International study finds COVID jab mandates do more harm than good

International study finds COVID jab mandates do more harm than good by Calvin Freiburger for Life Site News

‘There is concern that, in the fog of crisis, vaccine policy is being driven by vaccine manufacturers rather than independent scientific and regulatory review.’

Government mandates that citizens submit to COVID-19 vaccines have negatively impacted personal liberties and welfare, trust in public institutions, and confidence in vaccines more generally, according to a new study conducted by a group of researchers from prestigious medical institutions around the world.

Published in BMJ (British Medical Journal) Global Health, the paper “The unintended consequences of COVID-19 vaccine policy: why mandates, passports and restrictions may cause more harm than good” was written by scientists from Johns Hopkins University, Oxford, Harvard, the University of Washington, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the University of Toronto, and Dalhousie University in Halifax.

It posits a “comprehensive set of hypotheses for why these policies may ultimately be counterproductive and harmful” according to “four domains: (1) behavioral psychology, (2) politics and law, (3) socioeconomics, and (4) the integrity of science and public health.” Despite evidence to the contrary, the authors treat as a given that the shots “appear to have had a significant impact on decreasing COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality burdens,” but argue that policies to require individuals take them “are scientifically questionable and are likely to cause more societal harm than good.”

Even from a pro-COVID-vaccine perspective, the authors argue, mandates fail to adequately account for “significant waning effectiveness against infection (and transmission) at 12–16 weeks,” similar transmission rates among the vaccinated and unvaccinated, “the extreme risk differential across populations” with variables such as age, and the “protective role of prior infection” (natural immunity).

Among the negative consequences identified by the authors are “erosion of civil liberties” of individuals who refuse the shots, “political polarization” stemming from the bitter debate over the vaccines and associated mandates, “disunity in global health governance,” “increasing disparity and inequality” based on vaccine trust and access, “reduced health system capacity”’ due to layoffs of unvaccinated medical personnel, “exclusion [of the unvaccinated] from work and social life,” and the erosion of “key principles of public health ethics and law” (such as proportionality and right of refusal) and of “trust in regulatory oversight.”

“Governments have refused to disclose the details of contracts with manufacturers, including for additional doses or ‘next-generation’ vaccines,” the study notes. “Vaccines are typically not approved until 2 years of follow-up data are gathered, but given the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic and international harmonization of new agile regulations, the novel mRNA COVID-19 vaccines were placed into emergency use in Europe and North America in late 2020. There is concern that, in the fog of crisis, vaccine policy is being driven by vaccine manufacturers rather than independent scientific and regulatory review.”

“It is important to emphasize that these policies are not viewed as ‘incentives’ or ‘nudges’ by substantial proportions of populations especially in marginalized, underserved or low COVID-19-risk groups,” the authors conclude. “Denying individuals education, livelihoods, medical care or social life unless they get vaccinated—especially in light of the limitations with the current vaccines—is arguably in tension with constitutional and bioethical principles, especially in liberal democracies. While public support consolidated behind these policies in many countries, we should acknowledge that ethical frameworks were designed to ensure that rights and liberties are respected even during public health emergencies.”

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