Mandating COVID-19 vaccines and related passports has had damaging political, legal, and socioeconomic implications; while destabilizing the integrity of science and public health, according to a new study published in BMJ Global Health, an online global health journal based in London.
Several countries have introduced immunization mandates and passports to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, with some enacting them through the democratic process while others imposing them via emergency declarations, the May 26 research report, titled “The unintended ones,” said Consequences of the COVID-19 vaccine policy. ”
Vaccination certificates risk “enshrining discrimination” in law based on people’s “perceived health status”, even towards people who may not be vaccinated but have recovered from a previous infection and are generally at lower risk of contracting COVID-19 are exposed. The data protection and security aspect of vaccination cards is also taken into account.
“Once these population-wide passport precedents are established, it is conceivable that they could be extended to other personal health data, including genetic testing and mental health records, in the near future, leading to additional rights violations and biological status discrimination for employers, law enforcement agencies , insurance companies, governments and technology companies,” the report warns.
Furthermore, the study indicates that the COVID-19 vaccination policy has sparked intense political debates and mass protests on the streets, and may even affect the upcoming elections.
She accused “politicians of the center and left” of using the “anti-vaccination” among groups on the right to advance their own agendas.
In the United States, pro-vaccination advocates have equated those protesting COVID-19 vaccines with domestic terrorists and have called on the government and social media companies to “tighten the censorship laws” against such groups and individuals.
“Echo chambers have distorted the adequacy of risk assessments by some mandate advocates, who now fear that despite scientific evidence, unvaccinated people are ‘unsafe’ — physically but also culturally.”
The report criticized scientists for citing unvaccinated individuals as a source of future COVID-19 variants, thereby fueling inflammatory rhetoric against such individuals. In affluent countries, universities have mandated boosters even for healthy, low-risk students and faculty.
Some COVID-19 vaccination guidelines disproportionately restrict people’s access to public transportation, education, work and social life, which the report says may violate constitutional and human rights.
Vaccination orders also violate public health ethics, the report says. The principle of proportionality requires that any intervention in the field of public health must bring benefits that outweigh the restrictions on freedoms and other burdens.
In addition, the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccine mandates in reducing transmission is likely less than expected, the research note said.
“These issues have been the subject of extensive public debate and have fueled the notion that many current immunization policies are no longer guided by the best science, but rather serve to penalize those who remain unvaccinated and to influence public opinion and compliance. “
The report pointed to some US universities and colleges mandating a third dose of vaccine for boys despite “no evidence of any significant clinical benefit.” On the contrary, there is evidence of a “small but significant” risk of myocarditis that increases with each dose.
Many American states have taken steps to avoid imposing vaccination requirements and passports. In Georgia, Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation in May barring state and local agencies from requiring proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.
In Arizona, Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation prohibiting state health officials from adding COVID-19 vaccines to a list of immunizations required to attend public schools.