SYMPOSIUM 4 – Connect: I get it; but not quite; say huh!?! When Communication is Key!
10 November 2023
09:15 – 10:00H
University of Western Australia
Many countries mandated COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic, either requiring people to be vaccinated to work in certain occupations, or through vaccine passports for access to public spaces. These mandates were intended to change the behaviour of vaccine refusers. However, mandates can backfire and generate reactance. This presentation reflects on mandatory COVID-19 vaccination experiences in various jurisdictions. Its key focus is the COVID-19 vaccination program in Western Australia. Data is presented from in-depth interviews with 17 vaccine refusers. While mandates may change the behaviours of some committed refusers, others remain noncompliant. The cost is high in terms of attitudes towards government and immunisation programs. Mandates push refusers further into communities where shared non-compliance connects them with each other.