Four reasons why COVID-19 vaccine mandates don't make sense
Posted in Opinion on January 20, 2022
- Watching the debacle of COVID-19 vaccine mandates over the past two years from the sidelines as both a journalist and as someone who has been deemed a “vaccine-hesitant,” has been an interesting experience, to say the least. I certainly can understand and share the hesitancy that many of us have had with injecting a drug that didn’t have time for truly long-term safety trials, despite the in-your-face mainstream narrative repeatedly assuring us that the shots were guaranteed “safe and effective.”
At the same time, I understood the seriousness of the situation, that there was a new coronavirus going around, (yes, whose origins remain questionable), and that it posed a serious threat to many people and could overwhelm the medical system. I understood why many well-meaning scientists and leaders would need to attempt to contain this virus. However, I have found many of the attempts at containment to be shockingly over-stepped, confusably varied, biased, and often ill-advised.
When we found out that there would be a significant reduction in deaths and serious illness from the Omicron variant, and that it was largely vaccine-resistant, I breathed what felt like the first deep sigh of relief in two years. I thought, not only is this virus now less deadly, but surely this also means that talks of mandating people to take pharmaceutical drugs against their will for a virus that clearly mutates significantly faster than the global government can react to it will also be thrown out. Right?
Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case yet. Despite remarkable drops in the COVID-19 vaccines’ efficacy and very low risk of death with the Omicron variant, it appears many governments have no intention of lessening their grip of control.
1- Mandates are not backed by science
Available vaccines don’t fully stop the transmission of any variant of this virus, however, this is especially true for the Omicron variant, which now makes up the vast majority of the sequenced cases, according to the CDC.
A study conducted by Humabs Biomed SA and the University of Washington compared the effectiveness of vaccines against Omicron versus how well they could protect against the original strain of the virus, according to a recent report by Yahoo News: “Results showed that shots from Johnson&Johnson, the Sputnik V vaccine developed in Russia, and the Sinopharm vaccine developed in China had no neutralizing activity against the variant…Researchers also concluded that vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and AstraZeneca were all still active against Omicron—especially in patients who had been previously infected by the virus and received the shots—but saw a significant drop in effectiveness compared to previous versions of the virus.”
2- Mandates are leading to critical staff shortages
Medical mandates based on shaky science have led to a shortage of medical workers, teachers, and other crucial first-responders in fields that were already been hard hit by the impacts of the pandemic.
Now, some hospitals have flipped flopped so far with permissible circumstances for their employees that they are requesting that hospital staff work while sick with COVID-19 looking after COVID-19-positive patients.
3- Availability of therapeutics and advances in testing
Perhaps in a wishful thinking scenario, vaccines would have prevented infection and had more long-term viability in regards to both severity of illness and spread, but they very clearly haven’t. Even against last year’s variants, there were pharmaceutical and naturopathic therapies available.
This study found that vitamin D can reduce risk of COVID-19 infections, “Through several mechanisms… Those mechanisms include inducing cathelicidins and defensins that can lower viral replication rates and reducing concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines that produce the inflammation that injures the lining of the lungs, leading to pneumonia, as well as increasing concentrations of anti-inflammatory cytokines.”
That study also mentioned that several observational studies and clinical trials reported that, “...Evidence supporting the role of vitamin D in reducing risk of COVID-19 includes that the outbreak occurred in winter, a time when 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations are lowest; that the number of cases in the Southern Hemisphere near the end of summer are low; that vitamin D deficiency has been found to contribute to acute respiratory distress syndrome; and that case-fatality rates increase with age and with chronic disease comorbidity, both of which are associated with lower 25(OH)D concentration.”
And now, even pharmaceutical giants have released their own therapeutics such as this COVID-19 pill. Gone are the painful and unreliable tests of yesteryear as well; new spit tests will provide more accurate results and turn around diagnoses much faster.
4- Mandates are discriminatory
Classifying people based on medical status was a concept I don’t think many of us thought would be in headlines in 2022, and yet many mainstream media outlets and pundits have armed their readers and viewers with hatred and judgment of people who are choosing different types of medicine for themselves and their families.
But, beyond just being skeptical or hesitant, there are moral implications behind taking this drug and many other pharmaceuticals. The COVID-19 vaccine was tested on animals, which many animal rights activists and vegans take issue with. Vaccine research also used aborted fetal cell lines, which clashes with certain religious beliefs. Whether it be for sincere religious or moral reasons, every person deserves a right to stand by their beliefs and maintain bodily autonomy, and not at the loss of their jobs or their ability to participate in society.
Vaccine distribution has also been racially and economically discriminatory, some claim, as not all countries and communities have had equitable access to vaccines. Communities of color here in the US have had lower vaccination rates, largely due to government mistrust due to a “dark history of medical atrocities enacted upon the black community,” as this story by the Atlanta Black Star put it.
Communities of color have also been disproportionately affected by the virus, which means those communities could now be disproportionately armed with naturally-acquired immunity. For some reason, in the US, natural immunity isn’t being considered in “vaccine passport” systems, unlike in Germany, for instance, where citizens can receive a “green light” for proving recent recovery from the virus.
Some countries even began rejecting vaccine shipments mid-pandemic. South Africa asked two major vaccine manufacturers, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, to postpone new vaccine deliveries because uptake has slowed in the country due to widespread vaccine hesitancy, according to this story by Yahoo News.
Feasibly, the task of vaccinating every human on earth, whether they want it or not, and then keeping us all perpetually vaccinated against the next variant every few months just never seemed like a logical, one-size-fits-all solution to us here on the “skeptical” side.
I am now hopeful that there will soon be a change in the narrative and a movement away from a hyper-controlled state, and I remain hopeful that we can build a society based on equity, transparency, truth, and human dignity, but we the people will likely need to demand it.
- Skye Pratt for A Voice for Choice Advocacy