Op Ed

Anti-Vaxxers Are Fake Patriots

Preventing nation from reaching herd immunity. That’s a grim prognosis.

By - May 6th, 2021 10:51 am
COVID-19 vaccine. Pixabay License Free for commercial use No attribution required

COVID-19 vaccine. (Pixabay License).

Even though many Wisconsinites are behaving as though the COVID-19 threat is over, we are still not out of the woods, and that is complicating decisions about how to behave.

Friday night fish fries are jammed with patrons not wearing masks even though the restaurant workers are fully masked.

Businesses with significant employment levels have the toughest decisions to make because they are in the cross hairs of two major threats – the continuing COVID-19 presence and the excruciating labor shortages. Many companies still require masks inside their facilities, and they would love to mandate vaccinations. A work force with 100% vaccination would allow the elimination of masks and contribute to the desired state of “herd immunity.”

But while employers can get away with mandating masks, they can’t mandate vaccinations, because some people would simply quit. There are jobs available just down the street, and companies need every worker they can get.

Help wanted signs are all over Wisconsin. Unemployment rates are at their pre-pandemic loads. Employers can’t afford to fire anyone.

Still, mandate or not, it makes no sense that workers won’t step up for a shot and help move toward herd immunity for their community and the good of their country. Right wing dogma insists on individual rights, but what about a civic obligation to get a shot and help achieve herd immunity so we can all go about our personal lives without restrictions?

In effect, the anti-vaxxers are freeloaders. They are riding on the backs of the majority of the people who get their vaccinations and thereby make everybody around them more safe.

It’s just too bad that the politics of the day put individual liberty and indulgences ahead of obligations to our fellow Americans. It’s a fake kind of patriotism that says, “I’ll do what’s good for me, and to hell with my fellow man.”

They are like draft dodgers in days of national military crisis. We are in another form of national crisis. It does not involve weapons and killing combatants, but it is a war against an insidious infection that will take more lives than all the battles this country has ever faced.

Public health care doctors have recently come to the conclusion that we will not get to herd immunity in the United States. Not enough people will become immune through vaccination or having had COVID-19 and thus becoming unavailable as hosts for spreading the disease. That is a very grim conclusion.

In short, because of the anti-vaccination mentality of a big minority of our citizens, COVID-19 will remain at a dangerous level. There will periodic outbreaks in hotspots across the nation.

We can only hope that a growing percentage of people with the vaccination will outpace the growth of the new variants of the virus.

What’s the answer? We all have to keep working to convince the laggards that they are doing great harm to our community and country, that they need to put their personal preferences aside and help form a big majority of immunized people.

Everyone who does or doesn’t get a shot matters. We are truly in this together.

John Torinus is the chairman of Serigraph Inc. and a former Milwaukee Sentinel business editor who blogs regularly at johntorinus.com.

Categories: Health, Op-Ed

10 thoughts on “Op Ed: Anti-Vaxxers Are Fake Patriots”

  1. George Wagner says:

    Maybe one way to get the anit-vaxx Republicans to get the jab is to tell them that their unused doses will be going directly to immigrants on both sides of the southern border.

  2. Duane says:

    In the headline, “Anti-Vaxxers Are Fake Patriots” Johnny should just substitute “Republicans” for “Anti Vaxxers”. It would be far more accurate. Like many problems facing this country, including getting vaccinated, they become partisan problems and seem to begin with the political party that unites the greedy oligarchs with the mentally unhinged, i.e., the GOP. Johnny just can’t bring himself to believe this as he is either willfully ignorant or practicing censorship by omission.

  3. NickR says:

    Anti-vaxxers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers. They are putting themselves and innocent bystanders in harm’s way.

  4. Paul Mozina says:

    The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (https://wonder.cdc.gov/vaers.html) is shown to only report approximately 1% of vaccine injuries, and even at that low rate, the number of deaths and injuries associated with the sars-cov-2 vaccines is alarming.

    Given the “Absolute Risk Reduction” of 1% provided by the vaccines, I can’t understand why anyone would willing take this vaccine.

  5. NickR says:

    Exactly, folks like Paul Mozina are the problem!

  6. mkwagner says:

    Paul Mozina, I hope you realize the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is not a reliable source for adverse reactions to the COVID vaccines. Reports of adverse events are not vetted prior to being added to VAERS. So too, anyone can report an event. VAERS is a simply a repository. My understanding is, that all events reported to VAERS are vetted. Only those that are actual adverse events due to a vaccine are reported to the CDC and further investigated. Using VAERS as proof of COVID vaccine risk, is like using the number of calls to 911 as proof of increasing crime rate.

  7. Paul Mozina says:

    If I was going to post incoherent comments like mkwagner has done, I’d want to remain anonymous too. Perhaps dumb and dumber, NickR and mkwagner, should get together and form a support group for anonymous dummies who are afraid to have the dumb stuff they say attributed to them out of fear that people will point them out on the street.

    Take heart NickR and mkwagner — whoever you are — there is hope for you, but only if you are willing to learn how to think and can find the courage to publicly take responsibility for your words.

  8. Dave Reid says:

    @Paul mkwagner is correct about VAERS and I had absolutely no problem understanding his point.

    “The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable,” from VAERS website.

    “Note that the inclusion of events in VAERS data does not imply causality,” from VAERS website.

    “When evaluating data from VAERS, it is important to note that for any reported event, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established,” from VAERS website.

    Fact Check: https://www.reuters.com/article/factcheck-vaers-deaths-idUSL1N2LV0NY

    To use VAERS as a data source is irresponsible.

  9. Paul Mozina says:

    Well, Ok Dave. I should have known better than to trust THE CDC’s VAERS website https://wonder.cdc.gov/vaers.html. Yup, I guess we can blame the CDC for irresponsibly hosting and promoting the VAERS System SINCE 1990. The CDC has been spreading disinformation on their VAERS system for 30 years — WHO KNEW?

    Even though it is totally irresponsible to consider that any of the events reported to VAERS represents a real adverse event, reported a real human being — OR BY THEIR DOCTOR — I encourage you to study the VAERS System and the data available there. Oh never mind — its all made up B.S.


    Everything below is quoted from the article above (But don’t bother reading it — that would be irresponsible — especially if you accidentally learned something)

    Every Friday, VAERS makes public all vaccine injury reports received as of a specified date, usually about a week prior to the release date. Today’s data show that between Dec. 14, 2020 and April 16, a total of 86,080 total adverse events were reported to VAERS, including 3,186 deaths — an increase of 584 over the previous week — and 10,152 serious injuries, up 1,867 since last week.

    Of the 3,186 deaths reported as of April 16, 26% occurred within 48 hours of vaccination, 17% occurred within 24 hours and 41% occurred in people who became ill within 48 hours of being vaccinated.

    In the U.S., 202.3 million COVID vaccine doses had been administered as of April 16. This includes 89 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, 105 million doses of Pfizer and 8 million doses of the Johnson &Johnson (J&J) COVID vaccine.

    This week’s VAERS data show:

    20% of deaths were related to cardiac disorders.
    54% of those who died were male, 44% were female and the remaining death reports did not include gender of the deceased.
    The average age of death was 75.9 and the youngest death reported was an 18-year-old. There are a few reported deaths in children under 18, including a 5-month old who died of a rare blood clot two days after the mother received her second dose of Pfizer vaccine and a 2-year-old, but these reports have not been confirmed.
    As of April 16, 462 pregnant women reported adverse events related to COVID vaccines, including 132 reports of miscarriage or premature birth.
    Of the 820 cases of Bell’s Palsy reported, 55% of cases were reported after Pfizer-BioNTech vaccinations, 41% following vaccination with the Moderna vaccine and 24 cases (6%) of Bell’s Palsy were reported in conjunction with J&J.
    There were 92 reports of Guillain-Barré Syndrome with 50% of cases attributed to Pfizer, 40% to Moderna and 13% to J&J.
    There were 24,841 reports of anaphylaxis with 43% of cases attributed to Pfizer’s vaccine, 47% to Moderna and 10% to J&J.

  10. Dave Reid says:

    No Paul, the problem is that you and groups like the Children’s Health Defense folks are misrepresenting the reports in VAERS. The CDC makes it very clear the reports do NOT show causation.

    Which in fact the CDC says repeatedly on the website. “Note that the inclusion of events in VAERS data does not imply causality,” from VAERS website.

    Again, “When evaluating data from VAERS, it is important to note that for any reported event, no cause-and-effect relationship has been established,” from VAERS website.

    Yes, it’s a data gathering system sure. But it does not prove a link from vaccination to outcome, which the CDC says in a variety of ways on the website. But sadly is being ignored by many.

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