Opinion: Mooar to Say

As someone who has mixed feelings about the Pharmaceutical industry, and has spent the last 20 years banging on about alterative viewpoints, it’s pretty strange to find myself helping to promote a government run vaccine program. 

It took a while for me to get my head around the issues but I can’t see any other option right now other than mass vaccination. I wouldn’t exactly say I’m in love with the idea but it seems to be the best option we have at this point, especially when we consider the impact an outbreak would have on our health system. 

Maybe the government could have done things differently – they should have started expanding the country’s ICU capacity a lot sooner for instance – but those options aren’t open to us anymore. The virus clearly can’t be contained and vaccines are the only game in town.  Resisting what the government is trying to do because we think they made the wrong decision will hurt vulnerable members of the community far more than it will hurt the leaders we’re angry with. 

I’m someone who likes to understand the details and doesn’t like the simplified and often paternalistic approach to vaccine messaging coming from the government. The difficulty of discovering hard-to-come-by nuggets of information when the government and media are working in unison, as they are with the pro-vaccine message, can give the impression information is being kept from us.

For instance, when I discovered that the percentage of people dying from Covid with zero co-morbidities was very small I thought to myself:  “Aha! Covid isn’t as dangerous as they say it is!” Once that moment had died down though I realised it also meant people with co-morbidities were actually in more danger – and I knew lots of people in that situation. 

Should the government give us more detail about this sort of thing or are they right that people will just get confused? I don’t really know.

I have to admit I’m not comfortable with the vaccine passports either – I’d prefer it if they were immunity passports for one thing – but I can see why they’re rolling the system out in a massive rush. If the aim is to get past 90% vaccination rates before the virus gets out of control it’s a pretty effective mechanism for getting the job done.

There are obvious civil liberty issues with the passport but trying to fight it right now is probably futile given how frightened the government is of Covid and how much public support they have for the concept. There might come a time when we have to take our civil liberties back but it will have to wait for a day when most of the country is no longer living in fear.

Not everyone is comfortable with those of us who are asking questions so I’d like to thank Dr Robin Youngson who lives locally for being prepared to answer those questions.

If you want to hear an in-depth discussion about Covid and the safety of the vaccines, you can check out our podcasts with him; otherwise tune in at 8:30am for our daily Raglan Covid reports – on 98.1FM and www.raglanradio.com.