Posted: 1/7/2022 15:08:32 PM
Modified: 1/7/2022 15:07:52 PM
Arguing against a vaccination warrant for entry into businesses and other public spaces, James Boddy, a Northampton resident, said the town has a reputation for tolerating different points of view, which should extend to the “minority” who choose to remain unvaccinated for personal reasons. (“Board of Health’s Vaccine Passport Plan Sparks Fire,” December 29)
Mr. Boddy’s assertion is absurd. Vaccination has two main goals: to protect the vaccinated person and to protect others from the spread of the coronavirus. If the vaccine served only the first purpose, then Mr. Boddy’s argument for the “tolerance” of those who choose to refuse vaccination might make sense. However, it ignores the public health component of mass vaccination: protecting the entire community against the spread of a deadly virus.
Even if vaccination only worked to protect the person vaccinated, it would still serve a vital public health goal: vaccination prevents people from either contracting COVID-19 or, if they suffer from a breakthrough infection, it protects them. against serious illness and the need for hospitalization. As hospitals across the country approach breaking point again, keeping people out of hospitals is in itself vital to protecting the health of the public.
Finally, I am not convinced by the reluctance of business owners to check people’s immunization status. As far back as I can remember, bar owners and other liquor vendors have been mandated to ensure that their customers are of legal drinking age. I don’t see much difference between “testing” a client and checking their immunization status.
Except in the extreme cases where, due to a pre-existing condition, an individual is simply unable to get vaccinated, I am strongly in favor of a vaccination warrant and the requirement of proof of vaccination.