We can’t make vaccinations mandatory so rule that out now

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Let’s be blunt, these are frightening times.

Human beings need certainty of tomorrow and they need hope, the pandemic has overturned the rhythms of our life and upended our sense of normal.

Into this space creeps fear, add to this fear social media platforms that are algorithmically curated to feed you anger coupled with a low background scientific literacy and you have the perfect cultural media landscape for disinformation, misinformation and a cocktail of terror inspired rage.

I don’t blame people for being ‘vaccine hesitant’ because this is all scary stuff, but sadly into that fear we get delivered insane levels of stupidity!

“Wearing a face mask is fascism” is the exact same as “fastening a seatbelt is genocide” in that the person saying this doesn’t have a functioning knowledge of the words ‘fascism’, ‘genocide’ or ‘fuckwit’.

The ongoing attempt by the Incel alt-right and loony new age crystal brigade to paint the wearing of face masks as some type of Nazi Police State overreach is as delusional as claims of microchips in the vaccine but we can’t allow our anger at their fear inspired stupidity to lead us down the dark paths of enforced vaccination.

Yes employers have the right to make vaccinations as part of a reason to hire someone, no employers can’t sack an existing employee for not being vaccinated, yes we should incentivize getting vaccinated, yes we need better community messaging no no no no no we can’t force mandatory vaccinations.

I know we want to, our fear of this damned plague bursting out and disrupting our lives again, getting us sick even after vaccination alongside our anger at the denial of science by these anti-vaxxers will propel us towards arguments and desires to enforce the vaccination on everyone but this is a direction all people of conscience, regardless of political perspective must avoid.

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The individual has intrinsic rights, we can’t force the individual to take a medicine they don’t consent to, we simply can’t!

The type of State that would force an injection on an individual against their consent is no State to defend or support.

Don’t misunderstand me. I am pro pro pro the vaccination, I am angry that my booking to get it is still 20 bloody days away, I urge everyone to trust the science and get vaccinated as soon as humanly possible and for any friends or whanau who are hesitant reach out to them, but I can not and will never support forced vaccinations.

NZ is a place that believes in looking after one another. The compliance with lockdown rules, our collective agreement to be good neighbors and citizens by not making each other sick, our willingness to curtail our own liberty for the collective good – this is who we proudly are and we should see criticism of that to be a projection of the critics own hollow values rather than an indictment of our own.

When history reviews this time, China will declare their brutal authoritarian approach to Covid was the success, but here in NZ we can hold our heads up high that we were able to defeat it not by crushing civil rights, falsehoods and violent police action, but via kindness, empathy and a belief that a well informed citizenship will act in good faith for the collective good.

A liberal progressive democracy can triumph at the height of a pandemic while maintaining our cherished civil liberties.

 

 

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76 COMMENTS

    • Yeah just like years ago us free spirits roaming the world had to carry evidence of cholera or typhus shots, the only natural right being the right of the virus to kill us.
      Coming out of a war where pain and privation was real, state authority respected, we lived through the age when pandemics were being wiped out one by one, the evidence of science in our survival.
      This was democracy before neoliberalism and postmodernism turned us into self righteous egomaniacs.
      Human rights are not handed down by states but are fought for and won on the battlefields of life by the great herd of humanity.
      This pandemic will teach us both the science and democracy that serves the common people not that of the oligarchs and their mercenaries.

    • Wouldn’t it be fun if the vaccine also included a little LSD? Or a spot of cocaine? It’d soon be illegal to GET vaccinated. Then you’d have people cuing up to get it.
      The stupid fucking Chinese were spooked into a panic by the riche fringie greedy lunatic, power freak yanks and brits into trying to build a mass destruction virus and fucked it up. That’s what I think happened anyway.
      And now? We think they care enough to hope we all get vaccinated..? They couldn’t care a single little fuck what happened to us. We can barely care about each other much less expect a gargantuan bowel like ‘merica, renown for shitting where it eats to give a fuck about us.
      Heard about sequential poisons?
      What about a sequential viral interaction? Is it a thing?
      https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.6b06163
      “The dose makes the poison”. This principle assumes that once a chemical is cleared out of the organism (toxicokinetic recovery), it no longer has any effect. However, it overlooks the other process of re-establishing homeostasis, toxicodynamic recovery, which can be fast or slow depending on the chemical. Therefore, when organisms are exposed to two toxicants in sequence, the toxicity can differ if their order is reversed. We test this hypothesis with the freshwater crustacean Gammarus pulex and four toxicants that act on different targets (diazinon, propiconazole, 4,6-dinitro-o-cresol, 4-nitrobenzyl chloride). We found clearly different toxicity when the exposure order of two toxicants was reversed, while maintaining the same dose. Slow toxicodynamic recovery caused carry-over toxicity in subsequent exposures, thereby resulting in a sequence effect–but only when toxicodynamic recovery was slow relative to the interval between exposures. This suggests that carry-over toxicity is a useful proxy for organism fitness and that risk assessment methods should be revised as they currently could underestimate risk. We provide the first evidence that carry-over toxicity occurs among chemicals acting on different targets and when exposure is several days apart. It is therefore not only the dose that makes the poison but also the exposure sequence.”
      So? Was c-19 intended as the first part of a sequential viral exposure which has a kill rate similar to Delta which is significantly more transmissable… What if the viral evolution of these two variants where to combine to increase mortality rates by a significant warp factor Jim?
      Keep.The.Fucking.Borders.Closed!

  1. Speaking of vaccinations, isn’t it a pity that our health department and our ministers never strategised a vaccine roll out, let alone one that made sense? I mean it’s been 18 months.

    Front line workers like supermarket staff, rest home staff, police, bus drivers, train staff, taxi drivers, truck drivers, wharfies, in other words, all those essential workers the government has a definition for and the people expected to front the public or high risk areas during lockdowns were never in the reckoning. All are now exposed or were exposed as are their families.

    Yes they can get the virus but the risk of serious complications are reduced significantly. They should not be expected to front and get maimed or die for some politicians lack of care.

    Where has our Director General of Health been? Maybe he recommended it happen and was ignored? The buck stops with the Covid Response Minister however.

    When Chris Hipkins goes to work each day, what happens? Does he go to eat his lunch? Does he stare out the windows blankly? Because thinking ahead has clearly never occurred to him.

    • I agree. I found it fascinating that on the day we went to Level 4 they cancelled all the booked in vaccinations (with no replacement date offered) but at the same time you could’ve gone to the New World and bought beer and ciggies.
      Maybe Foodstuffs should have been given a contract to provide the shots. They obviously managed to deal with Delta better than the government health provider. Maybe because they had given it some forethought.

  2. “I urge everyone to trust the science and …”

    Sound counsel Martyn but I wonder why some people won’t heed that advice. And, yes, they have a democratic right not to. Its not like refusing to wear a seat belt. Yet. I’ve no doubt missed a few for but here’s 8 reasons why not, a nice round number. Anxi-vaxers, feel free to add to these and/or elaborate.

    1. Libertarian views: simply, we have the democratic right not to.
    2. Simply don’t like authority in any shape or form.
    3. Don’t trust the science (which after all was rushed, dependent on new technologies and in most cases
    in the hands of big pharma).
    4. Don’t believe medical experts (in particular epidemiologists) who claim vaccination is the way to better
    public health outcomes.
    5. Point to alternative treatments.
    6. Argue that the vaccines are not entirely efficient, so what’s the point.
    7. Claims of microchips in the vaccine.
    8. God is against it.

  3. I am lucky, as an essential worker, to have been vaccinated at a mass event here in New Plymouth on Friday. I booked in on wednesday and had i made a normal booking on that day my vaccination would not be till oct 25-30, if there is any vaccine available. The shortage of vaccine, despite our supposed order of 10 million doses, will be a huge problem for the government over the next 4 months. Even though i had made a booking, had been registered on arrival and had my details double checked by the vaccinator I was still specifically asked Do you consent to being vaccinated before given the jab. I think, as usual, the people on the ground are doing a better, more professional job than the people in charge.

  4. According to research done in New Zealand, there is about 10% of the population, that will outright refuse vaccination, with another 10 to 20% that are vaccine hesitant to varying degrees. It is important to provide reliable information to help the vaccine hesitant people make better decisions, but you definitely can’t force people to get vaccinated.

    Those in the definitely NO category, will acquire their antibodies the natural way should COVID become endemic in NZ and some may die. Expect the deaths of any vocal anti-vaxxers due to COVID-19 to be widely reported & turned in to “humorous” memes as a warning to others. A bit sad to be laughing at someone else’s death, but they couldn’t say they weren’t warned about the possible consequences.

    • It’s not black n white for me – there’s a spectrum of just don’t have enough peer reviewed info to make an informed decision Vs my personal risk appetite to imminent death. I dislike the growing pro Vax propaganda as much as I do the anti Vax propaganda. We makes our choices n live or die by the consequences. I am pro choice

      • So stop wearing seatbelts, after all you could be trapped in a burning vehicle by your seat belt and die.

        Based on modelling in New Zealand, we can’t achieve “herd immunity” through vaccination, as we are unlikely to achieve the very high levels of uptake to protect those unable (not unwilling) to be vaccinated, especially given the high Ro value for the delta variant.

        This means when (that’s no longer if) COVID becomes endemic in NZ, those who are unvaccinated will suffer significantly higher levels of hospitalisation & death.

        Sure make your own decision based on information from reliable sources, but make sure you choose wisely. The life you save, is probably your own.

          • Personally I always enjoy riding my motorcycle the wrong way up the motorway at 200km/h with my AR in one hand whilst giving the bird with the other hand. Screw rules. Screw authority. Screw helmet laws! I’m gonna ride wearing a bikini!

        • Personally I’d rather risk the virus than the vaccine even half way through my 70s. The risks are not all one way.
          D J S

          • From hopkinsmedicine.org/health”

            Freedom of choice David, but I’ll take the expert advice thank you.

            “Serious disease and death due to COVID-19 or the flu can be prevented by vaccines. In addition, mask-wearing, frequent and thorough hand washing, coughing into the crook of your elbow, staying home when sick and limiting contact with people who are infected are effective safety precautions. Physical distancing limits the spread of COVID-19 in communities.”

          • Really? You’d gamble on a significant, potentially life threatening risk, rather than take the vaccine at a minimal risk? Maybe you could ride pillion with the guy above.

            Given you’re in a high risk group already, you may have the opportunity to test your gamble in the next year or so. Hopefully you don’t end up David stone dead.

              • That is true, but to die a pointless, miserable & avoidable death is kind of sad. Surely your life has meaning to others who would mourn your loss?

                I have friends & family in their 70s & 80s, who live full & active lives, and it would be sad to lose them when they still have much to offer.

              • Kia ora David
                I suspect that if anyone of your age can come through a bout of Covid and return to good health, then you will. Others might not expect to fare so well, so their choices may be different.

                • One never knows how they will fare against a particular foe until the battle is done. However no one wants their dying thought to be “I could have won if only I’d used my +2 magical sword”. When your life is on the line, you should take any advantage you can get.

          • What you and other anti vaxxers is that due to your selfishness if you catch the virus you will be taken to a hospital and tie up an ICU bed and nurses time that could be used on a person who is sick due to an unavoidable medical issue .Think of others not just yourself

  5. We’ve had military conscription a few times, it was needed because we didn’t have enough volunteers to complete the job at hand. In WW2 we realised we had not learn to live with expanding German fascism and Japanese Imperialism but could only survive by smashing it. (many of those servicemen also had compulsory inoculations for overseas environments!) Sure there was pushback -but it ultimately served the greater good, in WW2 those whom refused were redirected to other work or imprisoned, or obliged to work intensively on the home front. Everyone played a role against the national threat- we need learn and remember to make that collective sacrifice again to protect ourselves, our families, our communities and our country.

  6. It’s not black n white for me – there’s a spectrum of just don’t have enough peer reviewed info to make an informed decision Vs my personal risk appetite to imminent death. I dislike the growing pro Vax propaganda as much as I do the anti Vax propaganda. We makes our choices n live or die by the consequences. I am pro choice

  7. Another vaccine isn’t gunna hurt
    Vaccines we’ve had in NZ over the last 100 years that 99% of the population have had.
    measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR)
    rotavirus vaccine
    chickenpox vaccine.
    diphtheria vaccine
    hepatitis B vaccine
    human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
    Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine
    meningococcal vaccine
    pneumococcal vaccine
    polio vaccine
    flu vaccines
    hepatitis A vaccine

  8. So we are all happy with the current evidence regarding masks that are surgical, cloth or with a vent? They are less than 20% effective based off the last scientific test done (Irish Uni I believe). Would you take a vaccine with a 20% efficacy?

    P.S. all in favour of vaccines as the majority of science stacks up regarding these. Masks outside of the N95 and KN95 offer next to no protection however.

    Don’t make the vaccines mandatory however don’t allow state dependents to get their full entitlements prior to being vaxed. You’ll find then the vax rates skyrocket when you hot people where it hurts. The Blairite won’t do this through because the same woke that are propagating scare porn will believe this is racist and demeaning.

    • If you’re prepared to cut funds to the poor, be prepared for the consequences. You’re in your 70s so I can understand your fear of a quick covid death. It’s ok to be afraid. It’s what you do with your fear that matters. Cutting funding to the poor to increase immunisation is unethical and outright abusive. Handle your own fear of death first, then contribute to equitable debate n solutions that lift us all. Spoiler: we all die at the end. It’s how we live that matters mate 🙂

      • (edit: apologise as I got FTT mixed up with DJS, but inherent opinion stands in general to anyone advocating to cut benefits until immunised – that would be abhorrent to say the least)

        • anyone advocating to cut benefits until immunised – that would be abhorrent

          Yes, it would be inhumane, and purpose-defeating.

      • Lol in my 40s!!!! All I’m saying is the stick approach does work and will work on this occasion.

  9. I’m with you on these points Martyn but when you say “the pandemic has overturned the rhythms of our life and upended our sense of normal” I would suggest that it’s the lockdowns that have done the upending and not the virus.

    I’m saddened by the fragility of the average kiwi: That they would gladly hand over their human rights for temporary relief from what is essentially a bad ‘flu season. The cosseted nature of the kiwi lifestyle has left many ill equipped to deal with the real world.

    Once handed over, do they really think they’d ever get those rights back again?

    (To give this context: Typically we lose about 500 people every year from ‘flu and the experts say that Covid 19 could finish off about a thousand)

    • The flu deaths would multiply massively if they were assessed the same way as covid deaths are being assessed. In the US if you test positive PCR and are shot i through the head or go under a bus on tour motorbike you died of covid. Likewise if you die of the vaccine but caught it anyway you died of covid.
      D J S

      • Just to add, important the last sentence on a layperson.

        “Anecdotal evidence in a comments section can feel compelling. If you see someone say: “My grandad had the COVID-19 vaccine and two days later he died from a stroke,” it’s tempting to make the vaccine the cause for stroke and conclude that the vaccine is bad. But Grandad was 89 and strokes are quite common in that age group.

        Epidemiologists can compare the number of people having strokes in his age group who weren’t vaccinated with those who were, and can see if there are any increases in stroke incidence over the whole population.

        At an anecdotal level, you can’t tell much at all. But when a layperson is reading something, an anecdote is much more relatable and has more impact than data and numbers.”

      • Around 70 children die from respiratory diseases every year in NZ. Influenza causes between 300 (good year) and 600 (1997) deaths each year.

    • Jesus David I actually enjoyed your intellectual posts but how do you believe such crap? Was it Tucker Carlson or Qanon.
      Covid is nothing like the flu. You can shake the flu in 10 days. Covid patients have stated they struggle to breath months after recovery. Flu deaths may well be the same without yearly vaccination but they’re not are they.
      Luckily medical experts are in charge of common sense…

      “Dr Richard Webby an infectious disease researcher at St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee, says there’s no doubt that right now the Covid-19 coronavirus is much deadlier and makes more people sick than the flu”

      How many have died from the vaccine compared to how many lives the vaccine has saved?

    • “(To give this context: Typically we lose about 500 people every year from ‘flu and the experts say that Covid 19 could finish off about a thousand)’

      Experts actually state over 1430 covid deaths so as you can see that’s a marked difference of over 900. Not sure where your facts come from. It actually saddens me the fragility of a few kiwis purport lockdowns have killed millions around the world and not the virus.

      • It’s dangerous because the flu and corona or what ever J med the species barrier meaning humans have no natural environment immunity accept for vaccines. In other words 1+1=2.

  10. There are other ways to ensure compliance, Martyn, apart from strapping the vaccine refuseniks to a table and jabbing them.

    The most obvious of these is the “Vaccine Passport”. Without one these babies, entry to shops, offices, cinemas, pubs, sporting fixtures – you name it – will be refused.

    It will be a quick and effective lesson for these anti-social dunderheads on just how crazy it is to believe that you don’t need other people and are, therefore, justified in not helping other people.

    You don’t believe in fulfilling your social obligations? Fine. Try living outside society.

    • People with the virus spread the virus, regardless of vaccination status.

      Vaccinated people are afforded some protection against the worst effects of the virus, unvaccinated people merely hope for the best, but should probably expect the worse.

      • Dr Kobi Haviv, medical director of Herzog Hospital in Jerusalem, stated that the majority of coronavirus patients in an Israeli hospital are fully vaccinated, including those with severe disease.

        Dr Haviv further specified that: “95% of the severe patients are vaccinated,” adding “85-90% of the hospitalizations are in fully vaccinated people”
        – Spectator

    • Listen to Trotter! Besides, If 100% are vaxxed, who gives a fuck if you spread the virus. I don’t. I probably spread common flu, small pox, rubella…you name it. But 99% of the population are vaxxed, so who cares????? Just get vaxxed or be the 1%. Good luck.

    • Chris Trotter, take your conversion therapy and stick it where the sun don’t shine. Resist fascism.

  11. Interestingly the Water Services Bill is making treatment of water compulsory with no provisions to opt out and a draconian regime of fines for non compliance.
    The failure of local government officials in Havelock north to secure a bore head is being used as an excuse to impose unrealistic and costly compliance on small local schemes.

  12. What Crisis!
    When is the NZ Government going to admit to the public that they have not enough vaccine on hand. Less than 600,000 single doses and the rest, millions of doses on order on a back catalogue!
    Who is going to miss out?
    Just 1 million have had the full dose of 2 jabs.
    It’s days away from September and we’re in the grips of the Delta version of covid. I don’t think this gets better when they decide to ‘wing-it’ and declare that they’ve ‘stamped it out’ and won this round…then it comes back at Christmas time and kicks you in the arse!
    What then?

  13. Given the freedom and antivax lobby in the USA it is seemingly against the odds that they have acheived high vaccination rates. 92% of over 65 year olds. May be their carrot policy of a vaccination granting you a ticket in special state vaccination lottery where the vaccinated can win million$ has been a winning idea! Try it here.

  14. “….I can not and will never support forced vaccinations.” Martyn Bradbury

    Never say never Martyn,

    It depends on how high the stakes are.

    What If our whole public, (and private) health system was brought to the brink of collapse, overwhelmed by covid patients. With every ICU unit unable to take in any more patients, including those from car accidents and heart attacks.
    Martyn, what if it was your child with a life threatening injury from an accident or illness, who couldn’t get into hospital because the hosptial was overwhelmed, with covid patients filling every ward, with some even outside waiting and dieing on stretchers waiting to get in, or lying in backed up ambulances in the hospital carpark.

    New Zealand History records that mandatory conscription of all eligible males was brought in during World War II due to public demand.

    Conscription was introduced in June 1940….

    ….Difficulties in filling the Second and Third Echelons for overseas service in 1939–1940, the Allied disasters of May 1940 and public demand led to its introduction.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_New_Zealand_during_World_War_II

    Even during  peace time Compulsory Military Training (CMT), a form of conscription, was practised for males in New Zealand between 1909 and 1972.

    During World War I and II, tens of thousands of New Zealanders were conscripted to fight, whether they wanted to or not. It was compulsory, you had no say in it. If you refused you were arrested and jailed.

    Every ANZAC Day we celebrate these tens of thousands of conscript soldiers as heroes.
    (Some New Zealand ‘conchies’ who refused conscription, died in prison. We don’t celebrate them as heroes).

    We have an insidious enemy on our shores right now, are we so soft and self centred that we won’t use everything within our means to defeat it. Even when, not doing so, might cost us thousands of innocent lives and the ruination of our health system.

    Would you be prepared to pay that price Martyn?

    Martyn, it is only a little prick in your arm, it is not like people are being ordered to carry a rifle and be bombed and shot at.
    I can give you a guarantee, Martyn, that if the Americans drag this country, into a World War with China, the government won’t hesitate one minute to bring mandatory conscription in, to fight in it.

    The simple fact is this:  Experts have told us that only a vaccination rate of over 95% of the eligible population will infer herd immunity against the Delta varient of Covid-19. All projections are that voluntary uptake would be lucky to achieve 80%.

    To be blunt; we either bring in mandatory vaccination, or abandon our policy of elimination.

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