Coffs joins capital cities as anti-vax protest venue
Coffs Harbour's Brelsford Park has joined the likes of Hyde Park in Sydney and Parliament House lawns in Canberra as a venue for a national anti-vaccination protest.
The "Millions March Against Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccines" protest is being held in capital cities on Saturday as well as Cairns and Coffs Harbour, though little is known about its local origins.
Despite the Federal Government repeatedly stating the Covid-19 vaccine is not mandatory, distrust and wild theories about the virus continue to proliferate on social media.
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The planned march comes just days before frontline health and aged-care workers on the Coffs Coast are due to get the vaccination, the first of an expected one million doses to be given across the entire North Coast.
Aged care centres have been particularly affected by the pandemic, with the introduction of visitor restrictions being introduced after devastating outbreaks led to multiple deaths in some facilities.
Of the 844 people who had died after contracting Covid-19 in Australia, 629 were living in aged care homes at the time of their deaths.
According to the Government's 22-page Covid-19 vaccination policy, vaccination will not be forced on people in Australia but it leaves the door open to taking a harder line on those entering the country.
"While the Australian Government strongly supports immunisation and will run a strong campaign to encourage vaccination, it is not mandatory and individuals may choose not to vaccinate," the policy states.
"There may however, be circumstances where the Australian Government and other governments may introduce border entry or re-entry requirements that are conditional on proof of vaccination."