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Student Blog

Vaccine Policies - Ultimatum or Choice?


Alienated From Society- Do I Matter If I Am Unvaccinated?

With the November deadline fast approaching, many hospital staff is experiencing heightened stress and uncertainty of what fate will throw at them.

Ann has been a nurse for the past ten years and in less than a month she may have to give up this noble profession she had to envision she would retire from.

Like Ann, many employees will soon be scoping a job market and possibly engage in odd jobs just to make ends meet.

The current federal policies mandating proof of vaccination for employment, travel, and leisure activities, although possibly seen as the best response to curtail this ongoing pandemic, have our legislators really considered the long-term effect?

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Recently, it was broadcast by various media outlets that persons requiring an organ transplant are now required to be fully vaccinated (meaning have received both doses of an approved vaccine). Many persons have enlisted their names in the transplant database and have been waiting patiently for years. 

Should their name be next in the queue of the transplant list, does this mandate mean it will be removed from the queue because he or she is unvaccinated?

Is this logical or ideal? How are the current vaccine mandates creating accessibility for all?

Often in the news, at parliamentary meetings, and even on the campaign trail the echoed sentiments of creating an environment of accessibility among vulnerable demographics are promoted but where is the action behind these speeches?

Have we come to the point in society where our segregation is not with skin color or ethnicity but the vaccinated against the unvaccinated?


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Challenges Faced In The 21st-Century Healthcare Sector

"The world is facing an unprecedented situation: we will soon have more elderly people than children and more people at an extreme age than ever before.’ (WHO, 2019) Persons are living longer with multiple comorbidities which will require highly trained staff in a variety of settings.

Thus, there is an urgent demand for healthcare facilities and other innovations to combat this growing need. This ongoing pandemic has highlighted the poor state of our healthcare sector and the huge disparities faced by the most vulnerable in society.

I believe the loss of one nurse from the current almost crumbling health sector is one too many. I am not against vaccination neither do I have the answer, but I do believe the current mandatory vaccines policy is more of an ultimatum rather than a choice.


Fact vs. Fiction

The truth is vaccines have been used over many decades for the prevention and treatment of various diseases. This has resulted not only in many illnesses being avoided but millions of lives saved by these vaccinations.

Likewise, vaccine rejection and policy enactment are also not new phenomenons as during the outbreaks of the past similar responses have been documented.

So where do we go from here, at one end there is the crippling health force, and at the other end is our policymakers who have ‘handed down’ the rule of law.

Sadly, caught in the middle is our vulnerable population like our seniors, special needs individuals, and mentally challenged individuals. One might agree that the population being cared for should require staff to be healthy as the clients being treated often have weakened immune systems due to other pre-existing comorbidities.

But should terminating the staff because he or she is not vaccinated be the only answer? Of course not. Yes, there should be policies that will benefit public health but these should be enacted to improve on services not reduce the workforce.


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Is There Hope Left For The Hopeless?

These staff that will be terminated also have families, they are part of communities and have been contributing to the economic well-being of the country.

These patients who have been waiting, and praying for a transplant with the stroke of a pen have lost their ‘ray of hope.'

Have our leaders considered the implications of these current policies?

Should we not expect to see untoward effects such as increased drug use, homelessness, persons struggling with depression, increased need for social services, crime, and violence?

Do I matter if I am unvaccinated?

Let’s start the conversation.

Disclaimer - The names listed in this article are not based on a real person, views expressed are the writer’s thoughts and do not serve as a substitute for professional medical advice.


Here's to being your HEALTHIEST!





CDC (2016) Vaccines by Disease https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/vaccines-diseases.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fvaccines%2Fvpd-vac%2Fdefault.htm

World Health Organization (2019) Ten threats to global health in 2019 https://www.who.int/news-room/spotlight/ten-threats-to-global-health-in-2019




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