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Problems with Coercion to Vaccinate

Epidemiological basis

When coercive measures were instituted, there was no solid evidence showing that the vaccine prevents infection or transmission. The clinical trials that led to the vaccines’ authorization did not claim they reduced transmission. This fact was acknowledged by the WHO’s chief scientist[1] and the CDC.[2]

With the first post-vaccination wave (“delta”), the notion that “fully vaccinated” people had a similar rate of infection as the unvaccinated was becoming clearer.[3][4] Data from Israel’s fourth wave clearly showed that the vaccine did not prevent infection.[5]

Later a Danish cohort study showed that vaccinated individuals showed negative effectiveness against Omicron infections.[6] Data from the UK,[7] Scotland,[8] Denmark[9] Canada,[10] Germany,[11] South Africa,[12] and New Zealand,[13] showed that significantly more vaccinated individuals were testing positive than the unvaccinated.

Other studies confirmed the vaccinated had similar viral loads (a key measure in determining a person’s ability to infect others) compared to the unvaccinated according to health officials in the U.K.[14][15] and the CDC.[16] Even though the vaccinated were just as infectious as the unvaccinated, passports and mandates continued and even intensified.

In addition, many vaccine mandates and passport programs did not recognize the high degree of protection against infection achieved through natural immunity generated by the body after having been infected with the virus.[fn]https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/natural-immunity-isnt-enough-for-a-covid-passport-should-it-be[/fn]

This non-vaccine-induced immunity was found to be stronger than vaccine-induced immunity in dozens of studies.[17] For example, one Israeli study concluded that natural immunity was 27 times more protective than the Pfizer vaccine.[19] Nevertheless many vaccine passports and mandates simply don’t acknowledge that there are many unvaccinated people who are protected even more than those who are vaccinated.

If there should be any restrictions on entry to public spaces for epidemiological reasons, it should be limited to restricting sick people, since vaccination does not make one less infectious, and asymptomatic transmissions are rare.[18] The most logical restriction would be to prohibit entry of symptomatic people since they are the drivers of infection.[19]

 

Consequences for public health 

The British Medical Association warned that “even if a small number of staff were forced out of work because they are not vaccinated, this would have a big impact on a health service that’s already under immense pressure.”[20] 

That happened in many jurisdictions. Some experienced shortages.  Others, realizing that such a policy was detrimental to the health care system, eliminated the policy before the deadline.[21] Some hospitals insisted on keeping the vaccine mandates.  In fact, they went so far as to allow staff who were infected with COVID to continue working rather than utilizing unvaccinated healthcare workers.[22]

In the paper, The Unintended Consequences of COVID-19 Vaccine Policy researchers examined the potential far-reaching unintended consequences that may prove to be both counterproductive and damaging to public health.  Here is a partial list.[23]

  • Mandate policies increased vaccination primarily in low-risk age groups.[24]
  • Studies have shown that mandates can lead to reactance - a motivation to counter an unreasonable threat to one’s freedom. “Exploratory evidence further suggests that reactance about mandatory COVID-19 vaccination decreased the intention to follow recommended protective behaviours.”[25]
  • Vaccine passports that frustrate psychological needs may have detrimental effects on people’s motivation and willingness to get vaccinated.[26]
  • Health care workers who experienced employer pressure to get vaccinated felt this exacerbated their vaccine concerns and increased distrust.[27]
  • Mandatory vaccination for COVID runs the risk of politicizing vaccination further and reinforcing distrust of vaccines.[28]

 

Ethics

Ethics Scholar Julie Ponesse, PhD writes, “Autonomy, the state of being self-governing, is the precondition for informed consent and the cornerstone of contemporary medical ethics. It is not about making the right choice by some objective standard but making a choice for ourselves according to how we view, weigh, and deliberate about the evidence. To act autonomously is to do what you would do in the absence of being coerced, manipulated, or nudged. As Tom Beauchamp and James Childress (Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 5th ed.) explain, autonomy “is undermined by coercion, persuasion, and manipulation.[29]

“I don’t use these words lightly. ‘To coerce’ is to persuade someone to do something using force or threats. ‘To comply’ means to act in accordance with another’s will or desire. And this is just what our health officials, with the help of the media, are asking from us; they are asking us to act in accordance with their will or desire using mandates, threats, and often abusive language rather than reason and open debate.”[30]

 

Full speech: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_wTYyjUkqo&ab_channel=TheDemocracyFund

The WHO put a high standard on mandating the COVID vaccine. “As mandates represent a policy option that interferes with individual liberty and autonomy, they should be considered only if they would increase the prevention of significant risks of morbidity and mortality and/or promote significant and unequivocal public health benefits.”[31]

It is unethical to use vaccines on those who do not need them (those at low risk, or with natural immunity from previous infections) when many others who are at high risk want them. This includes millions of poor, high-risk older people in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, where there is still a vaccine shortage.[32][33]

It is also unethical to fire people who choose not to get vaccinated. Many of the unvaccinated were the heroes of last year – nurses, policemen, firefighters, truckers, and others who kept society functioning during the lockdowns.[34]

In addition, there are serious ethical issues in restricting people’s participation in society in order to get them to accept medical intervention. “Public-health policy is effective only when it is based on education and dialogue. Aggressive discourse might result in the loss of trust of significant sectors of the public, and lead to lowering the rates of other routine vaccinations that are of crucial importance,” writes a team of Israeli medical experts objecting to vaccine passports.[35]

Jonathan Sumption, a former justice on Britain’s Supreme Court, said, “There are things governments should not do even if they work,”[36] referring to vaccine mandates being used in the UK.

Instituting vaccine passports or mandates contradicts a resolution passed in January 2021 by the Council of Europe (an international organization founded in the wake of World War II to uphold human rights).[37]

7.3.1 ensure that citizens are informed that the vaccination is NOT mandatory and that no one is politically, socially, or otherwise pressured to get themselves vaccinated if they do not wish to do so themselves; 

7.3.2 ensure that no one is discriminated against for not having been vaccinated, due to possible health risks or not wanting to be vaccinated.[38]

Günter Kampf of the University of Greifswald’s Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine wrote in the Lancet, “I call on high-level officials and scientists to stop the inappropriate stigmatization of unvaccinated people, who include our patients, colleagues, and other fellow citizens, and to put extra effort into bringing society together.”[fn]https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02243-1/fulltext[/fn]

Even members of an ethics working group on immunity passports set up by the WHO wrote, “Immunity certification, even where available and reliable, should never be used as the main strategy for reducing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.”[39]

 

Nuremberg Code

Israeli activists have filed suit in The Hague claiming that the State of Israel has violated their own citizens’ human rights under the Nuremberg Code. The Code was set in place after the Second World War as a key tool to ensure that medical crimes against humanity would never happen again. To this end, the Code sets conditions for performing medical experiments on humans.[40]

While the use of the newly authorized, but not yet approved, COVID vaccines could be considered an experiment, only Israel signed an agreement that promised an exchange of medical data for a preferential supply of vaccines.[41] Israeli PM Netanyahu explicitly said they were conducting an experiment on the population.[42]

The first of the Nuremberg Codes explicitly prohibits the use of coercion for all human experiments.[43] Israel’s green pass, which prohibits non-vaccinated people from working in various jobs and from entering many public spaces including places of worship and education – fits the definition of coercion.[44] Therefore, Israel’s green pass may be a violation of the Nuremberg Code.       

Email questions or comments to [email protected]

Footnotes:

[1]:

“WHO Chief Scientist: No evidence vaccines will prevent COVID infection“

 https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/Flash.aspx/527121

[6]:

91-150 days since vaccine protection: vaccine effectiveness -76.5% for Pfizer, -39.3% for Moderna

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.12.20.21267966v3.full.pdf

[14]:

“Once they are infected there is a limited difference in viral load (and Ct values) between those who are vaccinated and unvaccinated. Given they have similar Ct values, this suggests limited difference in infectiousness” page 35 

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1009243/Technical_Briefing_20.pdf

[15]:

Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals have similar viral loads

 https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.07.31.21261387v1

[16]:

new research suggests vaccinated people can spread the virus” 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/07/29/cdc-mask-guidance/

[26]:

“Vaccine Passports” May Backfire: Findings from a Cross-Sectional Study in the UK and Israel 
https://www.mdpi.com/2076-393X/9/8/902/htm

[28]:

The French health pass holds lessons for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination
https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-021-01661-7


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