Courtesy of Scott Morrison's disastrous rollout, it's premature to discuss vaccination mandates outside very specific requirements. But it's an issue that will require careful consideration by governments and employers from late in the year when Australia finally starts to catch up with most other advanced economies in vaccinating a substantial proportion of its population.
So far no one seems to have had a problem with a mandate for aged care workers to be vaccinated -- except that the government hasn't been able to come even close to vaccinating all of them, despite promising to do so by the end of March. Health care unions have been vocal in their support for the aged care mandate, reserving their criticism for the government's failure to make vaccines available.
The same mandate logic will eventually apply -- once enough vaccines are actually available -- to healthcare workers, who spend their working day around the ill, the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions. The rollout by state governments to frontline healthcare workers was far more successful than the Commonwealth's debacle; the question will be whether governments impose a mandate to ensure uniformity across medical workplaces or leave it to individual service providers.