Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates voiced opposition to vaccine mandates and passes during a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos earlier this month.
During a panel titled “Preparing for the Next Pandemic”, the Microsoft co-founder said that when it comes to vaccine mandates and passes, “If you have breakthrough infections, what’s the point?”
Gates explains that what’s really needed are “infection blocking and long duration” vaccines that can block community transmission for a long period of time. Without those, he sees no point in mandates and passports.
It’s been evident for some time that Gates has been increasingly disappointed with the performance of Covid vaccines for stopping transmission, and unlike many political leaders around the world has not continued to press for these particular failed policies. He doesn’t appear to appreciate that the kind of sterilising immunity he has in mind is very unlikely to be possible through vaccination for common respiratory pathogens with pandemic potential like influenza and coronaviruses.
Hopefully, Gates’s opposition will increase pressure on the U.S. and other states, which continue to discriminate against the unvaccinated including, in the U.S.’s case, by refusing permission to enter the country.
Separately, a paper opposing vaccine mandates and passports authored by a group of scientists and academics from Oxford, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and other leading universities has now been formally published. The authors include two funded by the Wellcome Trust, a major funder of medical research with close ties to the pharmaceutical industry led by Sir Jeremy Farrar. The Daily Sceptic covered this surprising paper back in February when it was first put out in pre-print form, and it is good to see the final version appearing now in BMJ Global Heath.
The authors are clear that current mandatory vaccine policies are “scientifically questionable and are likely to cause more societal harm than good”. They continue:
Restricting people’s access to work, education, public transport and social life based on COVID-19 vaccination status impinges on human rights, promotes stigma and social polarisation, and adversely affects health and well-being. Current policies may lead to a widening of health and economic inequalities, detrimental long-term impacts on trust in government and scientific institutions, and reduce the uptake of future public health measures, including COVID-19 vaccines as well as routine immunisations. Mandating vaccination is one of the most powerful interventions in public health and should be used sparingly and carefully to uphold ethical norms and trust in institutions.