COVID vaccine mandates are ineffective, unethical

November 23, 2021

With concern, I note that the management of Beebe Healthcare and BayHealth will now comply with the president’s vaccine mandates. I see widespread coercion aimed at parents, urging pediatric vaccine doses. Many local organizations have already begun requiring vaccines for participation. These mandates are not grounded in science nor public safety, and are fueling further staffing shortages, distrust, and polarization just when we need problem-solving and cooperation.

Four things we have learned about COVID vaccines:

1. These vaccines are designed to reduce symptoms from the virus, but do not prevent infection with nor transmission of COVID.

2. Millions of Americans have already had COVID, which produces stronger and longer lasting immunity than vaccine-induced immunity, which wanes rapidly. In a study from Israel, the vaccinated were 27 times more likely to get symptomatic COVID than those with natural immunity. Even if you get the vaccine, it is likely that you will get COVID.,

3. As with any drug or vaccine, the is some risk in getting the COVID vaccines, such as myocarditis in children and young adults, and we won’t know the full extent of these and other risks for at least a couple of years. For children, the risk of dying from COVID is vanishingly small, so even a small risk from the vaccine can be good reason to avoid getting it. The same is true for the COVID-recovered, who would get only a minuscule additional benefit from the vaccine, if any at all.

4. The vaccines have been widely available in the USA for almost a year. Anyone who wants one has already got one.

Four reasons COVID vaccine mandates are wrong:

1. Vaccines do not prevent transmission of COVID. Therefore, when someone gets vaccinated, he or she is doing it for his/her own sake. The decision of whether to get vaccinated should be based on an individual’s personal risk/benefit analysis - not on the ideas of “protecting others” nor “creating herd immunity,” which these vaccines cannot do very well.

2. There is more than a thousand-fold difference in COVID mortality between the oldest and the youngest. For children, the risks are lower than from seasonal flu. (“During the first COVID wave in the spring of 2020, Sweden was the only major Western country to keep daycare and schools open for all its 1.8 million children ages 1 to 15. Without masks, social distancing, testing, or vaccines, there were precisely zero COVID deaths among the children, while the teachers had a lower risk than the average of other professions.”)

3. Tens of thousands of unvaccinated Americans are being fired and demonized, and these are mostly working-class persons, especially minorities. Many of these people are the essential workers who put their lives on the line and made it possible for “the laptop class” to work from home for the past nearly two years. They - nurses, policemen, sanitation workers, firefighters, truckers, etc. - worked on the front lines, and many have already had COVID as a result. They should be thanked for their selflessness, not segregated into a new underclass.

4. Individuals and doctors should receive full information concerning risks and benefits of any medical treatment, including vaccines, and anyone should be able to decline unwanted or unneeded treatments without fear of losing jobs, licenses, social standing, ability to go to school, or anything else.

There should be no discrimination based on vaccine status. Once these mandates are abolished, both nationally and locally, we can get back to work at rebuilding and restoring any semblance of public trust in “public health.”

I would like to echo other readers’ appreciation for the Cape Gazette, which publishes letters even when they express views that veer away from mainstream narrative. We are lucky to have a truly local news source!

Sarabeth Matilsky
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