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What Are We Going To Do With The Anti-Vaxxers?

As vaccination campaigns continue rolling out around the world, it is becoming clear in some countries that we have moved from a problem of supply to one of demand: a significant group of people who refuse to be vaccinated or who do not have their second jab, putting at risk the goal of herd immunity.

Technology denialism has been studied over the years. But in a world where access to information is increasingly easy, it is unacceptable that millions of people, seemingly influenced by a small group of irresponsible idiots, have decided to endanger not only their own lives, but also the possibility of eradicating the pandemic. In short, they are breaking the rules that hold society together.

With billions of vaccines now administered, what have we learned? First and foremost, that they work, and exceptionally well: no vaccine is 100% effective, but those developed for COVID-19 come very close. 99.992% of vaccinated people completely avoid the disease, and the 0.008% who do contract it show no symptoms or suffer any complications. In other words, the vast majority of deaths from COVID-19 now occur among unvaccinated people. That fact alone should be enough to convince the vaccine denialists to abandon their bizarre theories: you’re more likely to die if you aren’t vaccinated.

Vaccines don’t make you magnetic, and if anybody dumb enough to believe the trick of sticking a teaspoon against sweaty skin should seriously consider seeing a psychologist. Nor do they contain microchips, not only because there are no microchips small enough to be administered by injection, but because the vaccines come in multidose vials.

Another myth is that the vaccines are experimental. Wrong, they have been exhaustively tested; nor do they modify our DNA (they do not cross the nucleus membrane. Instead, they are an extraordinary success story achieved in record time, proof that science can solve our most complex problems, and above all, an extraordinary advance for the future where they will be used to cure a wide variety of diseases of all kinds, including malaria, cancer and many cardiovascular problems. We are talking about a technology, messenger RNA, which is surprisingly simple to mass-produce and which is going to change the world as we know it. Why would anybody oppose technology that could save their life?

New types of vaccines will soon be available, which we will probably need, and which can be administered with others without any side effects. Denialism must be countered and if necessary anti-vaxxers need to be shamed. In the United States, some people are using sites like Yelp to single out bars and restaurants that require proof of vaccination, while a growing number of organizations are considering obliging their employees to be vaccinated, and the law is on their side: a judge threw out a lawsuit brought by 117 employees of a hospital in Houston against their employer who were suing the hospital system over its COVID-19 vaccine requirement, and went further, knocking down their arguments one by one in his ruling.

As always happens with denialism, the arguments are exposed as false as time goes by. But in the case of the pandemic, time is precisely what we don’t have. Denialism must be tackled, isolated and neutralized, as the uncivil and unacceptable behavior it is.

What do you think?

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