A group of medical researchers and bioethicists have written a comprehensive assessment of Covid vaccine coercion policies, encompassing passports, mandates and segregated lockdowns. They argue in no uncertain terms that these measures are “scientifically questionable” and “ethically problematic”.
While most of the points in their article will be familiar to readers of the Daily Sceptic, the article is valuable in virtue of its sheer breadth and attention to detail. I’ll try to provide a brief summary.
Kevin Bardosh and colleagues begin by noting that the publicly communicated rationale for Covid vaccine policies has shifted over time, from ‘ending the pandemic’ and ‘getting back to normal’, to reducing the burden on the healthcare system. (Such shifts do not inspire confidence that policymakers really know what they’re doing.)
The authors spend the bulk of the article discussing the harmful unintended consequences of Covid vaccine policies, drawing on insights from the behavioural sciences, law and bioethics.
They cite evidence that the coercive nature of Covid vaccine policies is likely to reduce compliance with other public health measures, including recommendations to take existing vaccines (which have much longer track records than the Covid vaccines). This owes to mechanisms of psychological reactance and loss of trust in the health authorities.
The authors argue that such effects will be compounded by the use of stigmatisation as a public health strategy, and by the dissemination of misleading or false claims on the part of health authorities (such as Anthony Fauci’s claim that, once vaccinated, “you become a dead end to the virus”).
As regards the former, the authors have compiled a list of some of the most incendiary statements made by politicians about unvaccinated people.
Emmanuel Macron admitted his aim was “pissing them off”. Justin Trudeau described them as “extremists who don’t believe in science”, adding “they’re often misogynists, also often racists”. Naftali Bennett accused them of “endangering their health, those around them and the freedom of every Israeli citizen”.
Yet as Bardosh and colleagues note, many unvaccinated people had perfectly good reasons for remaining unvaccinated, such as being in a low-risk category or having natural immunity from previous infection.
Turning to the legality of Covid vaccine policies, the authors note that many measures were merely decrees, passed under states of emergency in the absence of normal democratic governance. As a result, injured parties (such as those who lost their livelihood) have had fewer or no opportunities for proper redress.
Vaccine passports also constitute a significant infringement on privacy, insofar as they require the sharing of medical information with people other than one’s doctor, including not only border officials, but owners of pubs, restaurants and nightclubs.
What’s more, vaccine mandates that disproportionately restrict people’s access to things like work, education and social life can be considered violations of basic human rights, the authors argue. This may explain why the WHO’s Director of Immunisation said in 2020, “I don’t think we envision any countries creating a mandate for vaccination.”
There are many other interesting observations in the paper itself, which is worth reading in full.