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Is Australia too afraid to ‘discriminate’ the non-vaccinated?

Peter Switzer
7 July 2021

My article last week in which I wrote about Dr Theo Aroney’s prescription on how to prevent another Covid lockdown was one of our most popular articles and prompted plenty of feedback from our readers, so I thought I’d share some additional thoughts that Dr Aroney has sent me this week:

This country has always considered itself to be fair. We do not discriminate between race, sexuality, socio economic status. Hence, I'm concerned that we are struggling to differentiate between people who have been immunised against COVID, verse people who have NOT been immunised. Currently there is no allowance given to those who have been immunised. This is despite overwhelming scientific evidence.

There are people who have been exposed to hot spot areas who have been instructed to self-isolate for 2 weeks, regardless of their COVID results. Would it not be scientifically reasonable to have different rules regarding isolation requirements for immunised, versus non-immunised people?  For example: people who had visited a high-risk area could be instructed to isolate for 2 weeks if they had NOT been immunised. However, if they were fully immunised with a negative COVID result, then they should NOT need to self-isolate for 2 whole weeks. Not sure some people would like that - even though it is scientifically sound reasoning.  The "decision makers" refuse to differentiate in any way between rules for people who have been "immunised" to COVID, verse those "not immunised" to COVID. Why?  We wish to apply the one size fits all philosophy. The lazy solution.

Here is another example: People who wish to visit dying relatives living in another state during border closures. We know that this rule appears excessive at times. Should we not be giving priority to "immunised" people verse "non-immunised"? We know from the West Hoxton Party example, that the chance of transmitting this COVID virus is dramatically less if immunised, yet we don't seem to make any allowances.

A further thought. Should we not prioritise international arrivals whereby ALL passengers and crew would need to show proof of immunity? People arriving on these flights could still be put in 2 weeks hotel quarantine and tested, however we would not need to impose any caps on the number of international arrivals due to the very low risk of transmission. At least we would be able to offer international arrivals an alternate avenue to return to their home country.

This resistance to "discriminate" between immunised verse non immunised people, is slowing our return to normal life. It is contributing to ongoing border closures and lockdowns. We currently allow non-immunised staff to come in direct contact with overseas arrivals and then mingle with the community (such as limo drivers, airline and hotel quarantine staff). We continue to protect the individual's rights NOT to be immunised. 

This country loves rules. How about this one: NON-immunised staff who come into direct contact with overseas arrivals must be stood down immediately, and then offered to be vaccinated against COVID. With the Pfizer vaccine, full immunity can be achieved within 3 weeks. Those who refuse to be vaccinated should look for alternate employment.  If Australia wishes to have a zero COVID strategy, then let's do it properly.

I believe that the decision makers must NOT continue to ignore the science. Immunised people are far less likely to catch the COVID virus and pass this on to others. I believe that restrictions should be reduced on those who have been immunised, as opposed to those that have NOT been immunised.

Perhaps this would further encourage Australians to get COVID vaccinated.

Are the "health experts" afraid to back me up on this?

Dr Theo Aroney

General Practitioner.

MBBS, FRACGP


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