FACT CHECK: Did The New South Wales Government Text Residents That It Would Be Going Door-To-To Administering Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations With Military Help?

Trevor Schakohl | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook allegedly shows a text message from the New South Wales government saying officials will be going door-to-door administering mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations.

Verdict: False

COVID-19 vaccination is not mandatory for all New South Wales residents. The text message was not sent by the New South Wales government.

Fact Check:

The text message, supposedly from the New South Wales government in Australia, says the sender already tried to contact the recipient regarding their failure to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment so far. It later recommends for the recipient to contact the Willoughby state electorate office of New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian if they have any questions.

“We would like to inform you that as of today Monday 20th September 2021, we will be door knocking the Umina Beach area and will be administering COVID-19 Vaccinations,” the text message says. “We will accompanied (sic) by the Australian Defence Force to administer these vaccinations, this is mandatory.”

There is, however, no indication New South Wales officials are going door-to-door forcibly vaccinating people against COVID-19 with the help of the Australian Defense Force. None of the press releases issued by Berejiklian or the New South Wales Ministry of Health have announced a move to that effect, nor do any of their social media posts describe such a thing occurring.

Check Your Fact found no credible news reports of the New South Wales government sending the supposed text message or otherwise pledging to forcibly vaccinate people door-to-door with military assistance. Umina Beach, the coastal suburb mentioned in the text, does not fall under the Willoughby state electorate office, but rather the state electorate office of Gosford, according to the New South Wales Electoral Commission.

The Australian Defense Force (ADF) did deploy personnel in late August to help provide COVID-19 vaccinations to “regional, remote and vulnerable communities” in western New South Wales, the Australian Department of Defense said. However, a medical officer deployed with the ADF teams said their primary role was to provide COVID-19 vaccinations and augment New South Wales Ministry of Health staff, such as by providing additional health workers and logistics staff, according to the Australian Department of Defense.

New South Wales Ministry of Health spokesperson Adam Wallace confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact that the text message is not an authentic communication from the government. (RELATED: Did New South Wales Announce Plans For ‘Establishing A Cashless Society In 2022’?)

The Australian government’s website states people can choose whether or not to receive COVID-19 vaccinations, but notes “there may be circumstances in the future in which proof of vaccination will be required, such as border or re-entry requirements, or continued employment in particular areas.” Health care, aged care, construction, airport and certain other types of workers in New South Wales are required to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses or provide valid exemption by various deadlines to continue working, according to the state government’s website.

The New South Wales government on Sept. 9 announced that stay-at-home orders for “adults who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be lifted from the Monday after NSW passes the 70% double vaccination target.” 60.4 percent of people 16 or older have received two COVID-19 vaccine doses as of Tuesday, according to the New South Wales Ministry of Health website.

Trevor Schakohl

Fact Check Reporter
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