Evolution of pandemic science has outstripped the need for vaccine mandates – Orange County Register
The list of five California legislature bills proposed by the vaccine task force fails to recognize that while COVID-19 vaccines offer some protection against serious and life-threatening infections, they do not block transmission. This makes vaccination a personal health choice based on individual risk. This does not justify imposing vaccination.
Mandates for a vaccine that does not block transmission are discriminatory. They force unvaccinated people to comply in order to go to school or keep their jobs. This is coercive discrimination: vaccinated people are as likely to spread virus particles as unvaccinated people, but their activities are not restricted. The reasoning behind these mandates is not supported by current scientific data.
Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, wisely canceled the March 30 hearing for the 1993 Assembly Bill. That bill would have required corporate employees public and private organizations in California be vaccinated against COVID-19, with financial penalties imposed on employers who failed to comply. Wicks cited the decline of the pandemic, as well as opposition from police and fire unions, when she canceled the hearing.
However, these bills are still under consideration:
Senate Bill 871 mandates COVID vaccination for children ages 0-17 to attend school or daycare, without waiting for FDA approval and without allowing religious or personal belief exemptions. This same bill also mandates vaccination against hepatitis B, a blood-borne and sexually transmitted disease, so that students can enter seventh grade.
Senate Bill 866 allows children 12 and older to be vaccinated without the knowledge or consent of their parents. It does not specify which vaccines.
Assembly Bill 2098 threatens doctors and healthcare workers with disciplinary action if they share information with patients that strays from state and federally approved messages and treatments for COVID -19.
Senate Bill 1464 requires law enforcement to monitor compliance with these and other public health orders.
Passing such bills will do nothing to stop the virus, but will widen the vitriolic divide resulting from poorly thought out public health policy and media influence.
Research has shown that immunity induced by COVID-19 vaccination, and even booster shots, wanes over weeks or even months. Also, as the virus mutated, the original vaccine was found to be less effective against newer variants, such as omicron and omicron2. For children in the 5-11 year age group, the decline in vaccine effectiveness was dramatic. A recent study revealed that one month after vaccination, protection against the omicron strain was only 12%.
Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the vaccine does not stop transmission. Vaccinated people continue to shed and spread the virus if infected. Other studies showing the inability of the vaccine to stop transmission can be found here and here.
Individuals should act responsibly to minimize the risk of infecting others. If people feel sick, they should get tested and stay home. At home, they must self-isolate and wear a high-quality mask.
The COVID virus has become less virulent as it mutates. As it moved through the population, we built up protection against COVID-19 (called herd immunity), both through naturally acquired immunity and vaccine-induced immunity. . As a result, we are seeing the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths drop in California and the United States. Across the country and across California, vaccination mandates and mask mandates have been dropped, and cases, hospitalizations and deaths have continued to decline.
This slate of bills was undoubtedly crafted at a time when COVID-19 was raging and it seemed the vaccine was the only light to lead us to safety. However, as the science around COVID vaccines and the disease itself has evolved, these bills have become obsolete. Lawmakers should set aside the whole list and encourage personal responsibility for health.
Dr. Eileen S. Natuzzi, a retired surgeon and public health epidemiologist, worked at the San Diego Department of Public Health on its COVID response until April 2021. Elisa Carbone is a freelance writer and researcher. They wrote this comment for CalMatters.
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