myGov is how Australians access 75 services online, including Medicare. With the press of a few buttons, you can link your Medicare to your myGov account and even view your immunization history. According to Fiona Willan for 9News, the plan is to expand myGovID to the private sector, including banking and utilities. That’s right, not long from now, your identity, your finances, your access to running water, electricity, and gas will be electronically linked with your immunization history. This has been in the works for years.3
On February 18, 2021, the Services Australia website published a page titled “Get ready for your COVID-19 Vaccinations”. 4 In it, the page details how to set up a myGov account, link your Medicare to the account, and view your immunization history. But that’s not all. According to the page, “You can use this as proof of your COVID-19 vaccination status.” Don’t overlook the key word there – proof.
The myGovID is not the only passport program in the works. Last week, Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs, Mike Pezzullo, told Parliament that work was underway on a Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD), which would store a person’s health and vaccination status. Like the Services Australia site, Pezzullo’s words are telling. “The DPD will have the capability to validate the vaccination status of people who have been vaccinated in Australia (emphasis added)”. 5 Was does that mean for Australians vaccinated elsewhere? Pezzullo couldn’t say.
Now is the time to say “No.” Vaccine passports lead to even greater surveillance, create classes between people; infringe on the rights of those who do not want the experimental jab; and erode the notion of medical privacy. More importantly, vaccine passports would help Government agencies track the unvaccinated, raising the question of forced vaccination.
Lockdowns and QR tracking today; vaccine passports tomorrow
Unless we stop them.
2 See video from 9News Australia