Munira Wilson: Coercion is not the answer to vaccine hesitancy

Last night, Liberal Democrat MPs voted against the Government’s Statutory Instrument which made vaccinations compulsory for care home staff.

Munira Wilson, our health spokesperson, had a right go at the Government for its approach, pointing out that the care sector had long been undervalued and the Government’s approach had let down so many staff and residents during the pandemic.

She said that, while Liberal Democrats were absolutely in favour of vaccination, we would not support making it mandatory. She said:

Coercion is not an effective way to overcome hesitancy. Compulsory vaccination is a blunt tool for a complex issue, and research has highlighted that pressuring care workers can have damaging effects leading to the erosion of trust, worsening concerns about the vaccine and hardened stances on refusing vaccination. Indeed, digging into the detail shows that the rate of uptake may not be as bad in some places as it initially seems. The data is somewhat encouraging in that there is a significant disparity in the percentage of staff who have taken their first jab and not their second. For instance, Wandsworth has the lowest uptake rate, with 70% of staff having had their first jab but only 53% having had their second. This could indicate that Government and NHS initiatives are bearing fruit, and that mandating vaccination could therefore be premature. Alternatively, it might suggest there is a problem with trying to get care workers back to have their second jabs. This all suggests a much more complex picture, for which this blunt tool is not the answer. As others have said, we risk going down a slippery slope to chip away at people’s rights and freedoms to make their own health choices. This decision sets a precedent and must not be taken lightly.

That leads me to my final point. In part, we have arrived at this situation precisely because the care sector has been overlooked for so long. It has long been a Cinderella service and a poor relation to the NHS, and yet again, we see that this legislation applies only to care home workers and not NHS staff, so it feels discriminatory to many in the care sector. I come back to where I started. I want to protect the most vulnerable, but I fear that these measures will do more harm than good and that we risk a mass exodus of staff from an already overburdened, overstretched and underfunded sector.

In March last year, when my Liberal Democrat colleagues in the other place and I were asking searching questions of Ministers about testing and PPE to protect care homes, there were no answers. The truth is that the tragedy we have seen unfold in our care homes throughout the pandemic resulted in thousands of excess deaths because the protective ring that Ministers talked about went in far too late. This legislation we are being asked to support is a reaction to Government inaction and failure to protect care homes, and they continue to drag their feet on reforming the sector properly. Coercion and an assault on fundamental rights and liberties should not be the response to this. We must encourage, empower and support people to make the right decision to get vaccinated, and we must pay and value our heroic care staff properly, rather than pointing the finger of blame at them.

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45 Comments

  • This is very disappointing from the party and somewhat confusing considering the parliamentary parties position on mandated mask use on public transport in order to protect the clinically vulnerable.

    Care homes are full of our most vulnerable sections of society with complex medical conditions from dementia to COPD and immunosuppressant people, people who vaccines are not the most effective.

    I believe being double dosed of the vaccine reduces transmission by 60%, though I stand to be corrected, but that is still an awful lot of transmission in a setting full of vulnerable people.
    Anybody with an understanding of dementia will know, that someone can be suffering from mild or moderate dementia, but, if they end up getting an infection and delirium sets in, that can advance someone’s dementia immediately into severe dementia from which many do not recover ( I have seen this happen over night with my on father in law) That is cruel and can rob someone and their family of valuable time with a loved one.

    I do not think it is unreasonable to be expect people working in a care setting with clinically vulnerable people to be vaccinated as part of the condition of employment,
    This is no different to requiring surgeons to be vaccinated against hepatitis.

    It is not discriminatory as care homes and staff have a duty of care to its residents and I believe there are many areas of law which states legal duty of care to others when we interact with them.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 14th Jul '21 - 12:26pm

    Munira is correct on an aspect of this issue. Social care is the add on, and treated badly.

    However, as Matt says so well here, I disagree with this view of compulsory vaccines in this sector. Compulsion works but is not as munira says, blunt, it is, strong. It therefore ought to be used only sparingly. I do not favour vaccine passports. But to say to employees in key sectors, dealing with medical situations, these are the requirements, is not draconian at all.

    Where this makes no sense, as Munira says herself, is to require care home staff to have two jabs, but to not require NHS staff do that also. Why this inconsistency?

    Nothing much makes sense today!

  • John Marriott 14th Jul '21 - 12:32pm

    If you want to work in a Care Home, you must be fully vaccinated*
    If you want to work in a hospital : ditto
    If you want to work in a school : ditto

    You may call that coercion; I call it common sense!

    *Unless you can prove you have a medical exemption

  • lynne featherstone 14th Jul '21 - 12:39pm

    On this I diverge with the party view – I believe it is a duty if you work with vulnerable people – to be vaccinated unless there is a medical reason for not doing so. I don’t see this as draconian. Yes – the care sector is undervalued and underpaid – but the two things are not quid pro quo

  • Lorenzo Cherin 14th Jul '21 - 12:53pm

    If all the commentators disagree with Munira, agree with each other, about as good a sample as you could get, younger, older, male female, and a terrific parliamentarian, amongst us, why the view of the Health spokesperson in the Commons, so different?

    John likes the words, as do I, common sense. Not enough of it in the Common…s…!

  • When my 93 year old father-in-law died in a Care Home last September we were not allowed to see him for over six months until right at the very end …… when we had one visit to say good bye. The reason, we had not then had a vaccine.

    I’m afraid Ms Wilson is profoundly wrong on this issue if she is advocating allowing non-vaccinated staff to maintain contact with vulnerable people when every day is precious and every life is of value.

  • I can understand the argument in favour of having care home workers vaccinated. But I do think that we have to careful of forcing someone to undergo a medical procedure that should be a personal question for them and their doctors and their own medical views.

    Although the calculations have changed a bit given the widespread prevalence of the delta variant – it’s debatable on what is more risky for an 18 year-old (and probably up until about age 30). Until recently – and if the amount of covid goes down probably again – it was probably slightly more risky for them to have the vaccine than not. But it should always be a personal question.

    By and large we do not force people to undergo medical treatments. The only other exception I believe is some surgeons – so it’s exceptionally rare. You can argue that someone needn’t continue in their job if they don’t want to be jabbed but denying them their livelihood is close to forcing them.

    —–

    As it is vaccine hesitancy is extremely low – 98% of those over 50 have had at least one jab – indicating it will only be a maximum of 2% and my guess is that it will be under 5% (perhaps well under) for the whole population.

  • I’m very pro-vaccine, but I think mandatory vaccines should be considered only in very rare circumstances and as an absolute last option once every other approach has been exhausted.

    I completely understand why those using care services, either personally or for family and friends, will be anxious for caring staff to be vaccinated ASAP, but fear making it mandatory ‘too soon’ creates new problems. It could lead to polarising the debate, making the vaccine hesitant full-blown anti-vaxxers. I think we could and should work harder to persuade the vaccine hesitant that it’s in their own interests to take up the offer, and of course make it as easy as possible for them to do so.

    There are certain jobs in the NHS that require certain vaccines, so there is some precedent, but it is narrowly targeted. Perhaps if we reach the stage where vaccines become mandatory, it should be for those in particular roles in all care and health settings. Restrict it to staff that are most likely to come in contact with the most vulnerable, especially in the first instance.

    It’s been widely reported that vaccines are less effective for those who have had blood cancers, so it would be very reasonable to say all staff working in those wards must be vaccinated, and work out from there. If we’re not doing that, how can we demand it of care home staff?

  • Nonconformistradical 14th Jul '21 - 1:54pm

    @Michael 1
    “I can understand the argument in favour of having care home workers vaccinated. But I do think that we have to careful of forcing someone to undergo a medical procedure that should be a personal question for them and their doctors and their own medical views.”
    It wouldn’t be entirely for the care worker’s personal benefit though.

    We are trying to deal with a virus which can be asymptomatic for days…. A care worker could pick up the virus without knowing they have done so, go to work and pass the virus on there. Unless they can be tested daily with a test which produces a reliable result rapidly – and I do mean reliable and rapid – care home residents are going to be put at risk.

    Is that acceptable? If you think it is how do you justify your position please? The care home residents wouldn’t be getting a choice in the matter.

  • Barry Lofty 14th Jul '21 - 2:49pm

    There maybe an argument for people to make a choice about having the vaccine or not under certain circumstances, but if they wish to work in the social care sector with vulnerable patients, given what happened early on in the pandemic, it makes sense to insist they are properly vaccinated beforehand.

  • “Wandsworth has the lowest uptake rate, with 70% of staff having had their first jab but only 53% having had their second.”
    Without more detail, this is a meaningless statistic, and even more meaningless without a referencable source.

    I take it that no one has actually talked to care organisations…

    Round me, contracts of employment have already been altered for new starters. Existing staff have been given the option and those who refuse have been moved out of roles that involve physical interaction with service users.

    In one organisation, there were a couple of hold-outs, so missed the opportunity to get their vaccination early, however, with the need for vaccination to travel outside of the UK they have now decided to get vaccinated…

    Remember if we want to live in a civil society then we have to accept we have obligations and duties – or are you saying it is okay for me to sneeze in your face?

  • Lorenzo Cherin 14th Jul '21 - 3:01pm

    I must say though, we need to see this in the round.

    Some might have concerns and are not to be dismissed for those. Literally! If someone is scared of a vaccine, they ought not be scared to lose their job. It never went with the application. we are accepting the new norm of vaccines too much for some. There are real side effects.

    It is fine to insist on a vaccine. But a genuine fear needs to be met with caring not trashing fears.

    I think we cannot make it compulsory without compensation being part of it. To dismiss concerns or workers, is not a holistic approach.

    But for new staff, only, the job description could add this.

    I am concerned we are not giving enough choice of vaccine, or enough attention to side effects.

    the New Zealand , Australia approach, avoid the disease, shut the borders, close down mass events, is better than to depend on a vaccine, protection, from which runs out, effects of it, unknown or not without problems, just like the disease.

    The 1918 flu was beaten by no vaccines, but there was less travel then!

  • @michael 1

    The problem is vaccination rates for those working in the care sector with vulnerable people is no where near the levels needed putting many people at risk.

    The parties position on this is illogical, how can you be against the mandatory use of masks on public transport and shops because it puts vulnerable people at risk, but then be against compulsory use of vaccines in care settings?? Talk about confusing and is it any wonder that we are sometimes accused of posturing and opposing for opposing sake against what the government is doing.

  • sorry, the above should have said the “ending” of mandatory mask use

  • Peter Martin 14th Jul '21 - 3:25pm

    I think we might want to know what IS “the answer to vaccine hesitancy” rather than what isn’t. No-one likes compulsion, but if needs must then needs, especially of the clinically vulnerable, must come first.

    If we didn’t have such a transmissible variant on the loose then we could probably afford a few free riders. But as do have the Delta variant running amok, with a reported R0 of 6, we simply cannot afford them. Especially if they are in close contact with others for medical and care reasons.

  • Requiring everyone (except those who are exempt) from wearing a mark is nothing like requiring everyone (even with possible exemptions) from getting a vaccine. One is a bit like getting someone to wear a seatbelt and the other is a medical procedure.

    Even with a vaccine, it’s still possible to become infected and be infectious without symptoms, so we can’t pretend this is any kind of silver bullet. Yes, high vaccination rates within the care staff would help to prevent spread, and result in fewer absences, so all beneficial, but it’s only one line of defence.

    As I said before, I’m very pro-vaccine and have little time for the crowd who repeat “it’s experimental”, but they are being used under an emergency licence, so it would be interesting to see if there could be a legal challenge. It would be different if this were a rule for new starts only, though still complicated by this being a sector that is under-resourced.

    I’d rather attention were focused on trying to get to the bottom of residual hesitancy. We’ve already seen lots of people who were initially hesitant changing their minds, and I’m fairly sure lots of people who are much more confident of taking the vaccine now than they were when first offered.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 14th Jul '21 - 4:18pm

    I agree with Fiona as can be seen from my comments, but add, it is experimental. It needs much longer to know, rather than, think, something is so, on anything. We do not know anything until tested. Real data from highly vaccinated Israel, proves that despite their vaccination, people are getting covid.

    The masks, distancing, are better and lesser, than, as you say, Fiona, a medical solution, or potential one.

    The society should have beaten this before vaccines. Close all borders except for emergencies, all mass gatherings, all who can work from home, all who cannot because poorer, funded, all carers helped.

    If the world did this, with funds, and support for people in most dire financial straights too, we could have beaten this, no varients, as little community transmission.

    We preferred, pubs, football, clubs!

  • @Lorenzo

    I agree with you that society should have been able to beat this in the early days if we and countries worked together to clamp down on this from the very beginning and there was honesty and transparency from the start from countries like China , however, that did not happen and we are now where we are.

    This virus is with us now and there is no turning back from it, the only options on the table is vaccinating the public and with time (It is hoped), this particular coronavirus becoming less virulent after several cycles, as has happened with other coronaviruses like the Spanish flu, how long that will take, I have no idea, im no virologist and have not heard it mentioned.

    However, because of where we are at, we now have obligations to the clinically vulnerable in society, and as far as I am concerned, that means any one wanting to continue to work in the care sector with clinically vulnerable people have to be jabbed, it is also the reason that continued mask use needs to be mandated on public transport, in shops and for anyone who carries out work inside peoples homes ( if that person is clinically vulnerable and requests that masks be worn) it should also be illegal to refuse to carry out work inside someone’s home because they do not want to wear a mask ( That would be discrimination)

    The vast majority of society is having their freedoms restored, to travel, to go to pubs, clubs, theatres etc with no restrictions.
    The very least the clinically vulnerable and their immediate family members who live with them should be able to expect from the government and society, is to navigate their own homes ( including care homes) , Public Transports and shops in as safe a way as possible…

  • @Nonconformistradical

    TVM for your points which are very valid. And I am somewhat undecided myself on the issue with about 55% agreeing with myself and 45% agreeing with you 🙂 !!!

    I think firstly we shouldn’t get “our knickers in a twist” too much over this. I note the figures given but it is likely that those refusing the vaccine will be only be about a maximum of 5%-10% in any age group and therefore about 2%-3% overall – it is likely that among health workers and care home workers it will be considerably less (even without compulsion)

    Rarely – albeit exceptionally rarely – vaccination does cause death and serious illness. The figures given by JVT a *few months* ago showed actually that these risks for lower age groups were slightly outweighed by being vaccinated.

    Now it depends how much virus is around and the balance has (I’d think) gone back the other way. But people have 16 weeks to get vaccinated under the compulsion regulations and there has to be 8 weeks (or may be 4) between doses – so that’s some 24 weeks from now. *Probably* 24 weeks from now there’s likely to be – very hopefully – little covid around. If there is a lot around then it means that vaccination hasn’t been that successful and hopefully is a moot point. And if there is no covid around then vaccinated or not vaccinated people don’t spread covid.

    AFAIK we have never compelled health and care workers to have the flu jab – and that will have killed more over the years than covid.

    There just has – in my opinion – to be a (very) high bar to compel someone to have a medical treatment that could be more risky to their health and life than not having it. Whether that bar is exceeded is difficult to say.

    @matt

    I appreciate the point but mask wearing is not a medical procedure and won’t kill anyone or indeed risk their health.

  • Fiona 14th Jul ’21 – 4:01pm:
    I’d rather attention were focused on trying to get to the bottom of residual hesitancy.

    Had NHS management properly instructed vaccinators on how to administer an adenovirus-based vaccine take-up could have been higher. It was already known that inadvertent intravascular administration of adenovirus-based vaccines can cause blood clots. Yet vaccinators are still not being instructed to aspirate (slightly pull back) the syringe to check that it’s not in a blood vessel before injecting. This has resulted in the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine being wrongly discredited reducing acceptance, delaying deployment, and consequently costing lives not just here, but around the World.

    Dr. John Campbell explains the problem in this informative video…

    ‘New evidence’ [30th. June 2021]:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3lx6Scwfhg

    ‘Thrombocytopenia and splenic platelet directed immune responses after intravenous ChAdOx1 nCov-19 administration’ [29th. June 2021]:
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.06.29.450356v1.abstract

    We show that intravenous but not intramuscular injection of ChAdOx1 nCov-19 triggers platelet-adenovirus aggregate formation and platelet activation. […]
    Hence, safe intramuscular injection, with aspiration prior to injection, could be a potential preventive measure when administering adenovirus-based vaccines.

  • @Peter Martin

    “I think we might want to know what IS “the answer to vaccine hesitancy”.”

    I think we have to be careful not to play into the hands of the anti-vax crowd which are apt to say – now the Government is forcing people to have this… why is this? Is this a sinister plan? It may just be some now but soon will everyone be forced to have it? Etc. etc.

    Your point about the R0 of delta is very well made – and we have exponential growth and it is likely to increase from next Monday and only just over (of the whole population including children) vaccinated – it is likely that it will be some time before we get cases declining – even if deaths are tracking at about 0.3% of reported cases as supposed to 2% in January – it’s still going to be a lot of cases, serious ill health and deaths.

    And I would urge everyone here – as well as to keep on wearing masks, may be as importantly to keep on sanitising their hands and to meet people as much as possible outside but if inside maintain the 2 metres gap and have the windows open!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 14th Jul '21 - 5:03pm

    Matt

    As is normally so, we agree on much.

    I do think we need to compensate any in those jobs who do not agree, with some redundancy if it is mandated in jobs. I also favour an immediate basic income, not universal, but given to all under, say, thirty thousand, of about a hundred or so pounds, to all permanent residents.

    And I would not open up any of the various types of venues. Zoom or nothing, is my new motto until on top of this!

  • @Lorenzo

    Its so nice to have someone I agree with on here 🙂 sometimes feel like a lost soul lol

    I agree entirely with you that their should be a financial support package of redundancy if someone working in the care industry does not want to be vaccinated ( however, that has to have safe guards that the person cannot claim and then immediately get themselves jabbed and get a new job) I am not saying that would happen, but there has to be safe guards for the public purse.

    I also think we should be lobbing the Government for those that are classed as extremely clinically vulnerable to covid to be entitled to full Disability Benefits (Inc ESA AND PIP) without question ( And financial support package for people who live with a extremely clinical vulnerable member of the household, because they are also now going to be at risk and need to take extra precautions) until such a time when transmission rates are at a lower levels in the community and there is less risk, at present employed extremely clinical vulnerable people can only claim the job retention scheme through an employer until September, how these people are supposed to be able return to the work place when social distancing and mask use is going to end at the same time as letting the virus rip I do not know and it is disgraceful IMO and It still remains unclear what legal obligations there are going to be on employers with Clinical Vulnerable Employees.

    I think it is a great shame that we have made “some” progress, but nowhere enough, on getting more disabled people into the work place and getting more employers to make adaptions and support to the work place for disabled people, I fear now that covid is going to reverse this and set us back year.

    There were over 3 million extremely clinically vulnerable people identified by the Government, when you take those people and their immediate family members who live with them who are now going to be severely financially impacted by the Governments decision to allow this Virus to rip, its abhorrent to expect these people to take part in this “experiment” and they should be financially provided for so that at least they have the financial ability/ option to avoid this….

  • I welcome Munira’s comments but the Lib Dem’s have not spoken up nearly enough about the undermining of rights and liberties during the pandemic. The coercive atmosphere that allows vaccine “passports” to prevail should have been challenged more robustly.

    For example lockdowns don’t “protect people” they protect the laptop classes but expose essential workers regardless of age/risk level. That is not liberalism.

    In terms of vaccines, given they are 90% effective but don’t prevent transmission what difference does it make if not everyone has one?

  • @Marco

    “In terms of vaccines, given they are 90% effective but don’t prevent transmission what difference does it make if not everyone has one?”

    The point you seem to be missing Marco is that vaccine effectiveness of 90% across the general population is one thing, however, vaccine effectiveness is diminished amongst the Clinically extremely vulnerable population many of whom tends to live in care homes and who are reliant on “close contact” care.
    Therefore it is imperative that anyone working in the care sector with vulnerable people are vaccinated.
    There are some parts of the UK where vaccination rates amongst care home staff is woefully inadequate.

    With the Government about to let Covid Rip through the community by ending all mitigation measures, making it difficult for not only the vulnerable unvaccinated and those whose vaccines are not as effective as we would like them to be, not only will this be dangerous but near on impossible to navigate, but also we are going to see Care home staff also finding it difficult to navigate without becoming infected, especially the unvaccinated ones. And since care homes only use the 30 minute rapid flow tests on staff ( which are woefully inadequate) especially in the early days of catching infection.
    I fear we are about to see a disaster in care homes again…

    And as Martin rightly points out above, what about the rights of care home residents to state that they do not want to be looked after by unvaccinated carers? I am sure this is something that many residents and their families are going to be looking into and asking questions, Care homes have a duty of care to the resident and this is going to be a legal minefield in the future and rightly so.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 14th Jul '21 - 10:41pm

    Matt

    Delighted we agree but you are so eloquent and fine a fellow, disagreement would alter your being thus, not a bit!

  • @Lorenzo

    How, very nice of you to say, and it would be very nice to enjoy a quart of wine with you one day when these troubled days have passed, but in the mean time, we will just have to share a virtual zoom one 🙂

  • We have gone through a time when care workers’ lives were being put at risk through the irresponsible sending of patients with Covid from hospitals.
    Now that we are in a different situation we again have proposals to change the contracts of these same workers without it seems any consultation.
    Before decisions are made there is a need for consultation and investigation into the problem – if a problem really exists.
    And I do not mean that the usual policy of dragging things out and dithering.
    The evidence about the reality must exist – I assume.
    Then there could be rational discussion.

  • Marco 14th Jul ’21 – 7:48pm:
    In terms of vaccines, given they are 90% effective but don’t prevent transmission what difference does it make if not everyone has one?

    Vaccines reduce transmission. Being vaccinated reduces the probability of contracting the virus. The percentage reduction depends on several factors – type of vaccine, spacing of doses, etc. In those who do get infected it also reduces the viral load in their respiratory tract and therefore their ability to infect others. These two factors are multiplicative. A similar effect occurs if someone has adequate vitamin D in their blood either from summer UV-B exposure or high-dose supplementation (4,000 IU per day). Vaccines and vitamin D act synergistically – the vaccine to train our immune system to identify the virus; the vitamin D to activate the immune system’s T-cells to combat it. The more people who are vaccinated, the lower the effective reproduction number (Rt) will be, all other factors being equal. If Rt can be held below 1.0 for an extended period then the virus will eventually burn itself out.

    ‘Covid-19: Infections fell by 65% after first dose of AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine, data show’ [April 2021]:
    https://www.bmj.com/content/373/bmj.n1068

    Infections of SARS-CoV-2 fell by 65% after a first dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, preliminary results from a large UK surveillance study indicate.

    ‘SARS-CoV-2 positivity rates associated with circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels’ [17th. September 2020]:
    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0239252

    SARS-CoV-2 positivity is strongly and inversely associated with circulating 25(OH)D levels, a relationship that persists across latitudes, races/ethnicities, both sexes, and age ranges.

  • Peter Martin 15th Jul '21 - 8:50am

    @ Marco,

    “…..In terms of vaccines, given they are 90% effective but don’t prevent transmission what difference does it make if not everyone has one?”

    They must be fairly effective at reducing symptoms ‘cos I haven’t heard anyone coughing and wheezing in the supermarket queue or at the pub for ages now.

    And if anyone who is infected isn’t coughing and wheezing they are much less likely to be transmitting whatever it is they are infected with.

  • David Rogers 15th Jul '21 - 10:00am

    Normally I agree with what Munira Wilson says about social care and health issues, but this time I’m with what appears to be the significant majority of comments already made.
    Also I find some of her reported comments contradictory, e.g. “it might suggest there is a problem with trying to get care workers back to have their second jabs” – so if that is true, then one way of addressing that problem is for there to be a very strong incentive, namely making it a requirement in certain occupations.
    Whilst I agree with the point about “people’s rights and freedoms to make their own health choices”, I do not think that right extends to holding a particular type of job if by doing so one is deliberately putting vulnerable people at risk.
    However she is absolutely right that the measure could be described as discriminatory, in that it does not apply to NHS staff – but a more charitable view might be that it represents a first step, and I would encourage the Government to take the second step!
    Finally, I know that with regard to either domiciliary or residential care, if I were one either receiving such or advising relatives about it, I would refuse to pay a service provider who could not guarantee that her/his staff were fully vaccinated.

  • David Rogers 15th Jul '21 - 10:04am

    Re-reading my comments above, I notice that I appear to be taking the side of the individual “consumer” or service recipient, not that of the provider interest. As a Liberal Democrat, I am content with that!

  • Apparently a third of the care home workers will leave with these restrictions. None of the mainstream parties seem to care about them after all they’ve been through.

    The Lib Dems seem to be Little Labour Echo – more authoritarian and a party obsessed with the intelligentsia middle classes. One could almost say that parties are becoming representative of rather distinct groups in society with particular mindsets. They don’t seem to crossover.

  • Adrian Collett 15th Jul '21 - 10:11am

    I am saddened to see the Parliamentary Party taking this Libertarian view, rather than a Liberal view in line with the principles and traditions of our party.

    If I choose to drive a car, I must pass a driving test and have a driving licence to ensure that other people’s safety is protected. If I choose to work in a care home, I should expect to take the necessary actions to ensure that the vulnerable people I care for are kept as safe as possible.

    This is not compulsory vaccination, but a responsibility, and a choice. If I don’t want to be vaccinated, then I should look for other work. I cannot expect vulnerable people’s safety to be put in potential jeopardy, with something like Covid around, as a result of my personal choice. That would fly in the face of the JS Mill harm principle and is not a Liberal response in my view.

  • John Marriott 15th Jul '21 - 10:22am

    @Adrian Collett
    Yes, sir, precisely my view as well, as I expressed slightly more bluntly at 12.32pm yesterday. I have always subscribed to the view that you can do what you like, as long as it doesn’t have a detrimental effect on anyone else (man, beast or most living things). If that’s what liberalism means, then I guess I haven’t wasted most of my adult life!

  • Ruth Bright 15th Jul '21 - 1:31pm

    Adrian is right except that this isn’t libertarian it is faux libertarian.

    It is common sense that I can’t run an ante-natal class if I haven’t had the MMR. This is the same.

  • The point I was making is that even if care workers are vaccinated they could still pass COVID to their clients. Flu is deadly in care homes but flu vaccinations are not compulsory for care workers. The RSV virus can be deadly in care homes but no one has ever tried to make a vaccine for it.

    The point that Munira Wilson made is that coercion creates a loss of trust and encourages vaccine scepticism generally. Furthermore if it causes care workers to leave the profession then residents will have inadequate care in future.

  • @ Ruth Bright A nail on the head……. fully hit.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 15th Jul '21 - 2:22pm

    Matt

    great comment and thanks, yes, to zoom, but I am a non drinker so shall get drunk on tea, totally!

    Jeff

    Excellent postings, can you share whether you are a professional in the scientific, or medical area?

    Adrian

    We need more alluding to Mill. I and a few, do, but people need to realise Liberalism is not Libertarianism!

    Ruth

    Munira, thus, made a faux pas!

    Why do the spokespeople, like some, but not many of our members, go for the liberal bleeding heart or libertarian side of debate. when they do not, they are inconsistent.

    On crime, wera, two years jail for upskirting, decriminalisation of many drugs, and yet not, for non payment of the tv licence! these do not make sense, like you say on this!

    Grimond would not get it either!

  • Adrian Collett 15th Jul '21 - 6:06pm

    Hi Ruth, I always listen to what you say, because it is usually pretty sound, informative and useful. So please excuse my ignorance in asking what your “faux libertarian” reference meant. Are you saying that this was a false libertarian move by our Parliamentarians, but that if it had been real it would have been okay? I don’t think you were, so would like to understand.

  • Peter Martin 16th Jul '21 - 2:24pm

    @ Marco,

    “Flu is deadly in care homes but flu vaccinations are not compulsory for care workers…”

    But maybe they should be?

    There is a general myth that Covid and flu deaths are comparable but flu deaths are nearly always accompanied by pneumonia. Even if we add the two together there have been six times more deaths from Covid as there are from flu in a bad year.

    In any case deaths aren’t the sole factor. There’s no evidence of “Long Flu” or “Long Pneumonia”

    https://www.health.org.uk/publications/long-reads/one-year-on-three-myths-about-COVID-19-that-the-data-proved-wrong

  • @ Peter Martin

    COVID related deaths are often due to COVID causing pneumonia (the Chinese authorities originally reported it to the WHO as unusual pneumonia cases). Alternatively COVID can be one of a number of causes of death.

    I would argue that COVID is recorded as a cause of death when flu would not be. The former being over recorded and the latter under recorded.

    Excess deaths paint a different picture and in 2020 age-adjusted excess deaths were comparable to 2008 which is hardly a once in a century event.

    There is also something called post viral syndrome which is in effect “long flu”.

  • Moick Taylor 16th Jul '21 - 10:32pm

    There is no contradiction between saying that individuals shouldn’t be forced to have a covid or flu vaccine and making vaccination a condition of employment in the care industry. People would know that if they wanted to work in the care sector they would have to be vaccinated, but no-one would be forcing them either to work in the care sector or have a vaccine.
    Personally, I would not want to be cared for by an unvaccinated person, nor would I want my friends and relations to be put at risk by being cared for by people who are too selfish to take these simple steps. B y the way, my friend who is dying from motor neurone disease is only cared for by people who are vaccinated against covid and I know many care consumers insist upon it.
    I’m with JS Mill on this one. People should be able to do what they want as long as it does no harm to other people.
    Put bluntly, if you want to work in the care industry, know that vaccination is a condition of the job. If you don’t want to be vaccinated, find work elsewhere.

  • Hi Adrian. I just meant that the position on this is a pose on civil liberties when it is nothing to do with civil liberties.

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