Vaccine Passports are Akin to Institutionalized Segregation

Vaccine Passports are Akin to Institutionalized Segregation

Opinion | Increasingly, vaccination is no longer a matter of choice. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of workplaces and schools are instituting COVID-19 vaccine mandates, with more expected following formal FDA licensure of the vaccines. But mandating people and their children who have consciously chosen not to get vaccinated—a group that tends to be younger, less educated, Republican, non-white and uninsured—is a recipe for creating new and deeper fractures within our society, the kind of fractures we may profoundly regret in hindsight.

Let’s not sugarcoat it: This is a new form of institutionalized segregation. Yes, some unvaccinated adults may swallow this bitter pill and comply as a way of doing their part in making America safer. But many will see it—along with requirements that the unvaccinated wear masks or undergo regular COVID testing—as a thinly veiled attempt at public shaming. After all, if the goal is to maximize the interruption of spread, then surely all people should be masked irrespective of vaccination status.

Forced compliance will come with future consequences. The ensuing anger, resentment and loss of trust forms a ticking time bomb waiting to go off. Are we ready to add this mandate to the list of issues helping erode the fabric of our society?

These practices diverge substantially from the historical norm of equal opportunity. For all other required vaccines, religious and philosophical exemptions allow unvaccinated children to enjoy the same educational experience as the vaccinated. This is because exemptions reflect a social value that in the United States, there are valid reasons for refusing treatments or vaccines, and these reasons will be respected. Once exempt, there are no sanctions experienced in everyday life. But with COVID vaccine mandates, even those with exemptions are being sanctioned, sending another clear message: We really don’t care about your reasons.

And in schools, where a child’s experience will be shaped by their parents’ decisions and those of policymakers, the situation could become tragic. If schools invite vaccinated children to lose their masks, what was once an act of social responsibility could morph into a mark of disease.

What should we anticipate? Children of different ages being barred from mingling. Children being bullied, ridiculed and mocked, with taunts using terms like “covidiot.” Differential treatment toward unvaccinated children by some teachers (who are, just like everyone else, individuals with their own views about COVID vaccines). And families deciding to withdraw from formal education, choosing instead to home-school.

Vaccinate-or-mask policies will drive a wedge between children and parents, cause daily psychological harm, carrying long lasting consequences for future generations.

Some might see mandate resistance as a symptom of vaccine misinformation. But considering most of these individuals have complied with mandates for routine vaccines such as mumps and measles, diseases of far less societal consequence than COVID, is it not worth listening to their objections against COVID vaccine mandates?

For some, there’s little value in a vaccine against a disease they have already recovered from, even as new variants develop. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that by May, 120 million Americans of all ages (35 percent of the population) had already been infected with SARS-CoV-2. New data shows natural immunity is six to 13 times more protective against emerging variants than vaccines.

For many, it is a product safety issue. The vaccines were developed and tested in months, not years, before rollout, and they were initially authorized by regulators in the context of an emergency. These people want greater assurances of safety and efficacy—something that requires additional time and data.

Yet in response, some public commentators are calling for the FDA to speed its review process and approve all of the coronavirus vaccines. Thus far, only one COVID-19 vaccine has received full approval. While such an approval might convince a slice of the unvaccinated, many will remain skeptical. Considering that the pivotal safety and efficacy trials were designed as two-year trials to finish in mid-2022, an approval this year can be seen as premature.

Despite hundreds of millions of doses already in bodies, we are still in the learning phase regarding vaccine safety and efficacy, as can be witnessed in the data about “breakthrough infections” and previously unknown side effects like myocarditis and blood clots.

Most people may accept this uncertainty and conclude that whatever the risks, they are outweighed by the benefits. But for the minority who desire greater scientific certainty, we should respect these reasons, not respond with mandates.

We already know this country has deep divisions. We simply cannot allow coercive policies that will result in the creation of a society that is less just and more fractured than it already is.


This article was reprinted with permission. It was originally published by the Brownstone Institute. Peter Doshi is an associate professor of pharmaceutical health services research at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and senior editor at The BMJ. Aditi Bhargava is a professor in the Department of ObGyn and Reproductive Sciences at University of California San Francisco.

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Note: This commentary provides referenced information and perspective on a topic related to vaccine science, policy, law or ethics being discussed in public forums and by U.S. lawmakers.  The websites of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) provide information and perspective of federal agencies responsible for vaccine research, development, regulation and policymaking.

9 Responses to "Vaccine Passports are Akin to Institutionalized Segregation"

  1. Ashley   November 16, 2021 at 1:40 am

    There are a lot of errors with this article. I stopped reading after the 2nd one so I will only address the 1st two I read. First, do you have data on the group you’re stating who chooses not get vaccinated? They’re uneducated? Research actually shows individuals who chose not to take vaccines are more highly educated. Second, you state that other childhood vaccines allow for religious exemptions. There are a few states left allowing religious exemptions, but the majority have prohibited both personal belief and religious exemptions. In CA medical exemptions are so hard to get, doctors can’t even write them, they can only recommend them, and they then go to some health board review panel. For the medical exemption to be approved, the child basically has to have a brain injury from the vaccine. After I read those two errors, I decided to stop reading so I’m not sure if there are more that need to be addressed.

    Reply
  2. Vicki   November 16, 2021 at 2:01 am

    Light cannot coexist with Darkness
    Good cannot join with Evil
    Freedom cannot partner with Tyranny.

    Noncompliance
    Resistance
    No Capitulation …. That is my stance!

    The Current Regime is nothing other than an insurrectionst coup and should be staunchly resisted and given no quarter,

    Reply
  3. CATT   November 16, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Indeed. As I have stated for the past year . . . Apartheid.

    Reply
  4. CATT   November 16, 2021 at 8:53 am

    ” . . . . chosen not to get vaccinated—a group that tends to be younger, less educated, Republican, non-white and uninsured—is a recipe for creating new and deeper fractures within our society, the kind of fractures we may profoundly regret in hindsight.”

    And, that statement above is total BS. I’m white, a senior, very much educated, and I am not political. Most people I know who are in the same camp as myself are of various age groups, color and of varying levels of education. But, one thing for sure we are all highly educated when it comes to the pharmaceutical companies, FDA, CDC, WHO, the UN, vaccines, and those in power and their devious and disgusting moves on humanity, of whom we have been keeping track of for decades.

    Reply
  5. Tanya   November 16, 2021 at 9:55 am

    Vaccine passports are simply a method/tactic to put pressure on the public to comply with the drug corporation model of selling and requiring drugging without real informed consent. This article ignores the core issues here. But disturbingly, it creates a picture of people who do not want enforced drugged as lower class and uneducated. This is a level of bigotry in itself. It completely ignores the fact that many highly educated people are opposed to this drug and drugging. It also does not address the fact that highly credentialed medical and research people are speaking out against the dangers of this drug. And in doing so promotes the prejudices against working class people as unable to articulate an intelligent argument. In fact it is usually those at the bottom of the social ladder that have the clearest vision of what this society is about as they are the subject of the worst of Capitalisms abuses and know exactly what it is about even without the PH D theses to describe it.

    i think it would have been a much better article if focus was placed on all the research and clinical data accruing for all the harm these drugs are causing and the fact that it is not a vaccine, regardless of what we can argue about them, being called that only to provide a Held Harmless status for the drug corporations.

    Reply
  6. Karen   November 16, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    🟪♥️🟪 Let’s Change Perception

    The right words can have an impact on how we perceive pretty much everything. A word or two can make the difference between a “pre-owned car” versus a “used car.” Which car would you prefer?

    I think it’s high time we changed the perception about ourselves by changing our language about ourselves. Up till now, those of us who want to remain in our normal health state have been derisively known as “The Unvaccinated.” And, what’s even worse, we have been naively cooperating by labeling ourselves the same as those who scorn us! It’s time to stop that nonsense!! Here’s why.

    The word Unvaccinated in our context implies “lack.” The impression given by the term is that those who refuse the injections have (or are) “less than” those who take the injections. We are wrongly perceived as either sadly or stubbornly deficient or defective — even dangerous — because we lack a drug in our bodies that, in itself, is proving to be defective. How ridiculous! Do you feel a sense of lack?

    Let’s look at some “UN” words to prove my point: Unenlightened. Unmarried. Unemployed. Unclean. Unattractive. Unhealthy. Uneducated. Undesirable. Unaware. Uncooperative. Uncaring. Uninformed.

    Unvaccinated. Get the point?

    Now, I propose we reinvent the perception of ourselves; one we can cheerfully announce without putting people off and also get them thinking. By this change, we can plant seeds of positivity around our informed and intelligent choice, change perceptions and the narrative and, perhaps, change minds and hearts and even increase our ranks.

    From now on, let’s see ourselves truthfully as “vaccine free” individuals — because that is what we are: mentally and physically free. If someone asks if you’re vaccinated, cheerfully reply to them with a smile, “I’m vaccine free,” or “I’m happy to say, I’m still vaccine free.” Practice saying it and writing it; YOU are no longer wearing the scarlet letter of UN, my friend.

    Think of saying I’m vaccine free as similar to the positive feelings around these words: Sodium free. Gluten free. Pesticide free. Static free. Phthalate free. BPA free. Hormone free. Fat free. Hassle free. Sugar free. Tax free. Allergen free. Stimulant free. Preservative free. Drug free.

    Now let’s convey the same positive note about the empowering choice we have made for ourselves. Make saying “I’m vaccine free” a habit. Free is the operative word. And, please share this with all the vaccine-free people you know.

    Spread the good news.

    We are Vaccine FREE.

    🦋K.G.
    Wordsmith Warrior
    The pen is mightier than the sword.

    Reply
    • Laura Panger   November 28, 2021 at 2:12 pm

      Thanks for planting these seeds of changed perception in my mind. I ‘think’ that way, but now will include using the words in my speech. I LOVE it.

      Reply
  7. George   November 16, 2021 at 7:44 pm

    I too stopped reading this article after the first paragraph. Ashley summed it up perfectly. These mandated experimental shots (they are not vaccines) are unconstitutional. Those puppets in power have destroyed 9 of the 10 Amendments known as our Bill of Rights. Amendment 2 is the only one left, but under constant attack. We have to make serious choices now or we will be living in a country like Australia or Austria.

    Reply
  8. Ron S   November 17, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    When we get I’ll.
    Some cancel plans and get rest.
    Others drink fluids, eat citrus fruit and herbs.
    Some take supplement.
    Others take over counter meds.
    And some go to Dr to get a pill.

    The decision depends on:
    Your resorces.
    Your experience, what works.
    The symptoms.

    One size, 1 treatment. Does not fit all.

    Reply

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