Should vaccination be compulsory? Not on these arguments! [Vox Political Debate]

Jabber Johnson: Boris Johnson has invested everything in the efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccinations – but a quarter of new infections are in people who have had both injections.

Should working people be forced to have one of the Covid-19 vaccines, on pain of losing their jobs if they refuse?

The question was debated on Politics Live last Thursday – and gave rise to an interesting discussion on Twitter.

The headline findings are: there are no good reasons for forcing vaccination on anybody. Your body is your own and nobody should be allowed to tell you what you do with it, put in it or take out of it.

Would you order a woman to have an abortion if she didn’t want to, for no other reason than that it would make you feel better?

That’s what it comes down to, in this case as well.

Forcing somebody else to vaccinate will not make it less likely that you will catch Covid-19, because vaccination does not stop people contracting or transmitting the virus.

In fact:

If vaccination was made compulsory, you would be more likely to catch it – because people would think they were better-protected than would be the case.

And the attitude and arguments of those who supported forcing people to vaccinate is a real eye-opener. See for yourself. Here’s how I started:

Now read the discussion:

Hmm. No answer to that.

Let’s see what else people had to say…


But it is a correct conclusion. David Barry had admitted that the likelihood of catching the virus does not depend on who has been vaccinated, and the seriousness of the case depends, not only on whether the transmitter was vaccinated but on the contractor’s physical constitution.

I repeat: Forcing people to vaccinate will not stop anybody else contracting the virus; it’s not what the vaccine does.

Again, no answer.

The next person eventually blocked me because I countered their arguments logically. Fortunately we can see Ace Socialist’s tweets here:

And of course, whether the transmitting person had been vaccinated makes no difference to whether the effects on me are greatly reduced if I have been vaccinated. This person had provided no evidence at all to prove that other people should be forced to have the jab.

Then the conversation took a sinister turn. Consider the falseness of the following argument. I wasn’t referring only to the risk to me; people in care homes have all been vaccinated now (apart from those who have refused it for their own reasons) so the risk to them has also been reduced, by as much as is possible.

As I understand it, the decision on whether children have vaccinations is made by their parents/guardians (collectively). So Ace’s argument below is false:

That’s right – those laws say their parents/guardians make those decisions until they are old enough to make them for themselves. They do not say that the government or any other exterior organisation can take those decisions away.

Those are the arguments I have seen and they are not persuasive.

If you have a better argument for forcing an action on another person against their wishes, I’d like to know what it is.

At the moment, it seems the only reason for it – that makes any sense – is the desire to exert power over someone else.

That road leads to Nuremberg.

ADDITIONAL: And what about “vaccine passports”? If being vaccinated doesn’t stop anybody being infected, then it can’t be used as justification for attending large events in close contact with other people; the possibility of infecting many of them remains as high as if nobody there had had the jab at all. Right?

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8 thoughts on “Should vaccination be compulsory? Not on these arguments! [Vox Political Debate]

  1. Jan

    Re: the vulnerable in care homes…they were all given it during lockdown, some against the family’s wishes. The best argument agaonst forced vax is the same as the argument against vax passports. If we are forced to have this one then we can be forced to have any treatment and that is in breach of our basic human rights. The passport issue is simple. When everyone who has AIDS/HIV TB chicken pox, measles, mumps, scarlet fever, dengue fever, yellow fever et al has to carry a health passport, maybe convid could be included on that. A FOI re numbers of jabbed who are getting the virus and/or dying might be interesting

  2. wildswimmerpete

    Mike, from memory the polio jab was compulsory, you just look at old photos of patients in iron lungs to see why. I was an infant at the time (1952) so my polio vaccine came on a sugar cube. I seem to remember that jabs for smallpox were also mandatory. In fact as the NHS had only just been founded in 1948 so all infants had the full panoply of jabs for conditions don’t exist any more, possibly down to the full vaccination programme that existed then. My last jab was as a 12yo for TB and it was voluntary. Currently I had both shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

  3. disabledgrandad

    I get your point Mike but as others have stated your rights should not ever infringe another.

    If we used the argument we can’t false anyone to take the vaccine but they should not lose these jobs if they refuse. So let’s extrapolate this and use an extreme example…

    Say they work in the NHS and refuse to wear a mask are you honestly saying this person should remain in a capacity to infect others? Where do these rights to selfhood stop with your rights to life?

    One should never trump the other and sorry you refuse the vaccine, if I was still an employer that should be a sacking offence in my books just for the safety of others if you refuse to take reasonable actions to prevent whatever.

    I don’t get the debate people to have various vaccines to visit other countries we all accept this as reasonable! People have to have various vaccines etc to work in health care because of the danger of the likes of Hepatitis. The risk of spreading this getting Hepatitis or HIV used to be a removal from front line care roll because again of the risk of passing it along to others is so insanely high. No one whould allow their staying in post can you imagine the lawsuits if it was discovered that they had been infecting people and the management had known their status!

    Is there a mass debate and people protesting daily screaming these rights are curtailed because they are asked to vaccinate? It almost looks like you are trying to insist there is no point in vaccination! I know your not just debating but as you know your words can be easily twisted… You come out with strong arguments against vaccination this will be twisted into support for these views! Then you have lost the debate because these sort of people only hear their side and will not be altered from this belief. So who does this debate help?

    Two sides to every story you know that I am just asking for a similar robust defence of vaccination as put forwards here, please. I whould hate for a debate to ever be used as support because one can easily be misconstrued as the same. Sorry if I have repeated myself or got off point but brain dammage and other ahem issues really make it a struggle to get my viewpoint out coherently. I am a big fan of your Journalism and as a disabled person your support to your disabled partner is amazing so I hope you understand I have the up most respect for yourself. May your family stay safe and well Sir!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Your argument about the mask doesn’t ring true because vaccination is putting something into your body that may have a permanent effect – and not necessarily a good one, whereas wearing a mask is putting a piece of cloth on your face for a little while. Has any NHS worker actually refused to wear a mask?

      Why are you sorry I refuse the vaccine when I haven’t refused the vaccine? I have made that abundantly clear.

      Why should refusing the vaccine be a sacking offence for you, when you can’t even say what having the vaccine prevents? It doesn’t prevent infection or transmission of Covid-19; it just stops the vaccinated person from suffering the most serious effects of the disease. So the only person affected by the vaccine – at all – is the person whose had it. Why should they be sacked for turning down something that only affects them?

      Having vaccines to go to other countries – people choose to go to those countries so, if being vaccinated is a necessary part of it, then they make that choice by choosing to go. Also, I think those vaccines are proved to be effective and have been fully, and properly, tested.

      How do you work out that I’m suggesting there’s no point in vaccination? Nothing I have said has suggested that! I haven’t argued against vaccination at all; I have argued against forcing other people to be vaccinated. It really is a step too far, for the reasons I have described.

      No, you can’t say I lose the debate if other people twist my words. They would lose the debate in that circumstance because they would be lying about what I had said.

      All of the above being said, thanks very much for the kind words.

  4. Jill Darbyshire

    I’ve had both jabs and I’m a vulnerable person, easy to catch things. I was scared about having the jab because even a flu’ jab can leave me feeling really ill. Knowing there are people who are not having the vaccination leaves me in a state of isolation and not living a normal life. The more people without the jab can also bring about more variants. We already have another besides the Delta variant. This new one although not as easy to catch is more likely to not respond to vaccinations. I don’t believe people should be forced to do something that they don’t want to but I also think with all the dis-information about vaccines around people aught to be better educated about having it or not, have all the true facts before deciding. I don’t see that anyone has a problem with having vaccinations that are compulsory to go to some countries on holiday. People never question them. What is the problem with this vaccination?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      The Covid vaccinations have been rushed through approval and have not been properly tested.

  5. Stephen Brophy

    exactly! one of my brothers had covid and was really sick but he had health problems, my 85 year old dad had no symptoms after testing positive same for my other brother and me! I think it is not unreasonable to keep wearing masks and washing hands but forcing people to vaccinate is unreasonable!

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