Coercion to Vaccinate

Once COVID vaccines became available to the elderly and high-risk populations most were eager to get the shot. However, enthusiasm for the new vaccines started to wane, especially among the low-risk population. To help promote a broad-based vaccination campaign that would see the vast majority of the population vaccinated, many jurisdictions implemented policies to ‘encourage’ people to get vaccinated. The two main policies include vaccine passes to enter public spaces and vaccine mandates for employees.    

Under the vaccine passport system, people were required to present proof of vaccination (vaccine passport or green pass) to gain entry to many public places. Depending on government policy, these can include cafes and restaurants, in-person classes in post-secondary institutions, places of worship, hotels, and celebrations in event halls.[1]

In addition, many jurisdictions instituted vaccination mandates for employees either in healthcare, public service, or private companies.[2]  


In early 2021 Israel became the first country to implement a passport program.[3] Anyone who wanted to participate fully in society had to produce proof that they were either vaccinated, recovered, or had a negative PCR test within the previous 48 hours.[4]

Ostensibly the passports’ purpose is to prevent transmission of the virus, however, when pressed, policymakers publicly acknowledged that the program is to encourage vaccination and not for epidemiological reasons.[5][6]   

A number of other policies designed to ‘encourage’ vaccination were instituted around the world.  These included, reducing community service for convicted criminals who got vaccinated in the state of Georgia,[7] declaring unvaccinated soldiers “unfit to soldier” in the U.K.,[8] withholding government employees’ salaries in Kashmir,[9] disabling cellphone SIM cards in Pakistan,[10] requiring the unvaccinated to wear signs in India,[11] fines and loss of internet access at the University of Connecticut,[12] denial of kidney transplants in Colorado,[13] prohibiting the of purchasing gasoline in Slovenia, [14] and $4,000 fines for the unvaccinated in Austria.[15] 


Political Rhetoric:

Aside from policies designed to coerce people into getting vaccinated, high-profile figures regularly made public statements saying the unvaccinated were dangerous and a threat to the nation. These statements sometimes bordered on incitement. 

Emmanuel Macron, PM of France:

“[It is] only a very small minority who are resisting. How do we reduce that minority? We reduce it by pissing them off even more...When my freedoms threaten those of others, I become someone irresponsible. Someone irresponsible is not a citizen.” [16]

Justin Trudeau, PM of Canada: 

“They are extremists who don’t believe in science. They’re often misogynists, also often racists…It’s a small group that muscles in, and we have to make a choice, as a leader and as a country: Do we tolerate these people?”[17]

Naftali Bennett, PM of Israel

“It’s as if you’re walking around with a machine gun firing Delta variants at people,” and “The future of the holidays depends on the number of vaccinated.”[18]

Michael Gunner, Northern Territories Chief Minister, Australia:

"If you support, champion, give a green light, give comfort to [or] support anybody who argues against the vaccine, you are an anti-vaxxer, absolutely.”[19]

Jacinda Ardern, PM of New Zealand:

"What has become clear to me is that they are not only a tool to drive up vaccines; they are a tool for confidence. People who are vaccinated will want to know that they are around other vaccinated is a tool for business."[20]

Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister:

“We need to target the unvaccinated. Frankly, if you are unvaccinated at the moment and you’re eligible and have no health reason for being unvaccinated, you’re not only irresponsible but you’re an idiot. I am sorry but truthfully you are. With this Omicron variant…you will get it and this will put a lot of strain on the health service.”[21]

Rodrigo Duterte, President of The Philippines:

“I’m now giving orders to village leaders to look for those persons who are not vaccinated and request them to stay put [in their house]…. If they refuse to vaccinate or continue to leave their home, the village leaders are empowered to arrest them...."[22]


When Tennis champion Novak Djokovic visited Australia to attend the Australian Open, the Australian Minister of Immigration said, "I consider that Mr Djokovic's presence may pose a health risk to the Australian community, in that his presence may foster anti-vaccination sentiment." Djokovic had already recovered from COVID and objected to taking the vaccine.  

The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry published an article on how those who reject COVID vaccination may have a diagnosable mental illness.[23] 

The mainstream media uses hateful and provocative language against the unvaccinated  


What's the problem with using coercion to increase vaccination? See Problems with Using Coercion to Vaccinate 

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[2] ibid 


[4] “Many activities will only be available to those vaccinated or with negative virus tests”