The Hidden Side of the Vaccine Passport Debate
The Hidden Side of the Vaccine Passport Debate
By Michelle Chermaine Ramos
The Philippine Reporter
According to the government of Canada’s vaccination coverage data updated November 15, 2021, 74.59% of the total population has been fully vaccinated while 77.97% has received at least one dose. However, there are still many who remain on the fence and there are those who vehemently refuse to be vaccinated for various reasons including thousands of healthcare workers. So, besides the constantly moving goalposts, what caused the protests and the erosion of public trust in the mandates not just across Canada and the U.S. but across the world?
The selective political correctness of the “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated”
Last year, when Trump referred to the COVID-19 virus as the “Chinese virus”, he was publicly slammed and accused of leading some people to blame Chinese Americans for the disease and for sparking hatred against Asians. Did the outbreak start in China?
Yes. So why was Trump condemned for stating the truth? Because it was suggested that his statement allegedly stirred some people to target certain members of the population. It was deemed politically incorrect and hurtful.
Now, consider the fact that as early as this summer, several news outlets have been labelling this global fiasco “the pandemic of the unvaccinated” with some public figures going so far as to suggest that any future waves must be blamed on the unvaccinated. In a November 11, 2021 opinion piece published by The Globe and Mail, the headline reads “The pandemic is, more than ever, a pandemic of the unvaccinated”. The article goes on to say, “If you want to know what’s standing between Canada and a safe and enduring reopening, they’re it. Some are hostile, but many are merely hesitant, or afraid. Some are simply busy, and unaware of the risks they’re taking (and imposing on the rest of us).”
Are many of the hospitalized COVID-19 cases unvaccinated? Apparently so, if we’re going by the reports. However, have we not already witnessed how such statements have incited hostility and discrimination against the unvaccinated especially during the recent election? Why is this label not widely considered as hurtful or incendiary as “the Chinese virus”? Selective political correctness is unproductive, and the label stigmatizes and alienates the very members of the population they are trying to win over to their cause. The people on both sides of this debate have very valid fears and concerns that need to be addressed with compassion.
When the Toronto Star’s August 26, 2021 issue featured a front page with inflammatory tweets in large text stating that unvaccinated people did not deserve hospital beds and should die, that major faux pas stirred public uproar for further driving the wedge between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated by amplifying hate speech. This alarming division between Canadians has been aggravated since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his decision to enforce mandatory vaccines for federal public servants in August, followed by the vaccine passports in September.
The difference between the “vaccine hesitant”, “anti-vax” and “anti-vax passport”
According to CTV News, the Ontario Ministry of Health confirmed that there are only two valid medical exemptions from COVID-19 vaccinations. You must either be allergic to an ingredient in the vaccines, which should be confirmed by an allergist or immunologist. The only other exemption is if you have suffered myocarditis or pericarditis after your first dose. During the recent election, the issue of mandatory vaccination was politicized resulting in the shaming of those who are “vaccine hesitant” who Trudeau has largely incorrectly labelled as “resistant” and “anti-vaxxers”. These are strong words that fuel hatred against those who are afraid of taking the vaccines for one reason or another. There is a difference between being “vaccine hesitant”, “anti-vax” and “anti-vaccine passport” and it is vital to note the difference between the three.
The hesitant are on the fence because of various valid concerns mostly surrounding the lack of long-term studies on the side effects of the mRNA technology in these vaccines, which were rolled out for the first time on a global scale for emergency use. Or, as you will read in the following interviews with vaccine injured victims, it is not surprising if many who know others injured like them are rightfully concerned. The anti-vax are those who are strongly opposed to vaccines including those traditionally made without the mRNA. And the anti-vaccine passport folks are those mostly concerned about government control infringing on personal rights and freedoms and the risks of inciting division leading to a tiered society.
Every choice has its risks. But it also depends which ones people are willing to take.
On August 20, 2021, The Toronto Sun reported that the Canadian Department of Health announced that they will cover the burial costs of any Canadian killed by federally approved vaccines, which just confirms the truth that these vaccines can and have killed some people. (https://torontosun.com/news/national/burial-costs-covered-for-canadians-killed-by-approved-vaccines) How comforting. This brings up the crucial subject of informed consent. If one of the risks of taking part in a medical trial involves the possibility of disability or death, then it is only ethical that the individuals be informed of the risks and have the right to choose for themselves whether or not they want to take those risks without fear of losing their livelihood or being shamed and discriminated against based on a personal health choice.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s clinical trials, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness study will not be completed until the estimated completion date set for July 30, 2023. (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04848584) Furthermore, the study to evaluate its safety for healthy pregnant women just started on February 16 this year and is ongoing until the estimated completion date set for October 15, 2022. (https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04754594?term=NCT04754594&draw=2&rank=1)
Also, the study for healthy children and young adults from 6 months old to 30 years old is still recruiting participants and ongoing until the estimated completion date set for July 23, 2024. (https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04816643).
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (https://www.jccf.ca/) states that “the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is intended to ensure a ‘free and democratic society’. This includes the right to choose to receive or not receive a new vaccine, the right to travel interprovincially and internationally, and the rights of citizens to criticize and voice concerns about coercive government measures.” They also emphasize that “seeking exemptions to the law implies that the underlying law is valid, and it is our position that it is not. Canadians have constitutionalized protections for conscience, religion and security of the person including bodily autonomy. Mandatory vaccine policies, and legal discrimination against the unvaccinated minority, are a blatant violation of Charter rights and freedoms.”
“Believe in science”
Another incendiary phrase often used in the recent election to shame the vaccine hesitant is the insinuation that they don’t believe in science. According to science, and common sense, the population is not made up of cookie cutter bodies on which a one-size-fits-all solution can apply. The science behind the medical tests and procedures vaccine victims have undergone to diagnose their conditions prove so. Science also shows that both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated can still pass on the virus. According to a recent Advanced Epidemiological Summary report by Public Health Ontario, as of August 7, 2021, “there have been 314 reports of myocarditis or pericarditis following receipt of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in Ontario” and that “the reporting rate of myocarditis/pericarditis was higher following the second dose of mRNA vaccine than after the first dose, particularly for those receiving the Moderna vaccine as the second dose of the series (regardless of the product received for the first dose) “. These are not the only side effects.
The missing information between the public messages and research trials
When the vaccines were first rolled out early this year, we were told that side effects, if any, would be very minor and that the vaccines were safe and we were assured that any possible serious side effects were extremely rare. The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee knew as early as October 22, 2020, before the vaccines were administered to the public, that there was a long list of possible serious and fatal adverse event outcomes including death, stroke, autoimmune disease, vaccine enhanced disease, pregnancy and birth outcomes among others as you can see on page 17 of the FDA’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety meeting presentation https://www.fda.gov/media/143557/download.
Disinformation is not sharing all sides of the story
In the midst of the public clashes between the pro-vax versus the anti-vax and the anti-vax passport camps, one major camp whose voices have been largely ignored by the mainstream media is that of vaccine victims whose cases are grossly underreported. These individuals believe in science since they decided “to do the right thing” or were socially pressured into taking the vaccine. People who are unwilling to take the shots are not selfish. Labelling them as such dismisses very valid concerns for their health and that of their loved ones. They did not anticipate that they would have an adverse or even fatal reaction until after they received their second shot.
Why is there a media blackout on vaccine injuries? Do unvaccinated lives matter? Do vaccine disabled lives matter? And do lost vaccinated lives matter? Are they merely collateral damage? Had this been the #MeToo or Black Lives Matter movement, would people respond with such apathy and accusations of “conspiracy theories” and the gaslighting of victims?
Mr. Trudeau warned “If anyone doesn’t have a legitimate medical reason for not getting fully vaccinated – or chooses not to get vaccinated – there will be consequences.” If by some slight chance he happens to read this article, I strongly urge him as a father, husband, brother and son to please see these human faces behind underreported “rare” cases which are not so rare after all. Science does not lie about these victims’ injuries. And if we’re going to hammer on the subject of numbers, the important math we should be concerned about is the current issue of division in our country.
Once upon a time, not so long ago as many are still alive to recall, the Jews were scapegoated by the Nazis as “spreaders of disease”. The German population did not become apathetic or hostile to the Jews overnight. The power of propaganda stirred fear and hatred, influencing neighbors to turn on each other, creating a tiered society that eventually led to the horrific Holocaust. Today, it is “the pandemic of the unvaccinated”. Words can divide or unite a nation. We cannot risk the dangers of segregation and the disintegration of society. As time unfolds, it will be interesting to see which side of history people will be remembered for.