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The conversation below is reproduced, with the permission of the participants, from a Twitter discussion group. It was prompted by the news piece in Critical Mass entitled ‘Jabs for jobs – Care workers face the sack. It has been edited to correct grammar and spelling and to remove extraneous material.

@BebsDotter: I personally think people should be encouraged to have the jab, but not forced. I have had the vaccinations because I believe it may reduce the odds that I might get seriously ill! However, it is a fact that, although infection is less serious for the individual who receives a jab, you can still catch and pass on Covid. Furthermore, we should all object to something that attempts to override our civil liberties and human rights! (A very slippery slope!) 

@bane_baldy: The vaccine doesn’t stop transmission. It does reduce the risk of death by ×30 + versus the unvaccinated. From the point of the “social contract” perspective, taking the Covid vaccine reduces the risk of hospitalisation, adding an unnecessary additional burden on the NHS. It reduces the risk of inflicting unnecessary grief and suffering on loved ones, family and friends. At what point is refusing to be vaccinated an act of individual accountability or is it an act of singular defiance? Is there a point where compulsory vaccination is justifiable?

@BebsDotter: People shouldn’t be made unemployed or homeless because they refuse; what’s next, that we physically confine them, pin them down and force vaccination?

@AceSocialist: I’ve got no issue with people losing their jobs for refusing to be vaccinated in certain professions where there are lots of vulnerable people at risk – care homes being the obvious example. I certainly wouldn’t want an elderly relative to be in a place with a load of unvaccinated staff and I don’t think many others would either.

@bane_baldy: The point is, the reluctance to be vaccinated is based on what? Is it based on ‘genuine’ concerns, the Idea of resisting because of distrusting the State/Big Pharma etc Is it a result of being manipulated by other agendas? Because, to achieve true Herd immunity via vaccination, 80%+ have to be vaccinated. The number isn’t close. In order not to ‘enforce’ vaccination, the numbers must be increased.  So, why are so many refusing? What can be done to persuade the reluctant to be vaccinated? That’s the core issue here!

@BebsDotter: If this pandemic had happened whilst we had a respected, thoughtful but firm PM, then people would be more likely to trust ‘officials’ and follow the advice of politicians and scientists!  However the protection of the public has been a farce from the very beginning. The mixed messages, the lying and corruption, the slowness to act in the face of heightened infection rates, has destroyed the good will of the people! Unfortunately, we are where we are!  One thing I’m sure of, If the Tories force ‘compliance and compulsion’, although not perhaps a bad thing, there will be fireworks!!

@bane_baldy: Whilst the idea of a trusted PM being a factor in greater compliance, it’s not borne out by dozens of research articles. It’s the distrust in the system, the Companies and the whole process of creating the vaccines and a wide variety of personal views. Conflating the deliberate mishandling to increasing your chances of survival is, bluntly, illogical at best.  One major factor in countries who have high levels of vaccination isn’t trust in the System but trust in the science and an acceptance of playing their part in supporting their society.

@BarbarianScien1: Refusing a vaccination as a form of rebellion against ineffective leadership is misplaced. It is instead putting those close to you in danger. I will ask if there’s a tiger lose on the streets, you run. It’s not something you can fight unaided. The vaccine is just about the only weapon we have. Otherwise we’d be running away forever.

@blonde1_pierre: Nobody should be forced to take a vaccine that is only partly effective in reducing symptoms and hospitalisation for the individual that has taken it. It offers no other protection. The vaccinated can transmit, catch and carry the virus the same way the unvaccinated can. It cannot and does not give immunity so one has to question why people are being forced to accept it or be frozen out of society. When I take a vaccine it is for immunity to the disease or to protect myself. So if this vaccine doesn’t protect others from getting the virus or stop its spread, other than taking it to protect ones self, why is it being forced onto everybody with freedoms and rights, choices being removed? It’s sinister and likely more dangerous than the virus itself in the long run.

@BarbarianScien1: But humans are not the one’s making the choice. COVID-19 is making the choices for us now. The longer we wait to halt and eradicate COVID-19 the longer it has to circulate and improve itself and the more likelihood of a really nasty ‘killer’ variant popping up. Then we are in real trouble.  The end-game image of an incurable, Ebola like, COVID-19 variant that attacks only the lungs springs into my mind. The societal impacts of going out clubbing or not, not having beers with your peers, pale into insignificance.

@bane_baldy: One issue has been the effect of vaccination on hospital admission rates. The evidence is clear that vaccination reduces admissions. Not being vaccinated multiplies by several factors the risk of serious illness.

@blonde1_pierre: The virus and the vaccine are being used to impose authoritarian rule and not to protect others! It is impossible to protect others after taking the vaccine when you can still catch it,spread it and be a carrier,it’s simply not the truth,I am pro vaccine but am worried about why people are being threatened into taking this one.

@AlexisTwolf: This on the NHS website… Covid vaccines  “reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19”.  This means less infections and less strain on the NHS meaning other health problems get treated sooner.

@AceSocialist: The argument that people can still get and pass on covid when vaccinated therefore it’s not worth it is too ridiculous for words. Every shred of evidence and research proves it massively reduces the chances of getting it and the severity of it if you do. You don’t refuse to wear a seat belt because people wearing them still die in car crashes, refusing the vaccine because some people still die of Covid after taking it makes about as much sense.

@bane_baldy: Covid-19 vaccines do offer some protection against transmission and infection – Full Fact

@blonde1_pierre: So what about the people that cannot take it?

@bane_baldy: The reading I’ve done rules out anyone who has a known history of allergic reactions to the ingredients of the vaccines.

@BebsDotter: So, it’s not vaccination that makes the difference, it’s masks, ventilation, distance and hand hygiene?

@bane_baldy: From the start, the Tories have pursued allowing the virus to run rampant throughout the whole country. In their eyes, any and all mitigations interfere with the economy. Reduce the footfall in shops, businesses, hospitality etc. They’ve never given a damn about the dead. Relying solely on vaccines would never reduce the infections by itself. Vaccine hesitancy has been growing in the UK for years. Based on atrociously bad science, myths, stereotypes and paranoia.

@AceSocialist: Spot on. “I don’t trust the government” Well neither does anyone with a braincell, but I do trust the medical professionals who are united in urging people to be vaccinated!

@BebsDotter: The problem isn’t us, we obviously believe the scientists and for the most part try to balance advice with common sense!  However, their is a large proportion of the population who don’t trust the government, for obvious reasons, because the government have lied so many times All I’m saying is, It’s about trust and credibility! Don’t get me wrong, we should still have the jab and use every method available such as masks etc, but let’s not talk about ‘forcing’ people until a scientist can tell us its 98% effective at stopping the Covid virus! (or similar effectiveness as the contraceptive pill?)

At this point the discussion ended. What it shows is a group of citizens responding to a difficult issue and talking it through together without any need to resort to insults or spurious claims. So, what do you think? Use the comments box to tell us your view on vaccine passports.

One thought on “Talking about…vaccine passports”
  1. With the Delta variant, transmission is the same whether vaccinated or not. So Covid Passports (I can’t get one, you need photo ID) would seem irrelevant…

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