As a medical practitioner I am privy to just about all permutations and combinations of positions on COVID the disease, the various COVID vaccines available, and the effect of COVID vaccine mandates on people’s lives, both in the workforce and in the public. It is helpful to see how these attitudes pan out and what keeps some people fixated on using unfounded trepidation to formulate their opinions towards these issues.
First of all, there are those who are fearful of the disease. Those who were personally affected by it will have their opinions of it shaped by their experience. Over 99% of those infected by COVID were essentially unperturbed by the illness. The unfortunate 1% had a disproportionate degree of morbidity that pre-dated the COVID infection. It is this latter group that the media uses to project onto the remainder of the normally well population who would not otherwise be unwell from COVID, the target audience for promotion of the vaccine.
It would be of some social benefit if the vaccines produced against COVID were truly effective against contracting and transmitting the virus, but earlier messages from the media and politicians on their efficacy in this regard were quickly changed to the benefit of “preventing severe disease” from COVID. It takes time and effort to appreciate why there is a problem with this blunderbuss approach from politicians and the media. Most people lack both the time and the will to delve into these subtleties, and as such many would just accept the vaccine as either being of benefit to themselves and/or society, or as an ignorant act of compliance, often used as a tool to manipulate others who have not had the jab into feeling guilty for not having done so yet.
Secondly, there are those who are fearful of the vaccine: those who know of others whom have suffered ill form having received it, or seeing reports of negative effects from the various vaccines. This is more complex, as the media and politicians are quick to defend the vaccine as being “safe, effective and free” (the discerning know to be careful of anything offered “freely” by any non-charitable organisations). Yet the statistics being collated by the TGA and ATAGI on adverse events from the vaccine arise only from those events actively reported by clinicians, who are demonstrably under-reporting significant adverse effects closely associated with administration of the vaccine.
From personal experience, significant adverse effects such as extensive deep vein thromboses, hydrocephalus and disseminated intravascular coagulation clearly relating to the administration of the vaccine have not reached any of the authorities handling the data from these vaccines despite reflection of these concerns in clinical documentation. Why would something like this happen? There is either dismissing of such events as being circumstantial, or there is no clout to implicate the vaccine with such effects by concerned clinicians. Medical interventions outside of a clinical trial setting loses reliable data collation on them for these reasons.
Thirdly, there are those just willing to do anything to get on with their lives. People still need to put food on the table and clothes on their back despite the imposed restrictions on their lives. They would often prioritise this provision over their own indifference towards the vaccine, whether or not it might be of benefit to them personally. It can be surmised that government leaders pushing these COVID vaccines know that, on the whole, they can get a great deal of participation in their roll-out program if they play their cards well: despite a number of hiccups along the way (repeatedly changing advice regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine, misrepresenting the availability of the Pfizer vaccine, false advertising of the Moderna vaccine as being “free of side effects”, etc.), they have largely been successful at swaying people to accept the vaccines.
The last thing government should do regarding this vaccine program is to gloat about its apparent success in it. Forcing people’s hand in accepting an unnecessary treatment for threat of their livelihood or family provision is hardly an honest way to achieve societal participation. Yet, it is predictably the first thing that is celebrated when milestones are reached. The more the vaccine mandates squeeze the freedoms of dissenting citizens, the more that will have to inevitably cave in to the pressure to avoid significant consequences to their lives, such as being prevented from visiting their elderly family member in the nursing home, or supporting their loved one in hospital. Most who reject the vaccine do not care about being restricted from going to cafes, restaurants or hairdressers. However, they do care about being denied access to their family members on account of their right to decline a dubiously effective vaccine against an illness that would not likely affect them, and would not stop them from passing the virus onto their loved one in any case.
The logic of the rationale for this vaccine, and the imposed mandates to accept it, falls down on so many levels: from utilitarian concerns to infringement of civil liberty to decide on their own fate. In all of this emergency-order policy-driven change, there has been significant losses suffered by the people from these decisions. They did not vote for these losses, but neither would they haphazardly neglect the plight of others by the rejection of these policies. Holding citizens’ own medical intervention choices (and subsequently freedoms) to ransom on account of a manufactured virus with a poorly effective vaccine created barely months after the isolation of COVID in Wuhan is overtly exploitative, and has nothing to do with keeping citizens “safe”.
I wonder whether people complicit with the government vaccine program will ever look back to reflect on all those significantly harmed by the vaccine, review the astronomical case numbers and death rates from COVID after vaccination rates reached near 95% (the usual figure suggested by epidemiologists to create strong herd immunity from an effective vaccine), and still say that this vaccine was a good idea…
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