Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Virginia Department of Health
State Board of Health
Regulations for the Immunization of School Children [12 VAC 5 ‑ 110]
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10/17/21  10:48 pm
Commenter: Susannah

Mandates Curtain Freedom with Little Public Health Benefit

I strongly oppose the mandating of vaccines to avoid "disruptions" in education for the following reasons:

1. Similar disruptions because of sickness have occurred many times in the past without any panicked or overwrought calls for mandates. One example:

2. Many students and employees already have superior immunity having contracted the virus itself. Studies indicate that those with natural immunity may be 27 times less likely to contract the virus than the vaccinated.

3. The petition cites the desire to do away with masks as a reason for the mandate, but vaccinated individuals still experience breakthrough infections and are able to transmit the virus. Studies have shown a drop in vaccine effectiveness with the arrival of new viral variants, and others show that immunity wanes over time. If you open the possibility of mandating one, two, even three vaccinations/boosters now, what will be the upper limit of what the state can force upon people?

4. Given the waning of effectiveness and given that vaccinated individuals can also get ill and spread the virus, oppressive restrictions, coercion, and curtailment of the freedoms of the "unvaccinated" (many of whom have superior natural immunity, as stated before) is discriminatory. There is no special public virtue in being vaccinated. The vaccine protects the vaccinated *individual* by lessening the chances of hospitalization or death. Thus there is no reason why the vaccine should not be an *individual* choice. Instead, it is being unjustly (and some might argue cynically, in some cases) used to create a huge swath of second-class citizens and to justify unprecedented expansions of state power. People who suffer deep and irrational anxieties often feel psychological relief having a group to blame, and are easily manipulated by fearmongers, but the simple truth is that only the virus is to blame for its effects.

5. The petition would grant "medical exemptions." However, with entirely new vaccine technologies, people who have not suffered complications from previous vaccines may suffer them after receiving an mRNA vaccine. (In fact, younger people may have a higher risk of complication. Some individuals may not even know they need a "medical exemption," or have medical proof for a need, yet it is certain a small percentage will suffer harm from rare but dangerous vaccine side effects. Thus, a mandate will inflict harm on a certain unknown subset of Virginia citizens who are currently working and learning in Virginia public schools. The commonwealth will thus be in the morally reprehensible position of having forced harm and possibly even death on certain of its citizens. If a person chooses freely to participate in new medical technology, the government has no moral responsibility if that person suffers harm.  

6. Petitioner cites her daughter's "risk," but looking at the statistics those fears are greatly overblown. Children are highly unlikely to suffer any complications from the virus.  Children are at *far* greater risk from drowning in their backyard pool or driving to school in a car than they are from dying of Covid-19. Children have always had to miss school when ill with a cold, or strep throat, or the flu; that is nothing new. The petition lacks any sense of proportion and seeks to control others due to irrational fears.

There is much more to say, but I hope the evidence presented here makes the case sufficiently. Mandates are an unprecedented use of government power for no public benefit.

CommentID: 116179