According to the Australian Health Department, vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary in Australia and people have the option to choose.
A Facebook user recently wrote, "'In Australia children are being FORCIBLY REMOVED from their parents to ensure they are vaccinated!' Does anyone have direct contacts in Australia to verify this? Are these news podcasts accurate?"
Similar posts asserting that children in Australia are being subjected to forced vaccinations have been doing the rounds on social media, especially among those skeptical of the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines. The claims are false; the Australian government has not made vaccines mandatory for children.
On August 27, the Australian government announced that Children aged between 12 and 15 years will be able to book a COVID-19 Pfizer vaccine from September 13 and that the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI) had reviewed the detailed medical evidence and recommended Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccination in all children and adolescents 12 years of age and above.
The official website of the Department of Health of the Australian government states that "vaccination for COVID-19 is voluntary – as are all vaccinations in Australia – and people maintain the option to choose. This will apply to any COVID-19 vaccination that may become available."
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.