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Do Vaccines Prevent COVID Cases?

Do Vaccines Prevent COVID Cases?
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A new study suggests they don’t—yet we’re pressing forward with vaccine mandates anyway.

Vaccination is an emotional and controversial issue, but we must look at the facts and keep things in perspective. A recent study looked at the relationship between the percentage of the population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases across 68 countries, including the US. The authors found “no discernable relationship between percentage of population fully vaccinated and new COVID-19 cases.” There was one “marginally positive” association: countries with higher percentages of fully vaccinated individuals had a higher number of COVID-19 cases.

While recognizing this is one study among many, and there are other studies with conflicting results, it demonstrates the uncertainty that has marked this pandemic and the need to continue updating our understanding of the virus. Studies like this, along with other data we’ll review below, suggest that a more nuanced approach is called for, rather than the blunt instrument of vaccine mandates that removes individual choice.

Yet the floodgates are opening on COVID vaccine mandates. President Biden recently signed an Executive Order requiring all federal executive branch employees to be vaccinated, in addition to contractor employees that do business with the government. Other mandates for healthcare workers and private employers with more than 100 employees were issued as part of the President’s COVID-19 Action Plan. Separately, the Department of Health and Human Services will require vaccinations for employees in the Head Start program, affecting about 300,000 workers. You can read our analysis and background on these mandates here.

Additionally, there are bills in Congress to mandate vaccines for air travel, with an additional bill from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) requiring a COVID vaccine or negative test for domestic flights, though a last-minute amendment could remove the testing option; the Biden administration has also not ruled out another executive action to issue mandates for travelers.

Thankfully, there are those in Congress who still value freedom of choice. A number of federal bills have been introduced to block these maneuvers and to give those who are forced to receive the vaccines legal recourse if they are injured:

  • The Biden Can’t Force Me Act (S.2850), sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), states that “any COVID–19 vaccine mandate issued by an Act of Congress or by an executive agency shall include an exemption for any individual who has a sincerely held belief that inclines the individual to refuse the receipt of a COVID–19 vaccine.”
  • The Your Health Comes First Act (S.2848), sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee, similarly includes an exemption from the mandates “for any individual who has a concern with such mandate relating to that individual’s health.”
  • The Let Me Travel America Act (S.2847), sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee, amends the Public Health Service Act to preclude federal authorities from mandating COVID vaccination as a prerequisite for interstate travel.
  • The Don’t Jab Me Act (S.2840), sponsored by Sen. Mike Lee, allows individuals covered by the Biden mandates who are injured as a result of getting a COVID vaccine to sue the US government to recover damages. Note that, because we are in a declared public health emergency, the COVID vaccine-makers are granted immunity from legal actions based on injuries.
  • The Stop Vaccine Mandates Act (S.2879), sponsored by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK), rescind President Biden’s executive orders and states they have no force or effect.
  • The Freedom from Mandates Act (HR 5360), sponsored by Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), blocks the Biden executive order relating to vaccine mandates from going into effect, blocks the Secretary of Labor from issuing rules requiring employers to mandate vaccines or require testing of unvaccinated workers for COVID-19.
  • HR 5418, sponsored by Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), would prohibit the Department of Transportation and other agencies from issuing rules requiring a person to provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination in order to engage in interstate commerce.
  • HR 5464, sponsored by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) would prohibit a fine, fee, or tax on any person for violation of a COVID vaccine mandate issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration.
  • HR 5450, sponsored by Rep. Diana Harshbarger (R-TN), would prohibit the use of federal funds to implement or enforce a COVID vaccine mandate.

ANH has been, and remains, firmly opposed to vaccine mandates. We are not anti-vaccine. We believe COVID vaccines should be available to those that want them, and there is evidence showing that the vaccines offer reasonably good protection against the worse outcomes of COVID disease. We believe each individual has the right to make decisions about the medical procedures they receive. All medical procedures come with risks and benefits, and the COVID vaccine is no exception. To us, it is unreasonable to force individuals, particularly those who are at increased risk—like autoimmune patients—to undergo a procedure that could do them harm.

Whatever one’s stance is on the benefits of vaccination for an individual, there are a number of reasons that vaccine mandates are not only coercive, but ineffective. For one, mandates ignore those who have gained natural immunity, which some evidence shows is stronger and more durable than vaccine-induced immunity. As we reported previously, in people who have actually contracted COVID, the mucous membranes release antibodies to protect the nose and mouth, and this helps reduce viral spread. COVID vaccination is largely ineffective at stimulating this secretion of antibodies in the nose. And, as we’ve reported previously, the overall risk reduction from the vaccines is about 1 percent.

To sum up: those who have acquired natural immunity and are less likely to spread the virus could be banned from air travel, and those who are vaccinated but more likely to spread the virus compared to those with natural immunity are permitted to fly. This makes no sense.

We must fight back against these mandates, if not for ourselves then for fellow Americans who are facing the choice of losing their job or submitting to a medical procedure they do not wish to get.

Action Alert! Write to Congress and tell them to support these important bills that protect our freedom of choice, and to ensure that bills requiring vaccines for flights include a negative test option. Please send your message immediately.

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