Reply To: “Leak” to Torygraph: PM has agreed compulsory vaccination for care home staff

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For the record:
I would recommend anyone who has the opportunity to have any of the Sars-Cov-2 vaccines to avail of it. I am not advocating a stance against these vaccines.
Whilst I think it is highly unlikely that these or any other vaccines will have serious long term side effects we just don’t and cannot definitively know that yet for these Sars-Cov-2 vaccines. There is simply no getting around that.

This is not the argument here. Making something mandatory is a whole other step. Mandatory training is one thing, mandatory vaccination is another entirely different thing. If I feel like running in ifront of the nearest bus whilst sitting through yet another manual handling mandatory training session it isn’t really affecting me apart from pure boredom. A vaccination or other treatment that affects the internal milieu of my own body and no one else’s is an entirely different thing. I am aware that were I to refuse vaccination and subsequently become infected with Sars-Cov-2 and infect others that my refusal to be vaccinated possibly contributed to that situation. keep in mind that no vaccine is 100% effective and I may have caught the infection despite being vaccinated.
That again is a separate argument. The vaccination, in and of itself, affects me and only me in terms of what it may or may not do to my body and, for the moment, putting aside it’s possible beneficial effects to me and others. It is a fundamental tenet of medical care that anyone, assuming they have the mental capacity to consent, has the right to refuse treatment even if such refusal is considered not to be in their best interests. Mandatory vaccination or mandatory any other treatment encroaches on that right. Regardless of any justification for doing so that it encroaches on that right is extant.

The argument then shifts. Under which circumstances is “society” justified to encroach that right? There is precedent in the medical profession. Despite no one in the UK becoming infected with HIV from medical treatment there was concern that those health care staff involved in high risk procedures could transmit HIV if they were infected. From 2003 all such staff had to be tested. Strangely, those employed before 2003 didn’t have to be tested. The new rules didn’t apply to those already in employment. Here is a Guardian article from 2003. Hep B vaccination is another example. I suspect military personnel also have to accept vaccinations and treatments. I am thinking here of “gulf war syndrome” if it exists.

“Mandatory is not the same as a condition of employment”

This is true as shown above with HIV testing for certain healthcare workers. However mandatory something as a condition of continued employment is a different concept. Again, same as the fact they didn’t test those employed before 2003.

Disregarding vaccines and the differing view points on vaccines alone making anything mandatory and specifically anything that affects your own body with a potential for harm, no matter how remote represents a fundamental shift in the framework for such things. Society needs to be very careful of such a step.