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4 Objections to the Flu Vaccine Mandate
A letter written by Richard Moskowitz, M.D., retired, Boston, MA...
Please Don't Mandate the Flu Shot
I want to speak against the flu vaccine mandate that Governor Baker has just issued. I have four objections to it.
First, it's unethical. It violates core American values, both our time-honored insistence that every child deserves an education, and the Nuremberg Code, which we helped formulate in the wake of atrocious Nazi medical experiments inflicted on death camp victims in World War II, and still profess to adhere to. It strictly forbids subjecting anyone to any medical procedure without his or her fully informed consent.
I can imagine a true public health emergency, such as a terrorist attack, in which such rights might need to be waived temporarily. But this is not one of them. The mandate is meant to prevent the concurrence of our regular seasonal flu and what's left of the COVID from overwhelming our limited hospital capacity. This danger is purely hypothetical. It didn't materialize when the COVID was at its peak, and almost certainly won't on the downside. It seeks to prevent an illness that most people won't experience, and isn't that dangerous when they do.
So the optimal solution is simply to keep the vaccine optional, as it is now, available to all who want it and will feel protected by it. End of story.
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Second, it's unscientific. From long experience, we know that the flu vaccine doesn't work consistently or all that well, for two big reasons. First, influenza viruses are highly mutable, such that a new vaccine is needed every year, and involves a lot of guesswork as to which strain will predominate, based to a large extent on last year's model. Even if it scores a direct hit, the virus may already have continued to mutate, or will soon do so, even within the same season, while a very large percentage of the common illnesses we call "the flu" are associated with many common viruses other than the influenza group for which it is named, including coronaviruses.
Nor is the vaccine nearly as safe as we're led to believe. That's because the safety trials are funded and micromanaged by the manufacturers themselves, such that adverse reactions are arbitrarily dismissed if they take longer than a few days to develop, thus ruling out the chronic diseases almost entirely. It's also worth noting that, even though the vast majority of vaccine-injury claims fail to win Federal compensation, by far the largest share of the $4 billion paid out so far were from the flu vaccine.
Third, it's counterproductive. Even if it succeeds in making the targeted strain of influenza virus cases a little less frequent and/or less severe, it makes recipients considerably more prone to fall ill with other non-influenza viruses, including coronaviruses. Indeed, it would be eminently worthwhile to compare the incidence and severity of COVID-19 in patients who received a flu vaccine recently with those who did not. It makes no sense to try to prevent an infection that we don't isolate for, if in doing so we're actually promoting the one that all the fuss is about.
And fourth, it has ulterior motives. We've already exposed errors in the argument for mandating that are wholly sufficient to invalidate it. But surreptitiously and with no explanation, the mandate will remain in force beyond the time of the COVID, and indeed permanently, so that all Massachusetts schoolchildren will continue to forfeit their right to an education if they do not comply with it yearly throughout their schooling, as will future generations too. This is drastic overreach and must not be tolerated.
Richard Moskowitz, M. D., retired
Boston, Massachusetts

Posted on Sep 20, 2020 11:43am by admin

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