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Some commenters on my last article “Would Jesus Get Vaccinated” quoted various sources that claimed that the Covid vaccines are “killing more people than they are helping,” or are ineffective and dangerous for young people, and that vaccine mandates violate an individual’s right to personal freedom. If the first claim is true, the medical establishment all over the world is committing mass murder, a crime equivalent in scope to the Holocaust, a vast conspiracy that only a few brave truthtellers are willing to expose. The Internet is rife with web sites that claim the Covid-19 vaccines are part of a Satanic conspiracy to depopulate the world. If you don’t believe me, Google “Covid vaccines Satanic conspiracy,” and you will see.

SOTN is short for State of the Nation, a nutcase outfit that sees conspiracies under every rock. They say that Bill Gates is the main guy behind the conspiracy. I wonder if they think Gates is Satan, or just his buddy.

Most readers here will dismiss such claims, and some have responded accordingly in the comment thread. One of the claims is that “the vaccine has killed twice as many people as it has helped.” That is a curious statement. How does anybody know how many infections have been prevented? If people don’t catch the virus, is it because they were not exposed, or because they were protected by the vaccine? It’s another form of the age-old question: If you are sick, and you take medicine and get well, did you recover because of the medicine, in spite of the medicine, or did the medicine have no effect at all? Nobody knows how many people have avoided catching Covid-19 because they have been vaccinated. We do know that the infection rate is lower among those who have gotten the shots, and the symptoms are less severe if they are infected.

The claims regarding danger to children from the vaccines have been debunked in great detail by a series of articles from the Mayo Clinic. But I am sure the anti-vaxxers will claim that Mayo is part of the evil conspiracy that is trying to kill us all.

Another comment cited the spike in infection rates in Israel, an early leader in vaccination rates. Many of those who received their shots more than six months ago are coming down with the virus, suggesting that boosters are needed, particularly in older people and those with other health conditions. The Delta variant seems to have exacerbated this problem, with its higher transmissibility. This is definitely a problem, but it does not suggest that vaccination is causing the infections, as some have claimed.

And finally, here are some statements by commenter John Nutt:

“It’s also debatable whenever anyone is obligated to accept a medical treatment to protect themselves or others.

The individual’s sovereignty over their own body and what medical treatments they undergo or do not undergo, outweighs the right to life. That is the prevailing view in the western world.”

I asked him, “Even if that sovereignty harms others?”

John answered:

“Well, there’s debate about that, e.g. the abortion debate – it’s argued that the mother’s “sovereignty” overrides the right to life. Or even for a born child – does the parent have an obligation to care for their child and should the state intervene and force them? So that’s an open ethical question.”

This is muddying the water. We are talking about harm to other persons. The fetus is not a person. When it becomes a person is debatable, and varies from state to state, but when it is (arbitrarily) declared a person, abortion is prohibited. The only “ethical” question is when does the fetus become a person, but that has nothing to do with the principle of laws prohibiting actions that harm other persons. Born children are persons, and there are laws against child endangerment and abuse.

Mask, social distancing and vaccine mandates include exceptions for medical and religious reasons. Medical exemptions are justified, but some unethical doctors have abused this, granting exemptions to anti-vaxxers who have no relevant health condition. Religious exemptions are an unfortunate result of the current interpretation of the Free Exercise Clause (FEC), which has enabled religious believers to ignore laws that everyone else must obey. I hope that future courts will realize that the FEC was never intended to provide special “get out of jail” privileges to religionists. The growing secularity in the country makes me optimistic that there will be a gradual move away from religious privileges.

I am not claiming that there are no risks associated with the vaccines, but there is a lot of fake news out there that magnifies the risk, even claiming that the vaccine can infect you with the virus. That is odorous BS, and has been trashed by every credible medical expert and organization.

Here is a good source for information debunking many of the myths associated with the vaccines.

Of course, the tinfoil hat folks will dismiss this official government site, because, y’know, the government is controlled by Satan, who is running this monstrous conspiracy to kill us all..

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...