Waning immunity and infections among the vaccinated will be noted by labour arbitrators.
Shouldn't all the workers who sacrificed themselves early in the pandemic and got COVID get a passport? The healthcare workers, grocery clerks, pharmacists, truckers etc. put themselves on the line everyday. Many got COVID and now have better immunity than they would get via vaccine.
Also, lets face it, we have no idea how many people have been infected since many are asymptomatic and post immunization I suspect many more have had or carry COVID but were either asymptomatic or had symptoms they attributed to a cold or flu.
Its time we stopped living in pandemic mode and shifted to endemic mode. We have the vaccine and the vulnerable have access and soon treatments will arrive that render the disease manageable.
The sooner we start rolling back on the fear mongering from our public health officials and the power we've handed over to politicians the better.
The efficacy claim is completely the wrong framing. The vaccine efficacy is with respect to the recipient in getting the disease, COVID-19. It isn't the efficacy of the viral (SARS-CoV-2) infection or secondary transmission to other people.
Even the Government's own science advisories say there is no basis for claiming that unvaccinated people are a higher risk of getting or transmitting the SARS-CoV-2 virus. They are only at higher risk of getting the disease themselves. Think of the vaccines like sunscreen; it helps you, but only you. It might even be near 100% perfect at it. But, vaccinated people still breath in the virus, it still sits in their nose, mouth, throat, lungs, mucus, and saliva, and they can carry it around and breath it out on people. The antibodies from the vaccines help keep it from getting inside the bloodstream and causing the disease -- COVID-19 -- symptoms.
For transmissibility, read the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) Advisory Committee Statement: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines.html
"There is currently limited evidence on the duration of protection and on the efficacy of these vaccines in reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, although studies are ongoing.” In the section “Efficacy and effectiveness against asymptomatic infection and transmission”. It notes the data is preliminary and “current data is insufficient to draw conclusions”.
Risk of transmission is a product of both transmissibility and risk of exposure, and now by far it is vaccinated people who are at risk of exposure. From Health Canada: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/health-professionals/main-modes-transmission.html
"the virus is most frequently transmitted when people are in close contact with others who are infected with the virus (either with or without symptoms). We also know that most transmission occurs indoors. Reports of outbreaks in settings with poor ventilation suggest that infectious aerosols were suspended in the air and that people inhaled the virus at distances beyond 2 metres. Such settings have included choir practice, fitness classes, and restaurants, as well as other settings.”
Or read the latest summary in the Lancet: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10654-021-00808-7.pdf
Yes, hopefully viral loading is lower, but that is only one small component of transmission risk. As the paper even notes, the fact that vaccines protect you against symptoms means that vaccinated people are more likely to be carrying it around, even at lower viral load, and spreading it without knowing they are even infected. Unvaccinated people are more likely to get symptoms and isolate.
If you actually calculate the risk of transmission, a vaccinated person is a higher risk because of the exposure factor alone. Even if vaccines reduce infection and viral loading by 50%, just a doubling of risk of exposure of vaccinated people in restaurants, gyms, and airplanes nullifies that savings.
To quote a microbiologist I was discussing this with, we can all be a "Typhoid Mary" and not know it. We just don't know enough yet about which factors matter most and how to control the spread. Vaccination status of other people around you is not a risk factor at this point.
Politicians and the press need to listen to us scientists and read the science, and do the risk calculations.
Thank you for writing a well balanced analysis about these coercive mandates. Because I am in the older demographic, and due to my job, I am fully vaccinated. I, however, understand the hesitancy by some, especially those younger and in good health. Just watching the results of the VAERS database is unnerving. Not to mention hearing about the serious breakdown in protocol at a Pfizer Covid research center. (https://www.bmj.com/content/375/bmj.n2635?utm_source=ground.news&utm_medium=referral)
I was always in favour of the targeted approach put forward by The Great Barrington Declaration. Considering the waning efficacy of the vaccines and the fact that you can still catch and transmit covid, targeting the demographic more likely to be hospitalized just makes all the more sense. It's really not too late. Leave the young and healthy alone. Let it be their choice to vaccinate.
Even the WHO is calling on Western countries to tone it down. There are many developing countries that still need to vaccinate their most vulnerable. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uGCK8Z27xd0&list=PLuGGLs2Z6d2OimyNg5gIFg6pm2RL_QvJF&index=3
Bravo! So good (and unusual) to someone in even quasi-mainstream media actually address these issues with knowledge, intelligence, and moral decency. These days, far too many pundits are conspicuously lacking in all three.
Wow - they’re really straining with this rationale: “ Infected vaccinated people have also been shown to have the same peak viral loads as infected unvaccinated people, meaning that there is little difference in transmission rates between the two groups, conditional on being infected.”
“Conditional on being infected” of course glosses over the 85-95% effectiveness of full vaccination at preventing infection in the first place. That alone indicates that a policy of full vaccination would significantly reduce spread within the workplace and to customers. It’s hard to believe that the authors would try to dismiss that in good faith.
As long as there's some reduction of risk to the employee, and to other employees, from workplace exposure, I don't see why lack of perfect efficacy can constrain the requirement to have PPE. Seat belts don't provide perfect protection against accident, neither do helmets not steel-toed boots, but you can mandate them for a job site or driving job, to lower risk to the corporation.
I don't see why the court would say the co-workers have to accept added risk imposed by their job because their employer is unable to keep them safe from aerosol assault in the workplace.
No mention of liability? If an employer mandates a vaccine, are they liable for any adverse effects?
this analysis neglects the reality of the unvaccinated providing environments in which variants can mutate. This represents both a public health risk, as well as an acute risk to coworkers.
With omicron doing the rounds, it would be interesting to see the authors reconsider the broader context of infection. Otherwise, the “waning immunity” is clearly a strawman argument.
The article appears well researched academically. It does fail to discuss the position of health care public and private sector unions who will make a determination whether to proceed with these grievances after assessing their responsibilities under the duty of fair representation provisions found in the various provincial Labour Codes. There is a good chance many will decide not to proceed with grievances after weighing the various factors. This is in fact an absolute bar to grievances proceeding.