Vaccine Incentivization: Sticks Better Than Carrots

Making it difficult for refuseniks works better than prizes.

President Joe Biden, joined by Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky and Merck CEO Ken Frazier, delivers remarks on COVID-19 vaccine production Wednesday, March 10, 2021, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz

GMA/YahooNews (“After months of vaccine incentives, nation changes course“):

Life may be about to get tougher for the unvaccinated — and it’s not only because of their significantly increased risk of getting COVID-19 and becoming very sick.

A rising chorus of states, cities and private sector titans have implemented new vaccine requirements for their employees and patrons. It marks a new, less negotiable phase in the fight against the coronavirus, after months of cajoling and material goodies leading the vaccination campaign.

The new incentives aren’t financial. They draw motivation from immediate and tangible fears: of losing time to go get tested, losing a job, losing money or missing out on social events, as well as the ever more apparent pain of the pandemic hitting home through loss of life and loved ones. More than 97% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the country are unvaccinated, according to the White House COVID-19 Task Force.

Now, after months of vaccine rates tapering off, vaccination rates are heading back up with the recent surge of serious illness. On Thursday alone, the U.S. saw its highest vaccination numbers in over a month — 585,000 new vaccinations in a single day, the White House COVID-19 data director announced. Some of the most dramatic upticks in recent vaccinations have been in states with the highest surges in new cases and hospitalizations and some of the lowest vaccination rates.

“Watching more people dying in the ICU, kids getting sick? Yes, that motivates,” said Dr. Arthur Caplan, professor of bioethics and the founding head of New York University School of Medicine’s medical ethics division. “Free beer, fishing license, free marijuana, college tuition didn’t move many people to get vaccinated.”

Unvaccinated Americans must now weigh their own personal risk-benefit ratio: Take the vaccine or face restrictions.

“The carrots do not work much,” Caplan said. “Now, we’re seeing more pressure coming from the other side.”

hat pressure is coming in the form of federal, state and local vaccine requirements.

Requirements that government employees get vaccinated or face regular testing, social distancing and masks were accompanied by a slew of major companies like Google, Facebook, Tyson Foods and Disney, which is the parent company of ABC News, now requiring the vaccine for their employees.

“I think we’ve taken significant steps to make it difficult to come back to work, or more difficult to come back to work, if you’re not vaccinated,” White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients said.

The Biden administration has made clear there will be no federal mandate; but its recent lean-in to vaccine requirements marks a shift in tone, going from from removing barriers to getting the vaccine to making it harder to move about “normal” life for those who choose not to get it.

“There’s a bit of a hassle factor that plays into whether or not people are willing to get an exemption,” Julie Morita, executive vice president of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, told ABC. “And if it’s too difficult or more challenging, people might opt just to get vaccinated.”

As the NFL season gets into gear, the league informed clubs that it would not extend the season to accommodate a COVID-19 outbreak among unvaccinated players that leads to a game cancellation, the NFL Network reported, a stark turn from the season prior, when the league flexed the schedule to avoid missed games amid outbreaks. Additionally, players on both teams would forfeit pay for the lost contest, and the team responsible for the cancellation brought on by unvaccinated players would cover the financial losses and face potential disciplinary action.

Are the players happy? Not so much.

Jimmy Graham, the Chicago Bears starting tight end, took to social media Thursday to claim he felt he was “basically forced” into receiving a Covid-19 vaccine shot and express frustration towards proposed revisions to the league’s coronavirus protocols, including a return to daily testing for all players.

[…]

The NFL Players Association’s president, JC Tretter, criticized the league last week for allowing teams to force their players to wear colored wristbands to differentiate between those who have received a vaccine and those who haven’t. Tretter argued that color-coded wristbands, which he characterized as a “scarlet marking,” were a result of the NFL’s desire to “put a policy in place to try to shame unvaccinated players publicly about their status and make that known to everyone on the field.”

Cole Beasley, a receiver for the Buffalo Bills, said last week that information related to the virus and the vaccine was “being withheld from players in order for a player to be swayed in a direction he may not be comfortable with.” Beasley tweeted last month he would not “take meds for a leg that isn’t broken,” declaring, “I may die of covid, but I’d rather die actually living.”

Do I care? Not so much. And it’s working: 87.9% of players had at least one shot as of July 29; one suspects the number is considerably higher by now.

CNN is going the direct route: Get vaxxed or get axed.

CNN has fired three employees who violated company policy by coming to work unvaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

CNN chief Jeff Zucker told staff members of the firing in a memo sent Thursday that reminded them that vaccines were mandatory if they report to the office or out in the field where they come into contact with other employees.

“Let me be clear — we have a zero tolerance policy on this,” wrote Zucker, chairman of news and sports for WarnerMedia.

I’m guessing they’ll be at 100% any day now.

The Biden administration has been steadily ratcheting up pressure and appears ready to do more. WaPo (“Biden administration considers withholding funds and other measures to spur vaccinations“):

The Biden administration is considering using federal regulatory powers and the threat of withholding federal funds from institutions to push more Americans to get vaccinated — a huge potential shift in the fight against the virus and a far more muscular approach to getting shots into arms, according to four people familiar with the deliberations.

The effort could apply to institutions as varied as long-term-care facilities, cruise ships and universities, potentially impacting millions of Americans, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive conversations.

The conversations are in the early phases and no firm decisions have been made, the people said. One outside lawyer in touch with the Biden administration on the issue is recommending that the president use federal powers sparingly.

There is a particular focus in the discussions on whether restrictions on Medicare dollars or other federal funds could be used to persuade nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities to require employees to be vaccinated, according to one of the people familiar with the talks.

If the Biden administration goes forward with the plans, it would amount to a dramatic escalation in the effort to vaccinate the roughly 90 million Americans who are eligible for shots but who have refused or have been unable to get them.

[…]

There is a particular focus in the discussions on whether restrictions on Medicare dollars or other federal funds could be used to persuade nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities to require employees to be vaccinated, according to one of the people familiar with the talks.

If the Biden administration goes forward with the plans, it would amount to a dramatic escalation in the effort to vaccinate the roughly 90 million Americans who are eligible for shots but who have refused or have been unable to get them.

Given the severity of the threat, this is too tepid for my tastes. I get why they’re reluctant to be bolder but the 2022 midterms are 15 months away and every day of inaction means another few hundred dead. Granted, they’re mostly unvaccinated. But the risks of permanent disability to vulnerable populations who can’t get the vaccines outweighs any countervailing “freedom” arguments.

FILED UNDER: COVID-19
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Teve says:

    The economists and social scientists discovered Loss Aversion a while back.

    Loss aversion simply means that people are more afraid of losing something than they are attracted to gaining it. The literature demonstrates that people are approximately twice as averse to a loss as they are keen for a gain.

    Even the threat of losing something minor will make most people get on board.

    10
  2. Sleeping Dog says:

    It has been pointed out numerous times at OTB that the vax resisters have not faced any consequences for their refusal, it is beyond being time for that to change. Yesterday United Airlines announced that all employees will be vaccinated or will be forced out, pending final FDA approval for general use of the vax. More companies need to follow this lead.

    8
  3. Kathy says:

    OMFG! Athletes spend hours every day engaging in preventive measures to protect against injury. Things like warming up and stretching, exercising certain muscle groups, building up endurance and strength, even putting on layers of protective gear. Or does Jimmy Graham only put on a helmet when he’s about to get hit on the head?

    Also, I’m quite sure the NFL does not hold, nor is in charge of disseminating, information on either SARS-CoV-2 or the vaccines against it. That is freely available, and has been broadcast all over by every means for over a year now.

    How about an unvaxxed poll tax? Anyone eligible for a vaccine who doesn’t get it gets charged a really draconian daily amount, say like $100, for every day they delay in getting the first dose. Those who have a valid medical reason, and only a medical reason, for not taking the vaccine, would be exempt.

    I’d offer a “positive” incentive, too. Everyone who gets the first dose within 30 days of enactment and a second dose within 60 days, gets their unvaxxed tax waived.

    5
  4. Neil J Hudelson says:

    Cole Beasley, a receiver for the Buffalo Bills, said last week that information related to the virus and the vaccine was “being withheld from players in order for a player to be swayed in a direction he may not be comfortable with.”

    It’s sad that an NFL player doesn’t know google exists.

    Beasley tweeted last month he would not “take meds for a leg that isn’t broken,” declaring, “I may die of covid, but I’d rather die actually living.”

    I’ve never understood athlete’s penchant for phrases that sound poetic or inspirational but are really nonsense.

    “Wait, Dad. Don’t you remember the time you told me ‘If you ain’t first, you’re last’?”
    “Oh hell, Ricky, I was high that day. That doesn’t make any sense at all, you can be second, third, fourth… hell you can even be fifth.”

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  5. Neil J Hudelson says:

    @Kathy:

    “How about an unvaxxed poll tax? Anyone eligible for a vaccine who doesn’t get it gets charged a really draconian daily amount, say like $100, for every day they delay in getting the first dose. Those who have a valid medical reason, and only a medical reason, for not taking the vaccine, would be exempt.”

    I have a feeling that as soon as the FDA gives full authorization rather than EUA, insurance companies are going to start enacting major fees to those who refuse to get the vaccine for non-medical reasons.

    (Just noticed the quote/bold/italic options disappear after one posts a comment.)

    3
  6. JohnSF says:

    …sticks better than carrots

    Most things do, in my experience.
    Unless you boil and mash them, obviously.

    1
  7. Michael Cain says:

    @Neil J Hudelson:

    (Just noticed the quote/bold/italic options disappear after one posts a comment.)

    Not intending to threadjack, just want to drop in this single response… Click the refresh button on your browser. Other than the first comment on a post, the code our hosts use does not cause the event that triggers drawing those buttons (or making the edit timer visible) when a comment is added. Refreshing the page will cause that event to occur. Welcome to the wonderful world of WordPress add-ons.

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  8. KM says:

    We’ve catered to their hesitancy and BS long enough. Too long, actually – we’ve now got a more contagious and dangerous variant become the dominant strain and there’s a few out there that are starting to chip away vax effectiveness, threatening the whole damn planet again.

    At this point, the specific *why* you haven’t gotten the shot is bordering on irrelevancy. It doesn’t change the fact that people only seem to be doing it when made to – by reality slapping them in the face with a loved one’s death or by a company telling you Vax or GTFO. What’s more, society is becoming rapidly intolerant of being told we need to be patient and wait for them to come around or we shouldn’t judge them for their choices so harshly. We simply don’t have time to cater to the fee-fees anymore when mandates and penalties can get things done. We’ve *been* patient and look what it got us – people who did the right thing now are facing shortages and care issues because of these nuts. Stories are coming out of cancer patients with needed surgeries being put on hold and beds aren’t available for peds patients as they’re holding the children of COVID deniers.

    A whole bushel of carrots was on offer, now it’s time for the yardstick. If we see an vax-resistant strain take hold threatening the vaxxed population, it’s gonna end up being the cat o’nine tails.

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  9. Joe says:

    @Teve:

    Even the threat of losing something minor will make most people get on board.

    It’s interesting to me how people don’t perceive their potential illness (or worse) as a threat of loss.

    I think we have all spent a lot of ink here talking about “listening” to the vaccine hesitant. But when they stop bringing anything new to the table – which happened no later than January of this year – I stop trying to “listen” to them separately. Cole Beasley can eat it. As has been pointed out already, his assertions are meaningless drivel and I won’t waste time on them. I would bet money that Mr. Beasley has put a lot of sketchy things in his body acquired from GNC and sketchier places, certainly sketchier things that a rigorously tested vaccine. What a total dick!

    4
  10. EddieInCA says:

    My industry is quickly going to a full vax requirement. It’s actually been shocking to me how many actors and actresses (well known names) are not vaxxed. Netflix and Amazon Studios are already requiring vaccinations as a work requirement. And the Unions are on board, so the recalcitrant crew members will soon be out of jobs.

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  11. Teve says:

    @Joe: Threat Assessment is difficult for people with low general knowledge, such as many athletes.

    “I’m suspicious of what’s actually in these highly-quality-controlled vials created by the world’s most competent pharmacologists, instead Imma boost my immune system with these homeopathic pills drop-shipped from Guangxi that I heard about on Rogan”

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  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    Twinned problems: lack of imagination and the inability to accurately assess threats. People cannot project the consequences of their actions into the future, and they have nothing in their little heads able to balance, say, the exceedingly low likelihood of Jews replacing them, vs. the much higher likelihood that they or a loved one will end up in an ICU with a hose down their throat.

    Right wingers are always imagination deficient – there’s a reason the vast majority of ‘creatives’ are not conservatives. OTOH, this same inability to imagine or to accurately assess risk is how humanity continues to fight wars: it’s the cannon fodder cocktail.

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  13. Kathy says:

    How long before GOP governors push legislation to forbid employers from instituting vaccine mandates as a condition of employment?

    I am curious whether de Santis can fight Disney successfully.

    5
  14. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    Essentially they have already begun pushing that with Abbott and DeSantis, various exec orders. But I believe that as much as they’d like to ban covid vax requirements they know that it would be a loser in court.

    2
  15. Kathy says:

    @Joe:

    Early on in the Trump plague, I posted that for many people it’s more a matter of whom they know than what they know. That is, there’s a big difference in knowing there’s a deadly disease invisibly circulating out there, than seeing close family, friends, or even acquaintances, fall ill, suffer, and die from it.

    Even then, COVID tends not to look that bad. Really. there’s no rash, no vomiting (usually), no emaciation, no bleeding, no bruising, and so on. I remember people, many of them reasonable and sensible, asking what the big deal was. they saw COVID patients talking, moving, etc. before their condition got so bad they needed hospitalization, or even before they showed other symptoms like brain fog and body aches. Many didn’t even cough.

    You can reach reasonable people. they do understand the difference between a mild and a severe case. Unreasonable people are harder to reach. they can rationalize based on what they see. Even a dying COVID patient on a ventilator can be made not to seem so bad. After all, they’re just lying there in bed with a tube taped to their mouth. They died of comorbidities, not of COVID. And so on. This is especially so if people in authority like the Orange Ass tell them it’s nothing but a flu.

    What these people do see is they can’t go out to a restaurant, a bar, the movies, concerts, etc. They can’t hang out with their friends and family. They may lose their jobs or know someone who’s out of work. they can’t have Thanksgiving or Christmas. This matters more to them than some invisible virus that doesn’t look too bad and trump says is nothing.

    To be sure, many mitigation and preventive measures, especially lock down, carry bad consequences. People did lose their jobs, too. This illustrates how ill-prepared most countries were to handle a pandemic, and how slowly they moved once it became necessary to do something. the big problem is many people in authority didn’t take COVID seriously, and incredibly after millions of deaths many still don’t.

    3
  16. Joe says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I am a fan of singer/songwriter Joe Pug. He has a song that posits “every good idea kills at least 1ooo men” and concludes that “every man I know thinks that he’s 1001.”

    2
  17. KM says:

    @Kathy:
    The problem with that is it will have to be too broad a ban to function. They can’t single out this vaccine legally without a reason and other than conspiracy theories and baseless claims, there’s no compelling reason. Go for all vaccines and suddenly you run afoul of some pretty serious problems; who’s gonna tell the hospitals they can’t demand medical staff be vaxxed against ANYTHING in the petri dish that is a hospital?

    You wanna see a riot? That’s how you get a riot – they would likely respond by dumping staff, unions be damned and hiring only out of state workers they know have been vaxxed. The lawsuits alone from people contracting god knows what from their doctors in an already sue-happy field would be devastating. Insurance would start dropping locations from the network out of sheer preservation once things like measles, chicken pox, whooping cough and other illness come roaring back and they get flooded with patients. Since FL doesn’t believe in government intervention, they’ll get away with a lot of it unless the Feds step in…… and that would come with conditions like dropping the ban.

    Now add in Disney, Universal, the Tourism Board and everyone else that suddenly realizes being the new Plague State is bad for business and DeSantis is screwed. MAGAts might be insane but they love money just as much as the corporations do.

    2
  18. flat earth luddite says:

    @Kathy:

    I am curious whether de Santis can fight Disney successfully.

    Thanks, Kathy. I immediately visualized this as the main event in “Celebrity Death Match.”

    3
  19. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    Go for all vaccines and suddenly you run afoul of some pretty serious problems; who’s gonna tell the hospitals they can’t demand medical staff be vaxxed against ANYTHING in the petri dish that is a hospital?

    That’s one thing that worries me of the strenuous, partisan response against COVID vaccines by the Republican party. They may move on to all vaccines as well. If that happens, I can see them fighting them as hard as they fight the COVID vaccines, and then they’ll have a huge self-inflicted humanitarian disaster on their hands.

    2
  20. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: DeSantis has apparently realized he can’t enforce his ban on school districts requiring masks. He’s now proposed using a state fund to provide private school vouchers so anti mask parents can move their kids to private schools. My tax dollars at work.

    2
  21. dazedandconfused says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    A lot of that miscalculation of risk is due to the nature of our press. The rare cases of adverse reactions to the vaxes get more coverage. The cases where there are no adverse reactions? Who’s going to click on that?

    2
  22. Gavin says:

    Part of this is raw ignorance.
    TB isn’t an issue in the US because of a vaccine. Same for polio, diphtheria, measles, and the list goes on.
    [Yes, we even stopped giving the BCG vaccine]

    You don’t want TB.. you don’t want any of those, really.

    Try getting TB and just watch how quick you have no choices regarding the treatment — or the isolation if you Choose Not To Abide.

    For Republicans/other stupid people this is all some sort of game.. and yes some things are part of gamesmanship, but some things are not.

    This is definitely in the “No BS shut up and do it” category.

    Some part of humanity apparently needs to reacquaint itself with the actual deadly potential of nature every couple generations to accept the importance / benefit of public health.

    5
  23. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    I saw a note about it. It’s like he’s bribing private schools not to mandate masks.

  24. Kathy says:

    BTW, before the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech phase 3 trial results were announced in November of last year, I did consider the very likely possibility that some people would refuse to take the vaccine. Only I thought it would be something like 10-20%, which would be bad enough as regards herd immunity for ending the pandemic.

    Never in my worst nightmares did I imagine 40% of any population would refuse to vaccinate.

    4
  25. EddieInCA says:

    @Kathy:

    This!!

    But then again…

    I never expected Trump to win one primary…
    I never expected Trump beating Clinton….
    I never expected so many of my fellow citizens to openly support a candidate who was so obviously unfit to lead…
    I never expected Trump to gain voters over his four years in office…
    I never expected so many elected GOP officials to cower in fear before that cretin….
    I never expected so many fellow citizens to spread disinformation about vaccines…
    I never expected so many fellow citizens to choose death over science….

    6
  26. flat earth luddite says:

    Well, last night I met a unicorn, of sorts. Sitting in the ER with my daughter’s fiancée (who broke his hip at work), and one of the ER nurses walks in. Asks us both about our vaccination status (we’re both fully vaxed for a variety of reasons), then goes into a 5 minute rant about her employer and the state stepping on her God-given rights to not be vaxed because “reasons” including unspecified health/religious/freedom “issues.” Said she’s a traveling nurse who’s worked 80 hour weeks for the last year+, and has only saved ONE Covid patient in that time. I simply don’t understand why, if you genuinely can’t take any of the vaccines, you’d insist on working ER/ICU. Of course, I also don’t grok why she had to vent on us, except maybe it was a 2 am “I’m tired” rant.

    4
  27. Kathy says:

    @EddieInCA:

    There’s no arguing with all that.

    Still, after all that happened, and after the reign of the maskholes and covidiots came to pass, I still didn’t imagine vaccine refusal would be that bad.

    1
  28. JKB says:

    @Kathy: BTW, before the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech phase 3 trial results were announced in November of last year, I did consider the very likely possibility that some people would refuse to take the vaccine.

    So you did no think that Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris would influence people with their very public skepticism of the vaccines? Their open declarations that they would not take the “Trump” vaccines. The very vaccines you now want to use government violence to force upon people in a complete denial of the Nuremberg Code that requires informed consent free from government intimidation?

    1
  29. Mister Bluster says:

    JKB…still drinking the toilet water…

    6
  30. Joe says:

    @JKB: What the hell you talkin’ bout, Willis?

    7
  31. JDM says:

    @flat earth luddite: I’d file an official complaint against the nurse with something to the effect that she made you fear for your safety by not being vaccinated and ranting in your presence. Your future son in law should request that only vaccinated nurses and other health care professionals take care of him. And let me guess, that obnoxious nurses name must be “Karen”.

    A broken hip is terrible thing to have happen. However, it is one of the things that modern medicine is best at fixing.

    4
  32. Lynn says:

    @Kathy: “BTW, before the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech phase 3 trial results were announced in November of last year, I did consider the very likely possibility that some people would refuse to take the vaccine. ”

    I figured tht I’d probably wait and see how it went before I got vaccinated. As it was, I had my 2nd shot on Feb 15.

    1
  33. Jax says:

    @JKB: You must have completely missed the part where they all got the vaccine on live TV?

    4
  34. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JKB: Have you got any sources for this whole “won’t take the Trump vaccine” thang? I don’t ‘member anything like that, but I could have missed it.

    1
  35. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Do you experience trouble recalling other things that never happened, like the Bowling Green massacre? You may be suffering from nothing. Take a sugar pill, if you must take something.

    2
  36. Teve says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: it’ll just annoy to when you find out the dishonest way they lie about what Kamala Harris said.

    1
  37. JohnMcC says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: Oh please! Do you really want to read his ‘proof’?

  38. flat earth luddite says:

    @JDM:
    Well, good news is that both of us are fully vaxed. We both bring health issues to the table (his include heart valve replacement, aortic arch replacement, hip replacement – this’ll be his 2nd) at the tender age of 45. Right now, all the Portland area hospitals are on diversion. Admitted last night at 11 pm; as of 4pm today, he’s still in his room in the ER, as they don’t have a bed for him. Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow afternoon. According to the one ER doc, most beds are filled with Covid patients.

    2
  39. Jax says:

    @JKB: “Tubular injury”, JKB. I mean, forget female infertility, does nobody think about the poor men infected with COVID and can never reproduce?! https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405456920301449

    2
  40. Jax says:

    @JKB: I’m gonna keep pounding this drum, I think.

    Most patients with severe COVID-19 present with pneumonia-related symptoms, but some patients with severe disease could develop serious urinary complications including acute kidney injury (AKI), which requires continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT)1. Furthermore, male reproductive systems are vulnerable to infection; dramatic changes in sex hormones in patients with COVID-19 have been observed, suggesting gonadal function impairment2.

    The blood–testis barrier does not protect against COVID-19 and abnormal expression of sex hormones could be a result of impaired gonadal function. After recovery from COVID-19, young men who are interested in having children should receive a consultation regarding their fertility.

    2
  41. Kathy says:

    I’ll take a wild guess that Harris et al. said something similar to what I said around summer/fall 2020 when the phase 3 trials were underway:

    I won’t take a vaccine on trump’s mere say so that they are effective. I’ll wait to see what the health professionals, in particular Dr. Fauci, have to say on the matter.

    3
  42. JohnSF says:

    @JKB:

    Nuremberg Code

    Oh yes, I remember when we we given vaccinations for polio, mumps, german measles, smallpox, diptheria etc when I was at school.
    The nurses were so insistent>
    “Now, have you read and understood the Nuremberg Code rules of consent, children? And do you so consent, one and all?”

    Idiot.

    5
  43. JKB says:

    @JohnSF: I remember when we we given vaccinations for polio, mumps, german measles, smallpox, diptheria etc when I was at school.

    You do realize when that was happening that the US Public Health system, with the overt approval of the AMA, were still intentionally conducting the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment which was not ended until 1972.

    Did they tell you how in the initial rollout, thousands of people were infected with polio from a mistake in vaccine production?

  44. Gustopher says:

    @JKB: I will not weep for you when Joe Biden’s tan-suited thugs (do you know who else wore tan? Hitler. And Obama) come to your door, demand to see your papers and then pin you down to the ground on your front stoop and forcibly inject you with unknown chemicals that will mutate your dna.

    Perhaps they will forcibly nasal swab you a few times first.

    4
  45. JohnSF says:

    @JKB:
    Heard of it, though not really familiar with all the details.
    A sorry tale, which reflects rather badly on the institutions and persons involved.

    However, as was receiving my vaccinations in Coventry, Warwickshire, UK, it doesn’t really have much direct relevance.

    Did they tell you how in the initial rollout, thousands of people were infected with polio from a mistake in vaccine production?

    Probably not, though I may just have ignored it, being a kid.

    I have since learnt that before a vaccine was available, epidemics in the UK resulted in up to around 7000 cases of paralytic polio each year, with up to 750 deaths.
    And I recall some teenagers around that time in calipers due to polio damage.
    And accounts of people spending long, and sometimes terminal, periods in iron lungs.

    Including my mothers much loved younger sister, an aunt I never knew, dead in her late teens in the 1940s.

    Any more questions?

    7
  46. Jax says:

    @JKB: YES, we should absolutely let a mistake from the mid 1900’s (when computers were nonexistant or the size of small houses and phone lines were still connected to the wall) absolutely keep all vaccine-hesitant folks from possibly saving their OWN lives and the lives of their children and immunocompromised loved ones and neighbors because somebody made a mistake way back when.

    It’s no biggie to us if the Trumpkin’s can’t procreate or there’s not enough left to vote to save your politicians. I mean, maybe COVID really was sent by God to thin the herd. (shrugs)

    5
  47. flat earth luddite says:

    JKB, I wish you’d seen actual relatives of yours who’d contracted polio as a teen (I was raised by one). I also wish you’d met actual death camp survivors (I have). Of course, while I’m at it, I might as well wish that you hadn’t chugged that whole pitcher of Kool-Aide and gone back for thirds. I don’t know where you buy this shit, but you’re paying way too much for pure, unadulterated Nebraska No-High!

    OTOH, when you’re busy annoying people here, at least the poor helpless flies’ wings are safe.

    6