The debate over vaccine passports and mandatory vaccination policies can be easily boiled down depending on which side of the fence you stand on. If you’ve already been vaccinated, you’re likely in favour of both, or at least the idea of vaccination passports. If you’re among the unvaccinated, the thought of needing a vaccination passport to travel, go out to a restaurant or visit a non-essential business is anathema to you. The idea of a mandatory vaccination policy in the workplace, or in general, is even worse.
Whether or not one gets vaccinated is a personal choice, but as with anything else in life, choices have consequences. And in the case of choosing not to get vaccinated, the consequences may result in any of the sanctions listed above. If you choose not to get vaccinated then you almost certainly won’t be able to travel internationally and you won’t be able visit a non-essential business in an ever-increasing number of provinces. As of the writing of this editorial, vaccination passports are still not required in Ontario, but the debate is heating up and the Ford government is coming under increasing pressure to follow suit.
Personally, I don’t believe in mandatory vaccination policies and they will almost certainly be ruled in contravention of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms when they’re challenged in the courts, which they almost certainly will be. But a vaccination passport is a different kettle of fish. As the virus continues to mutate and new variants make their way into the population, vaccinations passports are the only way to return to some semblance of normalcy.
For the life of me, I don’t understand why some people continue to resist getting vaccinated. I’ve heard pretty well every excuse. The most common is the fear of suffering long-term side effects from the vaccine up to and including cancer.
Now I’m no expert on vaccines, but I do now the long-term side effect of the small pox vaccine was the eradication of small pox and the long-term side effect of the polio vaccine was the eradication of polio.
The only legitimate reason I can think of for refusing the COVID vaccine is medical. People with underlying health conditions may be worried about possible side effects after receiving the vaccine, but these are the people who should be getting vaccinated the most because they are the people who are most likely to end up in the hospital or even die if they get the virus. I’ve had COVID and trust me, two or three days of having to deal with a high fever and some aches and pain is peanuts compared to having to spend two or three weeks in a hospital bed or, Heaven forbid, on a respirator.
So do yourself a favour. Do your family a favour and do your com-munity a favour – get vaccinated. It may just save your life.