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The governments of many countries, including Japan, have said they will not make a coronavirus vaccine mandatory, but legal experts believe companies could order staff to get a vaccine, unless they have a health exemption. What's your stance on this?

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If I owned my own company I would require all my employees get vaccinated or find a new job.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

@Aly: There are numerous allergies which could result in severe reactions or possibly death if someone takes the vaccine. Would you allow those people to recuse themselves? Also there are other vaccines in the pipeline other than the currently available Pfizer vaccine. Would there be a provision allowed for those who wish to take the more traditional (non mRNA) vaccines? I think this is a bit more complex. I do own a company and I will not be mandating vaccines.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

We’ve had this discussion at work and there was some disagreement about the legality of ordering workers to be vaccinated. The best qualified among us in this area ( no great feat ), believed most companies would be overstepping the mark in mandating vaccines, but exceptions could be made in certain industries such as care work, health etc.

Anybody have any input on this?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It would be the same as companies ordering their staff to wash their hands before preparing food, taking yearly health checks or wearing a seatbelt at all times when seated on the wheel. At this point the evidence is clear and the available vaccines are much safer than the natural infection (yes, even on the long term), so refusing a vaccine without a valid medical exception is not a rational decision. People would still be free to do it of course, but then the company owners would also be allowed to refuse giving employment to those people.

Obviously complicated details would have to be sorted out (people already infected, what are valid medical exceptions, kinds of vaccines available, etc.) but as a general principle this would not be anything new.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

@virusrex - if a company mandates a vaccine and an employee has a severe adverese reaction should the company be fully exempt from liability for mandating the vaccine?

Also there is no empirical data on the long term effect of the mRNA vaccines (or other vaccines for that matter) as it has not been in use long enough to gather such data so as a scientist I would have to say "I do not know" to that.

I am a "pro vax" person by the way.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Too many unknowns, which needs to be ironed out before it can be mandatory. Effectiveness, availability, side effects, does it last, does it prevent transmission?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@virusrex - if a company mandates a vaccine and an employee has a severe adverese reaction should the company be fully exempt from liability for mandating the vaccine?

A valid concern, should be stipulated clearly in the conditions of employment, the same as any other requirement. People can have adverse reactions, allergies, elevated risks of cancer, etc. for many things already required for some jobs (specially frequent in health care) so this would not be anything new either.

Also there is no empirical data on the long term effect of the mRNA vaccines (or other vaccines for that matter) as it has not been in use long enough to gather such data so as a scientist I would have to say "I do not know" to that.

There is no need for empirical data of long term effects to be able to validly say that the vaccine is safer than the natural infection in the long term. The main point is not to prove the vaccine will be perfectly safe without any kind of possibility of anything ever happening, but that the risk is lower than from the natural infection .

For COVID-19 there are already well described long term or permanent problems (from neuronal degeneration to autoimmune disease or persisten myocardial inflammation to mention some) that happened after the infection, none of those problems have happened yet for vaccine recipients.

That means that at this point there is evidence of long term risk associated with not vaccinating, and until there is any evidence of any long term risk being elevated for vaccinated people, that means vaccinating lower those risks.

We don't know what will happen 5 or 10 years from now, for both things; but that does not means we don't already have evidence pointing to long term risks for COVID-19.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Healthcare providers already mandate vaccination against a range of diseases, so for this one that would be reasonable given the risks of the work.

But for other companies and the public service, mandating a COVID-19 vaccine in order to work there should be legally prohibited. Partly for the reasons Tokyo-Engr said, but also for civil liberties reasons. There's nothing stopping people from getting vaccinated if they want, and that's fine with me. And if the vaccines are as safe and effective as the makers and proponents claim, then vaccinated people will be protected from anything more than mld symptoms and won't transmit the virus...right?

Given that the vast majority of people exposed to this virus will show only mild symptoms at worst, and most will show nothing at all, what are the practical and moral justifications for enforcing vaccination on everyone in the workplace unless they have a medical exemption?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Given that the vast majority of people exposed to this virus will show only mild symptoms at worst, and most will show nothing at all, what are the practical and moral justifications for enforcing vaccination on everyone in the workplace unless they have a medical exemption?

As you yourself said

And if the vaccines are as safe and effective as the makers and proponents claim, then vaccinated people will be protected from anything more than mld symptoms and won't transmit the virus...right?

If a company can do something to decrease the risk for people that are not vaccinated (employees with valid medical exceptions, customers) that is a very powerful justification.

Also, anybody might not be part of the "vast majority", and the vaccine will reduce the risks of developing serious complications and even death. The vast majority of people on their 40s do not have cardiac or pulmonary problems but employers still demand a full periodical health check including chest X-rays (that do include a risk) to reduce the chances of having an unrecognized treatable problem.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Also, anybody might not be part of the "vast majority", and the vaccine will reduce the risks of developing serious complications and even death. The vast majority of people on their 40s do not have cardiac or pulmonary problems but employers still demand a full periodical health check including chest X-rays (that do include a risk) to reduce the chances of having an unrecognized treatable problem.

False equivalency, but that's par for the course.

These tests are just a check, and don't involve putting anything into the body more invasive than a barium drink. And the risk from chest x-rays is miniscule. But forcing someone to take a vaccine for a virus that is not going to affect the vast majority is a step too far. I'm fine with people getting vaccinated voluntarily with informed consent, but not under compulsion.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Aly: There are numerous allergies which could result in severe reactions or possibly death if someone takes the vaccine.

There have been no deaths. There is the rare reaction, true, but few and far in between.

Would you allow those people to recuse themselves?

Of course, if they can prove that they have an allergy. Otherwise I would be criminally responsible.

Also there are other vaccines in the pipeline other than the currently available Pfizer vaccine. Would there be a provision allowed for those who wish to take the more traditional (non mRNA) vaccines?

Yes.

I think this is a bit more complex. I do own a company and I will not be mandating vaccines.

fair enough. to each his own. I'm mostly focusing on the anti vaccine crowd. I won't have them in my company. If someone has a legitimate health reason for not taking it, we can work something out.

It would be the same as companies ordering their staff to wash their hands before preparing food, taking yearly health checks or wearing a seatbelt at all times when seated on the wheel. At this point the evidence is clear and the available vaccines are much safer than the natural infection (yes, even on the long term), so refusing a vaccine without a valid medical exception is not a rational decision. People would still be free to do it of course, but then the company owners would also be allowed to refuse giving employment to those people.

Exactly.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

There have been no deaths.

I'm sorry. I spoke too soon. There have been a few. Please ignore that last comment

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The doctors and nurses in my family all got their shots already stateside. They are not sure if I should because of my reactions to the flu shot yearly. I feel like a sumo wrestler has beat me for days, and I get super shakes with chills but no temperature.

I told them all I will take it anyway.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

No one should be forced to have a vaccine, or any other kind of medical treatment, if they are able to make an informed consent. Similarly, employers and businesses have the right to bar those who choose not to have a vaccination.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The vaccine should be mandatory. Not just mandated by employers, but by the government. Only those whose health, for whatever reason, would be put at risk by the vaccine should be exempt. "I don't want the vaccine because I have the intellect of a small child and don't understand what freedom is" is not fit grounds for exemption.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

There is no need for empirical data of long term effects to be able to validly say that the vaccine is safer than the natural infection in the long term

You can't say that without the data, which some companies don't seem to want to release: https://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2020/11/27/covid-19-vaccines-where-are-the-data/

And even the companies themselves don't share that sentiment:

“This is a unique situation where we as a company simply cannot take the risk if in ... four years the vaccine is showing side effects,” Ruud Dobber, a member of Astra’s senior executive team, told Reuters.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-astrazeneca-results-vaccine-liability-idINKCN24V2EN?edition-redirect=in

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

False equivalency, but that's par for the course.

These tests are just a check, and don't involve putting anything into the body more invasive than a barium drink. And the risk from chest x-rays is miniscule. But forcing someone to take a vaccine for a virus that is not going to affect the vast majority is a step too far. I'm fine with people getting vaccinated voluntarily with informed consent, but not under compulsion.

There is no false equivalence, many employers do require things for their employees that brings a risk, but this is justified when the same thing reduces a much more important risk, even when most of the population tested do not suffer from that disease at the moment. Everything done during a health check has risk, and even a barium drink can cause death.

The vaccine also have a minuscule risk, specially compared with the natural infection, and the X-rays are completely negative for abnormality for the vast majority of the people that are subjected to them. If your position were consisten you would also be against forcing people to assume tiny risks for health problems that do not affect the vast majority of the people that are subjected to them (or not object to either) your artificial discrimination between the two situations is not based on logic nor reason, just irrational feelings about one of two very similar situations .

You can't say that without the data, which some companies don't seem to want to release:

Obsolete article, the Pfizer vaccine data has already been published without problem, so your complain is false

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2034577

And even the companies themselves don't share that sentiment:

That is also mistaken, because at this point the natural infection is still much more likely to give long term problems, simply by the fact that it has already done it in many cases well described around the world.

Some cases are already more than zero cases, so even if the vaccine parts from the point of zero data, the natural infection is right now at the point of confirmed data for long term / negative health effects.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

A tough question and dilemma while personally I'd comply with the order ...but it has more to do with social psychological concern rather than the question of health or (loss of) livelihood.

Regardless of the pandemic, we already live side by side with and around various health risks and hazzard. Our health conditions are also diverse in terms of age and heath record. The impact of almost all those risks are relative. It doesn't make sense to try to pick and judge a particular vax program in absolute term.

But, on the top of that for Japan, vacccines should be available to anyone sooner!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Both ways are not practicable. If it is not mandatory, you will probably never get the necessary herd immunity of now significantly more than 80% as now all those new infectious virus variants appear. And if you make it mandatory it will be the same outcome. You will see it then for yourself, why this also won’t work if the vaccination would be declared a duty. I don’t explain it, otherwise it is (again) censored...lol

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

But forcing someone to take a vaccine for a virus that is not going to affect the vast majority is a step too far. 

You do seem to have libertarian sympathies, so shouldn’t companies have the right to decide who they want to get rid of? Would you approve of the heavy hand of the law or the government intervening in the decisions of private business if it reaches the stage of companies mandating vaccinations?

I have no time for anti-vaxxers with their conspiracy crackpottery and moronism, but I don’t think companies should mandate vaccines.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Covid19 has a very low death rate.

There is no evidence the vaccine reduces the spread of virus.

The vaccines have cause enough deaths to make some medical agencies to reconsider their vaccination recommendations.

There is no data on the long term effects of these vaccines.

It is therefore completely irrational to mandate any of these rushed experimental vaccines.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

*There is no evidence the vaccine reduces the spread of virus.*

You have given us probably the most misleading comment on the history of this site regarding Covid. You told us this virus had burned itself out months ago. You should have the decency to tell us where this barking mad and appalling nonsense came from. I know this is harsh, and do have the ability to laugh at many conspiracy theories, but this stuff is dangerous.

My understanding is that the results of mass vaccination are yet to come in.

Please tell us on whose or what authority you are making this claim. I hope it’s not the same place as the Covid burned out claim cake from.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Covid19 has a very low death rate.

And vaccines make it even lower according to the protection they confer

There is no evidence the vaccine reduces the spread of virus.

Nor that it does not, even if its only effect were to make the person asymptomatic that would still mean a 2/3 reduction

The vaccines have cause enough deaths to make some medical agencies to reconsider their vaccination recommendations.

There is no causal relationship proven between vaccines and deaths, as usual that is a misrepresentation of high rates of deaths in a population that naturally present them.

There is no data on the long term effects of these vaccines.

But no data is still better than the natural infeciton for which there is already data that proves long term or even permanent damaging effects.

It is therefore completely irrational to mandate any of these rushed experimental vaccines.

On the contrary, the irrational thing is to use false or misleading arguments easily disproven to justify a personal belief not supported by science.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

You do seem to have libertarian sympathies, so shouldn’t companies have the right to decide who they want to get rid of? Would you approve of the heavy hand of the law or the government intervening in the decisions of private business if it reaches the stage of companies mandating vaccinations?

That's a good question, Jimizo. From first principles, since a corporation is not a natural person and only a legal construct, a natural person trumps a corporation when it comes to situations like this because forcing someone to take a medication etc against their will would violate the non-aggression principle. Based on that, if the government does intervene, it should on the side of the individual and not the corporation when it comes to mandatory vaccination by a corporation.

And with every rule comes exceptions, namely when people are involved directly in healthcare as I mentioned above. But people enter fields like healthcare knowing what they're signing up for, so it's informed consent.

But forcing someone, say, working in a shop or an office to take the vaccine on threat of losing their job is wrong, I think. If coworkers are concerned about catching the virus, they're welcome to get the jab and should be fine, if the vaccines are as safe and effective as we're told. If worker A is unable to get vaccinated for some health reason and worker B refuses to get the jab, A doesn't have the right to infringe on B's bodily integrity and force B to get it on pain of B losing their job. In such a case, they might be able to work out some kind of compromise; otherwise, A would have to look for other employment.

You could make a similar argument for the travel industry.

Otherwise, allowing non-healthcare companies to mandate vaccination sets a precedent too dangerous to allow.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

That's a good question, Jimizo. From first principles, since a corporation is not a natural person and only a legal construct, a natural person trumps a corporation when it comes to situations like this because forcing someone to take a medication etc against their will would violate the non-aggression principle. Based on that, if the government does intervene, it should on the side of the individual and not the corporation when it comes to mandatory vaccination by a corporation.

Fair points but I’m more interested in this from a cold legal perspective.

One point I came across discussing this issue with someone who knows more about law than me ( not difficult ), is the idea a company could claim that the unvaccinated individual is putting the health of others in danger. I don’t know if that could fly.

As I posted earlier on, I’m honestly interested in getting the opinions of others who have a knowledge of law in this area.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As I posted earlier on, I’m honestly interested in getting the opinions of others who have a knowledge of law in this area.

I agree with you there. In lieu of not having our own legal expert here on JT, I did a quick check of some articles from a few different countries written by lawyers or with comments from lawyers. Their opinions differed a bit by country, depending on local laws. Here they are for anyone interested:

UK: https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/experts/legal/can-employers-force-staff-to-have-the-covid-vaccine

US: https://www.healthline.com/health-news/can-your-employer-force-you-to-get-vaccinated

Australia: https://www.colemangreig.com.au/BlogPost-1615-can-employers-mandate-the-covid-19-vaccine.aspx

Canada: https://www.canadianlawyermag.com/practice-areas/labour-and-employment/can-employers-require-employees-to-take-a-covid-vaccine/336341

2 ( +2 / -0 )

One year ago, thousand of people throughout the world caught a 'virus' a 'common cold' or the 'flu', and treated it with a 500 yen dose of Paracetamol. Unfortunately, some elderly persons with respiratory problems died as a result. Then along came Covid, and suddenly no one had a virus, common cold , or flu anymore. Instead they all have Covid, and unbelievably, elderly people are dying. WHY??? Elderly people never died before did they?. But, in a secret lab owned by a group of Insanely rich politicians - "Wam - Bam - Good Golly Miss Molly", they have discovered a vaccine.

And it costs 5000 yen each dose.

Next year ....Covid has gone.... those lucky vaccinated people now have a cold or the flu, elderly are still dying, but now it's from old age, and in a board room somewhere in the US, some 'much richer' politicians are discussing how to dispose of a large left over supply of Paracetamol.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Covid-19 is a very real killer virus. Many are strong enough to survive it while too many others have died from it. The vaccines are being manufactured on a non profit costing $25-$50 per shot.

The vaccine does not prevent death from other causes nor are they 100% effective against the Covid.

I don't believe it all just some Big Pharma conspiracy wanting to make more profits. Big Pharma was already doing well with profits.

People who show Covid-19 symptoms probably have the virus but only testing can ready discover. The tests are not 100% accurate.

Unfortunately, the virus won't be gone by next year unless it's eradicated worldwide.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Put the vaccine in a bottle of single malt scotch and I am all for it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Vaccinations can be only voluntary and not by force.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ok it is already mandatory in many companies to be vaccinated against many things unless one has a proven allergy to the vaccine.

The recent exaggerations in allergic reactions by antivaxxers is a good example of people selectively choosing facts.

Yes there have been allergic reactions but then every people have deadly allergy reactions to things like peanuts apples, etc.. far more than vaccines.

I have worked for Japanese companies that had vaccine rules of yearly influenza,(paid by the employer) and in one case I required to get and pay for the vaccine for Japanese encephalitis as a condition of employment because the disease is not present in my country of birth and my job brought me into areas where pug farms were located.

That is just the facts of living in a social responsible society

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am wholly in favour of vaccination and will be going for my shot as soon as it is available.

The UK has stipulated that it will not be mandatory, any more than any other vaccine is in this country, which is a position I approve of.

Zichi, most of the vaccines are not being supplied at cost, the only one I am aware of that is is the Oxford one at about £3.00 a shot.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

An influential Rabbi in Israel is saying that the vaccine causes gayness. There was a report in the Guardian yesterday. I think I will go with the scientist on this one. Not the crazies!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

englisc aspyrgend 

Zichi, most of the vaccines are not being supplied at cost, the only one I am aware of that is is the Oxford one at about £3.00 a shot.

Ok thank you

1 ( +1 / -0 )

12 pack of cold beer with a jab in the arse and I am good to go.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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