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Vaccine passports would unleash hell

The SARS-CoV-2 virus has killed millions worldwide and upended our lives. We all desperately want to return to normality. The current drumbeat is that vaccine passports are the ticket to getting our lives back. But what if implementing such a system will do the opposite: make a return to normality impossible ever again?

First, some background:

1. All vaccines carry risk. In 1986 Congress gave manufacturers immunity from liability, because there were so many injury lawsuits that the companies threatened to stop making vaccines altogether. As with any medical intervention, vaccines require a person to make a risk/benefit judgment.

2. The SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are currently issued under an Emergency Use Authorization, which also exempts manufacturers from liability. They cannot be sued. While vaccines typically take five to 10 years to develop, these have been raced to market in nine months. In addition, the mRNA vaccines are a new technology never before used in a vaccine. Since long-term injuries such as autoimmune disease can take years to appear, it is impossible to know their true risk so soon. (Compare: the heartburn drug Zantac, deemed safe for decades, this year was taken off the market as carcinogenic, and lawsuits are proliferating.)

3. In 1976 more than 40 million people received an emergency swine flu vaccine. It was pulled after 25 deaths were reported. For the SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, in just four months, more than 3,800 deaths and 10,000 hospitalizations have been reported. Since a Harvard study concluded that less than 1% of adverse events are captured by VAERS (a passive reporting system), the actual numbers could be much higher.

4. Healthy people pose no threat to others. A study of 10 million people in Wuhan showed virtually no asymptomatic transmission. Other studies have confirmed this.

Here’s an idea that would harm no one: American culture pressures people to work even when ill. Let’s make working sick as socially unacceptable as drunken driving.

5. SARS-CoV-2 has overall a better than 98% recovery rate. It is dangerous to the elderly and people with co-morbidities, for whom the risk/benefit calculation may lean in favor of the vaccine.

Yet some insist it is a duty to risk harming one’s own health for others. This is a new idea that has appeared in recent years, and it is deeply immoral. If a person chooses to risk their life for others, that is a noble thing. But it can never be a duty. We should firmly reject such a notion.

Vaccine passports are also immoral. They violate the Nuremberg code, a cornerstone of medicine: “The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential.” Coercion and discrimination upend the foundation of all medical ethics.

A one-size-fits-all approach is totally inappropriate in medicine. Where there is risk, there must be choice. Requiring vaccination in order to function in society is wrong, and using businesses as a proxy for government is equally as immoral as the state doing it.

Vaccine passports will enable us to get our lives back, they say. No, they won’t. It will be just the beginning of multiple mandated vaccines, beginning with a booster in six months. Soon all vaccines for adults will be added for the same reason: public health. Are you ready for 20 CDC recommended vaccines in order to appear in public?

Digital “passports” have already been developed, to which all your data could be added. A social credit system like China’s could easily be implemented, denying travel, shopping, concerts, or even access to your bank account if you don’t stay “topped up.”

Think it couldn’t happen here? A government or corporation that would require universal vaccination regardless of health status, depriving healthy people of their liberties until they submit, would do that and much more.

Florida has one of the better outcomes nationwide, despite a high elderly population, low restrictions, and a ban on vaccine passports. Why not follow their example?

This past year in Oregon we have learned that once lost, it is almost impossible to get our freedoms back. While other states are lifting restrictions, Oregon made the mask mandates permanent. Vaccine passports would give the government (or by proxy corporations) complete control over our bodies. Forever.

To recoil from such a thing is not selfish. It is American. It is human.

Not just no: hell, no. Because if implemented, vaccine passports will unleash a kind of hell upon us all.

Lynn Barton is a 30-year Rogue Valley resident, small farmer, educator, and board member of Children’s Health Defense, Oregon. Email her at lynn.barton@childrenshealthdefense.org.