Sunday, October 24, 2021

Reaction to Demand For Vaccine Exemptions


The last time I wrote to you, my opening comment was that “I don’t often respond to letters to the editor”, yet here I am again. I am writing in response to the reader who wants a vaccine exemption certificate (Sept 15).

The writer gives the impression that she is being somehow discriminated against by the new vaccine passport policy being adopted by our (and many other) provincial governments. The objective of this policy is to give restaurants and other like businesses which operate largely indoors, a reasonably safe environment in which to operate. It will give them a tangible method to help protect themselves and their staff from the threat of infection. It will not guarantee protection. As we are aware, the vaccines are not 100% protective. Nothing in life is 100% except as the old expression goes… death and taxes.

The writer gives seven examples of those who are refusing vaccination. It would take too much space to discuss each one in detail, but the one where she likens the vaccine passport to the “star the Jews were forced to wear in Europe” struck me. While I am not Jewish, I think if I were, I would take that comparison as deeply insulting. The star was part of a systematic persecution policy and ultimately an attempted genocide of the Jewish people by the Nazis. It is not reasonable to compare the actions of the Nazis with measures taken by our Public Health experts attempting to slow the spread of this virus.

In her letter the writer states that “Government and Doctors should be required to issue EXEMPT certificates for those whose health is threatened by vaccines for Covid19”. I assume that she would use this certificate to gain access to places and events that otherwise require them? If so, why would we issue vaccine passports at all if exemptions can be obtained? Surely this would make the program entirely ineffective.

I am sorry if the writer is unable to be vaccinated because of her own personal medical history or beliefs. She must limit her exposure to others for their benefit as well as her own. In a similar manner, while I would love to be able to be a blood donor, I cannot because of my own medical issues. Therefore, I refrain from doing so. We all make sacrifices of some kind in our daily lives.

We are so lucky to live in this country and at this time in history. We enjoy so many freedoms and rights not afforded to our forebears and others currently living in foreign lands. Being asked to get vaccinated and use a vaccine passport where necessary to protect ourselves and others that we share this space with, strikes me as a minor inconvenience.

Dave Glass, Meaford

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