ATHENS — Should health-care professionals be required to get vaccinated against Covid?
Hospitals have - for decades - required their staff to get vaccinated against dangerous, epidemic-inducing infections such as measles, flu, and hepatitis.
So, then, the question is not whether they should be required to get vaccinated, but whether health-care professionals should be required to get vaccinated against Covid specifically.
The Covid pandemic has caused international, national, and local havoc. It is in the public interest that the continuing risk of this virus be mitigated and avoided.
I believe that everyone should have an individual choice to receive the vaccine or not. I would not support a mandate for all people to get vaccinated, especially because - anecdotally - those with compromised immune systems are more likely to suffer from it.
However, I do support a vaccine/mask mandate in places of health services.
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When you are vaccinated, it is a statistical fact that you are less likely to contract the virus:
• Of the people who reported to have contracted the least contagious of the Covid strains (pre-Delta), 93% were unvaccinated and 7% were vaccinated.
• Of the people reported to have contracted the most contagious of the strains thus far (Omicron), 76% were unvaccinated and 24% were vaccinated.
To further contextualize it: all viruses eventually mutate. But the surviving strain is the strain that is often less deadly and more contagious because a live spreader is more effective at spreading than a dead spreader. Getting vaccinated would increase the chances that surviving strains will be less deadly.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 13% of Covid deaths in December 2021 were those who were fully vaccinated and boosted. This is compared to 65% of the deaths, of people who were unvaccinated.
And though there are reports of deaths resulting from vaccination, this is only 0.0027% of those who get vaccinated. This is a 2.7-in-100,000 chance. You have a 1-in-101 chance of dying from a car accident.
(Yes, you will most likely feel sick after getting vaccinated. No, you cannot get Covid from the vaccine. Ask your local doctor/immunization specialist.)
So, in conclusion, you're more likely to die from getting Covid if you're unvaccinated than you are to die from Covid if you are vaccinated and boosted or from the vaccine itself.
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Further evidence: In 2020, only 2,000 people, more or less, tested positive for the flu in clinical and public labs - the CDC attributes that fact to mask wearing and people staying at home if they were sick. That's compared to 295,000 in 2019 and 164,000 in 2021.
One hypothesis: The number of people who contracted the flu remained lower in 2021 than in pre-pandemic years because of increased flu vaccination and is expected to drop even more this year because of higher vaccination rates.
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Concluding arguments: The data shows pandemic/endemic/infection vaccines are effective in preventing illness contraction and death.
And since a location focused on health services will logically have a higher concentration of contagious diseases, it is my ethical argument that they should require higher infection-prevention scrutiny.