A sign snapped at Officeworks has highlighted the lengths some anti-vaxxers are going to in order to flout COVID restrictions.
The sign, which was first posted to the Sydney subreddit, said: ‘Our team are unable to print unauthorised vaccination certificates.’
The Reddit post has since gone viral, clocking more than 1000 upvotes within 24 hours.
A spokesperson for Officeworks – which operates 167 stores around Australia – confirmed the policy to The New Daily.
“Our terms and conditions for using our Print & Copy service reflect our inclusive culture at Officeworks, and therefore prohibit the printing of any materials which violate or infringe the rights of others,” they said.
“We reserve the right not to produce any item that we believe may contravene Australian law, which includes printing fraudulent documents.”
Dr Kaz Ross, an independent researcher on far-right and anti-vax movements, told TND that this phenomenon is a long-established tactic.
With medical exemptions only available to a select few people with genuine health conditions, many anti-vaxxers look to fake documents as the next alternative.
However, printing these fake documents is about more than just being allowed inside certain venues.
“They’re really all over it,” Dr Ross said.
“People are really desperate because they’re trying to convince their employers to let them work.”
Dr Ross said it’s not the first time Officeworks has popped up during her research of these movements, either.
“I’ve heard people say this when they’ve gone to print propaganda at Officeworks,” she said.
“But it really depends on the individual Officeworks, and the worker and the manager at the time.”
Sometimes anti-vaxxers will even launch a mini-campaign against Officeworks stores that refuse to print their pamphlets, Dr Ross added.
NSW, where the sign was spotted, imposes a penalty of up to $11,000 and/or six months in prison for people caught lying about being vaccinated.
There is an additional penalty of $5500 for each day the offence continues.
Now printing services are becoming proactive against this kind of activity.
As one Reddit user put it: “How ignorant do you have to be to ask a business to participate in fraud?”