THE EDITOR: Following Newsday's story on the decision of the President to cull all unvaccinated people from her security detail, a decision which was robustly supported by no less a person than the Prime Minister himself, it is clear that from the state’s perspective, vaccine discrimination is here to stay.
Of course, quite naturally, the President's decision itself created waves on social media, with as many people supporting her as those opposing her.
Perhaps more importantly, this has opened the door to a much wider discussion on legitimate concerns surrounding covid19 vaccines.
Let me state that I am a supporter of vaccines and universal scientific principles in general and thus do not intend to engage the illogical, irrational, unproductive and distractive utterances of the anti-vaxxers.
Nevertheless, I think it’s important for us to soberly engage the legitimate concerns surrounding the current covid19 vaccines, chief amongst which is the fact that they remain a "trial version" with only emergency-use approval and potential kinks still to be worked out.
It’s therefore appropriate to note that unlike the mandatory vaccines which we as children and adults were given (largely uncontested), the full consequences of the current covid19 vaccines, like the virus itself, may not yet be entirely known.
To this end, I think it befitting for the state to disengage from any and all such inclinations of forced vaccinations and focus its attention on moral suasion.
Not only because such discussions serve to distract the population from the vaccine goal and fuel misinformation which they are fighting against, but because it also places the state in a very precarious position.
What if in the next few months or years the very science changes and reveals that there are harmful side effects? Will the state accept full liability as a result of a forced vaccination policy? Certainly, vaccine manufactures have said they will not.
It’s therefore imperative that as part of its vaccination thrust, the Government straddle the very fine vaccine line of sufficiently educating the population about the pros and cons of taking the jab, while effectively demonstrating its plausibility as a pathway out of the pandemic.