Covid Vaccine Mandates: For Whose Benefit?

 

As the calls for mandating Covid vaccinations grow, especially with formal FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, I ask the same question I have asked about mask mandates – who do the mandates protect that justify the intrusion on personal autonomy?

If the Covid vaccines work to protect the person who has received the vaccine, it matters not to the vaccinated person whether other people are vaccinated.

If people who have had Covid have protection similar to the protection provided by the Covid vaccine, forcing those who have had Covid to get the Covid vaccine is overkill. According to some reports (I have no idea how reliable), vaccinating the naturally protected may be counterproductive (in that the vaccine may degrade the already present natural protection).

Vaccine mandates do force people with “vaccine hesitancy” to do what’s “for their own good,” regardless of the person’s own personal risk assessment about the vaccine versus the virus. If that’s true, then we are taking another large step away from being a free people. The Covid vaccines are very new, unlike other vaccines that have become routine. Hesitance on injecting something very new is not irrational, especially since many people may calculate that they have a very low probability risk from the virus itself. Other vaccines that are now mandated (measles, polio, etc.) had much longer track records before the mandates were instituted.

Can people who have been vaccinated spread the virus to others? There have been many claims that vaccinated people can still spread the virus (that’s the justification given for why everyone should wear masks forever). If so, then vaccine mandates don’t do anything to reduce the spread of the virus.

Requiring everyone to be vaccinated doesn’t add to the protection of those who have chosen to be vaccinated, and may not reduce the spread of the virus. So far, the only purpose of vaccine mandates seems to be to force conformity.

Published in Domestic Policy
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  1. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    It’s about bringing the Chinese credit system to the US. The Deplorables must be crushed.

    • #1
  2. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Full Size Tabby: If people who have had Covid have protection similar to the protection provided by the Covid vaccine, forcing those who have had Covid to get the Covid vaccine is overkill. According to some reports (I have no idea how reliable), vaccinating the naturally protected may be counterproductive (in that the vaccine may degrade the already present natural protection).

    This is what infuriates me about the messaging coming from our leadership, local and national. They don’t even recognize the immunity provided by previous infections. To them you’re either vaccinated and therefore, one of the approved or you’re unvaccinated, and therefore a pariah who must be forced to undergo a medical procedure for your own good.

    Yet, right now both my kids have COVID, yet my wife and I, who had it in January, have tested negative twice. Those antibodies are doing what they’re supposed to do. And the kids are not exactly keeping their distance either. So it looks like we’ve got protection.

    But to all the little health kommissars nagging us by e-mail and by phone, we’re unvaccinated and must continue our isolation at least two weeks after the kids are out of COVID jail.

    This seems anti-science.

    • #2
  3. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    An employer might want to keep illness-related absenteeism from crimping operations. If you’re down to one night-shift cashier, and you don’t want to have to close early because they’re sick and you haven’t anyone else to fill the slot, or you don’t want to do the shift yourself because you have to open the store at 6 AM, then you might insist that the employee get the shots. 

    • #3
  4. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Full Size Tabby: If the Covid vaccines work to protect the person who has received the vaccine, it matters not to the vaccinated person whether other people are vaccinated.

    Certainly it matters. If the protection were absolute, it would not matter, but if it only increases the odds of not getting infected and decreases the odds of severe covid, it still is better for those who are vaccinated not to be near sources of infection. 

    So the more who are vaccinated, the better for reducing the public pressure to enact mandates. 

    • #4
  5. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    I think concerns about hospital capacities, and the strain on the medical community generally,  is one of the reasons often given to support mandates.

    That is an area where those without immunities could cause serious problems for everybody else. I’ve heard anecdotes here and there of problems the bed shortage has caused people. I don’t think, as things stand now, however, that problem would justify the mandate, but it theoretically could get there.

    • #5
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    So the more who are vaccinated, the better for reducing the public pressure to enact mandates. 

    I don’t expect the call for mandates to go away anytime soon. If 99% are vaccinated, the cries will become ever more shrill, and the 1% will continue to be society’s scapegoats.

     

    • #6
  7. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    It’s about bringing the Chinese credit system to the US. The Deplorables must be crushed.

    Bingo!

    I’m trying to figure out how (what statutory justifications, what ‘triggers’) will be given for these municipal and private entities to begin sharing that information, then implementing more penalties and restrictions for Wrong-Think.

    They’ll need to link these together, trying to envision what they will look like and the avenues of attack.

    Though most people seem wise to the health hype now, they don’t seem to be anticipating the next, logical steps.

    • #7
  8. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    An employer might want to keep illness-related absenteeism from crimping operations. If you’re down to one night-shift cashier, and you don’t want to have to close early because they’re sick and you haven’t anyone else to fill the slot, or you don’t want to do the shift yourself because you have to open the store at 6 AM, then you might insist that the employee get the shots.

    James, wow.  Perhaps using that logic, we might  mandate women to have a hysterectomy, so that they also don’t require a maternity leave, because that is an even longer medical leave than a covid illness. The impact on that convenience store owner is very inconvenient to extend maternity leave, just cause an employee might refuse to get sterilized. 

    • #8
  9. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):
    This is what infuriates me about the messaging coming from our leadership, local and national. They don’t even recognize the immunity provided by previous infections.

    The communication is very bad.  The government has propagated the idea that vaccines protect against infection and past infections do not.  In reality natural immunity is more powerful than vaccine immunity. 

    • #9
  10. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    So the more who are vaccinated, the better for reducing the public pressure to enact mandates.

    I don’t expect the call for mandates to go away anytime soon. If 99% are vaccinated, the cries will become ever more shrill, and the 1% will continue to be society’s scapegoats.

    Certainly the call for mandates will not go away. There are people among us who are always overly-eager to mandate things.  So I’m in favor of reducing the public pressure to enact mandates.  We don’t win freedom just by having a better ideological basis for freedom. We also need for it to be easier for more people to support freedom.

    • #10
  11. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):
    In reality natural immunity is more powerful than vaccine immunity. 

    In reality it isn’t, according to data I’ve seen lately. Or perhaps more accurately, natural immunity isn’t more powerful than natural immunity plus vaccine immunity.  

    • #11
  12. Aaron Miller Inactive
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    I think concerns about hospital capacities, and the strain on the medical community generally, is one of the reasons often given to support mandates.

    That is an area where those without immunities could cause serious problems for everybody else. I’ve heard anecdotes here and there of problems the bed shortage has caused people. I don’t think, as things stand now, however, that problem would justify the mandate, but it theoretically could get there.

    Supposedly, Houston area hospitals are at or near capacity this month. COVID-19 cases amount to only about 10% of patients. But restrictions might have caused staff shortages and spacing regulations might reduce room availability. 

    COVID-19 fatalities still seem to be lower with this variant. Figures I’ve seen suggest something like 0.001% of Harris County residents have died of COVID in the past year.

    • #12
  13. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    An employer might want to keep illness-related absenteeism from crimping operations. If you’re down to one night-shift cashier, and you don’t want to have to close early because they’re sick and you haven’t anyone else to fill the slot, or you don’t want to do the shift yourself because you have to open the store at 6 AM, then you might insist that the employee get the shots.

    Are we going to test people’s Vitamin D levels and force obese people to lose weight? How about people who have natural immunity. Will the employer pay for adverse effects from the jab? I have a friend who was clobbered by the second shot and she, months later, still doesn’t feel normal.

    • #13
  14. Jager Coolidge
    Jager
    @Jager

    Full Size Tabby: Can people who have been vaccinated spread the virus to others? There have been many claims that vaccinated people can still spread the virus (that’s the justification given for why everyone should wear masks forever). If so, then vaccine mandates don’t do anything to reduce the spread of the virus.

    Without comment on Mandates of any kind, this is where your logic is a little week. 

    Yes people who have been vaccinated can catch Covid and can spread Covid.  That does not mean that vaccines do nothing to reduce the spread of the virus.  There is a greatly reduced chance of getting Covid and the symptoms are less thus even when you have it there is less chance of spreading the virus. 

    This is exactly like the flu shot. The shot does not guarantee you won’t get sick, it reduces the possibility and the severity of the illness

    • #14
  15. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Certainly the call for mandates will not go away. There are people among us who are always overly-eager to mandate things.  So I’m in favor of reducing the public pressure to enact mandates.  We don’t win freedom just by having a better ideological basis for freedom. We also need for it to be easier for more people to support freedom.

    When you say “reduce the public pressure to enact mandates” who is pressuring whom? Seems that our awful leaders came up with the idea, and the omnipotent moral busybodies among the public said “Great idea!” and those two groups keep fueling each other like some perpetual motion machine.

    Here’s my basis for freedom:

    Are there holes in the Constitution? - Harvard Law Today

    One would think that would be enough. Alas, we apparently aren’t teaching young people to honor these first principles anymore.

    • #15
  16. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Jager (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby: Can people who have been vaccinated spread the virus to others? There have been many claims that vaccinated people can still spread the virus (that’s the justification given for why everyone should wear masks forever). If so, then vaccine mandates don’t do anything to reduce the spread of the virus.

    Without comment on Mandates of any kind, this is where your logic is a little week.

    Yes people who have been vaccinated can catch Covid and can spread Covid. That does not mean that vaccines do nothing to reduce the spread of the virus. There is a greatly reduced chance of getting Covid and the symptoms are less thus even when you have it there is less chance of spreading the virus.

    This is exactly like the flu shot. The shot does not guarantee you won’t get sick, it reduces the possibility and the severity of the illness

    But everything you describe is effect on the person who has decided to get the vaccine. That has nothing to do with “spreading the virus.” My problem with so much of the talk is the vague language of “spreading the virus” without the specifics of how and to whom. 

    • #16
  17. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    Certainly the call for mandates will not go away. There are people among us who are always overly-eager to mandate things. So I’m in favor of reducing the public pressure to enact mandates. We don’t win freedom just by having a better ideological basis for freedom. We also need for it to be easier for more people to support freedom.

    When you say “reduce the public pressure to enact mandates” who is pressuring whom? Seems that our awful leaders came up with the idea, and the omnipotent moral busybodies among the public said “Great idea!” and those two groups keep fueling each other like some perpetual motion machine.

    You’re going to have those people, no matter what. The fewer allies they have, and the less support they have from ordinary citizens, the better off we are. 

    Here’s my basis for freedom:

    Are there holes in the Constitution? - Harvard Law Today

    One would think that would be enough. Alas, we apparently aren’t teaching young people to honor these first principles anymore.

    No, that’s not enough, and has never been enough. It wasn’t enough for the Founders, and it isn’t enough for us. 

    • #17
  18. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Certainly it matters. If the protection were absolute, it would not matter, but if it only increases the odds of not getting infected and decreases the odds of severe covid, it still is better for those who are vaccinated not to be near sources of infection. 

     

    But the officials keep telling me that everybody is a source of infection regardless of their vaccination status. As I understand the last thing I think I heard from the CDC (admittedly I don’t pay attention to them, so I may have missed a later change of advice), a vaccinated person is just as much a source of infection as an unvaccinated person. 

    • #18
  19. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    You’re going to have those people, no matter what. The fewer allies they have, and the less support they have from ordinary citizens, the better off we are. 

    But that’s what I’m saying. Those people don’t care that they don’t have support of ordinary citizens. As long as the Authoritarian Elites and the Karenwaffe can keep boosting each others’ tyrannical impulses, the ordinary citizens will be ignored.

    • #19
  20. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    I think concerns about hospital capacities, and the strain on the medical community generally, is one of the reasons often given to support mandates.

    That is an area where those without immunities could cause serious problems for everybody else. I’ve heard anecdotes here and there of problems the bed shortage has caused people. I don’t think, as things stand now, however, that problem would justify the mandate, but it theoretically could get there.

    I understand the medical system concern, but we’ve already seen that such issues are very temporary. A vaccine mandate that is unlikely to ever be removed is a permanent consequence to deal with a temporary problem. 

    • #20
  21. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Certainly it matters. If the protection were absolute, it would not matter, but if it only increases the odds of not getting infected and decreases the odds of severe covid, it still is better for those who are vaccinated not to be near sources of infection.

     

    But the officials keep telling me that everybody is a source of infection regardless of their vaccination status. As I understand the last thing I think I heard from the CDC (admittedly I don’t pay attention to them, so I may have missed a later change of advice), a vaccinated person is just as much a source of infection as an unvaccinated person.

    I don’t know what officials you’re listening to, but I suppose you could say, if you parse the words properly, that they are technically correct. However, I question whether even the most malevolent of them is saying everyone is a source of infection. They might be saying everyone is a potential source of infection.  You can always find somebody who will say something really stupid, though, so who knows.  I prefer to listen to people who know stuff, myself. 

    • #21
  22. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    But the officials keep telling me that everybody is a source of infection regardless of their vaccination status. As I understand the last thing I think I heard from the CDC (admittedly I don’t pay attention to them, so I may have missed a later change of advice), a vaccinated person is just as much a source of infection as an unvaccinated person.

    I think they lost a great deal of pro-vax inertia the moment they said “Yeah, even if you have been vaccinated, you need to social distance, mask up, and act as if you’re infected.” People spent all of last year waiting to be freed. The vaccine promised that. And now they’re oppressing us anyway, with no end in sight — so I don’t blame anyone who just throws up his hands and says “What’s the point?”

    Messaging has been terrible. But when those messages take the form of threats, they’re absolutely appalling.

    • #22
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    You’re going to have those people, no matter what. The fewer allies they have, and the less support they have from ordinary citizens, the better off we are.

    But that’s what I’m saying. Those people don’t care that they don’t have support of ordinary citizens. As long as the Authoritarian Elites and the Karenwaffe can keep boosting each others’ tyrannical impulses, the ordinary citizens will be ignored.

    Fine.  Let them ignore ordinary citizens.  If they want to talk to each other and reinforce each other’s opinions, let them live in their own bubble.  I prefer to have as little to do with them as possible.

    • #23
  24. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fine. Let them ignore ordinary citizens. If they want to talk to each other and reinforce each other’s opinions, let them live in their own bubble. I prefer to have as little to do with them as possible.

    But they aren’t interested in leaving you alone.

    • #24
  25. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fine. Let them ignore ordinary citizens. If they want to talk to each other and reinforce each other’s opinions, let them live in their own bubble. I prefer to have as little to do with them as possible.

    But they aren’t interested in leaving you alone.

    I don’t care to be interested in what interests them.  They’re not my people.

    • #25
  26. Hugh Member
    Hugh
    @Hugh

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    An employer might want to keep illness-related absenteeism from crimping operations. If you’re down to one night-shift cashier, and you don’t want to have to close early because they’re sick and you haven’t anyone else to fill the slot, or you don’t want to do the shift yourself because you have to open the store at 6 AM, then you might insist that the employee get the shots.

    James, wow. Perhaps using that logic, we might mandate women to have a hysterectomy, so that they also don’t require a maternity leave, because that is an even longer medical leave than a covid illness. The impact on that convenience store owner is very inconvenient to extend maternity leave, just cause an employee might refuse to get sterilized.

    Naw.  they wouldn’t do Hysterectomy’s.  That would be insensitive.  No, its more likely to be IUDs with the company logo stamped on them.

    • #26
  27. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Fine. Let them ignore ordinary citizens. If they want to talk to each other and reinforce each other’s opinions, let them live in their own bubble. I prefer to have as little to do with them as possible.

    But they aren’t interested in leaving you alone.

    I don’t care to be interested in what interests them. They’re not my people.

    (Sigh.) But it doesn’t matter. If they mandate it for everyone, they’re not going to skip you because you don’t recognize their authority.

    • #27
  28. D.A. Venters Member
    D.A. Venters
    @DAVenters

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    D.A. Venters (View Comment):

    I think concerns about hospital capacities, and the strain on the medical community generally, is one of the reasons often given to support mandates.

    That is an area where those without immunities could cause serious problems for everybody else. I’ve heard anecdotes here and there of problems the bed shortage has caused people. I don’t think, as things stand now, however, that problem would justify the mandate, but it theoretically could get there.

    I understand the medical system concern, but we’ve already seen that such issues are very temporary. A vaccine mandate that is unlikely to ever be removed is a permanent consequence to deal with a temporary problem.

    I agree, and it’s a physical, bodily intrusion, which ought to give a gov. mandate a very high level of scrutiny.  So I think those calling for gov. mandates are wrong under the facts now, but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt as to their motivation. I don’t think they’re driven by their desire to control anyone, for control’s sake.  Fear is a more likely source for their error.

    • #28
  29. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    An employer might want to keep illness-related absenteeism from crimping operations. If you’re down to one night-shift cashier, and you don’t want to have to close early because they’re sick and you haven’t anyone else to fill the slot, or you don’t want to do the shift yourself because you have to open the store at 6 AM, then you might insist that the employee get the shots.

    James, wow. Perhaps using that logic, we might mandate women to have a hysterectomy, so that they also don’t require a maternity leave, because that is an even longer medical leave than a covid illness. The impact on that convenience store owner is very inconvenient to extend maternity leave, just cause an employee might refuse to get sterilized.

    No one gets struck by pregnancy and has to take to bed 24 hours later. You have some time to work around whatever difficulties it will present the employer. And it’s not as if everyone else in the store gets pregnant by exposure.

    • #29
  30. Vince Guerra Member
    Vince Guerra
    @VinceGuerra

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    An employer might want to keep illness-related absenteeism from crimping operations. If you’re down to one night-shift cashier, and you don’t want to have to close early because they’re sick and you haven’t anyone else to fill the slot, or you don’t want to do the shift yourself because you have to open the store at 6 AM, then you might insist that the employee get the shots.

    And then that employer would be exposed as an irrational, meddling jerk who puts his shallow misunderstanding of medical and legal reality above the well-being of his employees.

    • #30
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