Dr Oliver Robinson

Vaccine Passports and Mandates: An Interdisciplinary Critique

by Dr. Oliver Robinson At the end of 2020 and in the early months of 2021, I wrote an interdisciplinary review of lockdown policies, which looked at the evidence and arguments from biomedical, socio-economic, psychological and ethical perspectives. I was at the time surprised by the amount of research about lockdowns that was monolithically focused on COVID-19 outcomes while ignoring of all the potential collateral damage, and was sure that a more holistic take was necessary. My article was put through peer-review, accepted in July 2021 and finally published in late 2021. You can read it here. Now that vaccine passports and mandates have become the latest frontier in the Covid debate, blinkered monolithic thinking is being shown in political and media discourse, just as happened with lockdowns earlier in the pandemic. Accordingly, here I present an interdisciplinary critique of these measures, taking into account biomedical, social, psychological and ethical perspectives. In relation to my attitudes to vaccines per se – I am vaccinated against COVID-19, and my daughter has had all her standard childhood vaccinations to date. I am fully supportive of vaccines as an elective and informed choice. The biomedical perspective – transmission and serious illness The main argument for vaccine passports is that COVID-19 vaccines reduce transmission, therefore being in an environment in which only vaccinated individuals...

Finland: The Covid Success Story No-One is Talking About

by Dr. Oliver Robinson Finland has not implemented a lockdown at any point during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, compared with its neighbour Sweden, which has been in the constant media spotlight for its lack of lockdowns, Finland’s avoidance of them has gone largely unacknowledged. The measures that Finland has imposed have not come close to the OECD definition of a lockdown (i.e., stay at home order plus school closures of non-essential business/venue closures). Finland has never implemented a stay-at-home order, or a limit on household mixing or any restriction on travel within the country, just non-binding guidance. So, what interventions did the Finnish Government make? From March to May 2020, schools were closed, public meetings were limited to 10 people, borders were shut and citizens returning from abroad were put into quarantine. Guidance was given to people with symptoms to stay at home, and over-70s were requested to avoid social contact unless essential (this last measure is notably similar to the Great Barrington Declaration’s proposed approach of ‘focused protection’). On June 1st, the number of people allowed to meet was increased to 50 and public indoor places were opened gradually. Since then, various selective international travel restrictions have been imposed. According to the Blavatnik School of Government’s COVID-19 Response Tracker, Finland’s response to COVID-19 was marginally stricter than Sweden from...

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December 2022
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