Article from Unity News Network with Niall McCrae – Workers of England Representative
This week GMB union, unlike Unison (as I reported on UNN last week) is standing up for care workers against the government’s totalitarian vaccine policy. Hauptkapitan Hancock announced that the law will be changed to impose covid jabs on care staff in private nursing homes, residential care and the NHS. Predicting that up to a third of members working in the care industry would leave due to ‘no jab no job’ policy, Rachel Harrison, GMB national officer, said: –
‘Carers have been at the forefront of this pandemic, risking their lives to keep our loved ones safe, often enduring almost Victorian working standards in the process’.
As an officer of the Workers of England Union I am representing numerous employees against care home providers that are piloting this draconian regime. On 30 January 2021 WEU produced a statement in collaboration with UK Medical Freedom Alliance and Lawyers for Liberty warning employers not to force staff to take inadequately tested and potentially harmful vaccines. This has been sent to employers that intend to dismiss worker who refuse the jab.
A member under threat of dismissal received a point-by-point response to this statement by her superiors. The employer’s critique, however, failed to rebut our argument in any meaningful way. Instead, it unwittingly emphasises the unethical, unlawful and pseudo-scientific basis of the policy.
A fundamental problem with a ‘no jab no job’ policy is its proportionality. It imposes a medical intervention that has limited effectiveness against a disease that is no worse than a virulent strain of influenza. In short, it is an absolutist sledgehammer to crack a proportionately tiny nut.
Risks of covid-19 infection and transmission are not eradicated by the vaccine, which is proportionately not very effective. A study of the four most commonly used vaccines published in the Lancet (Oriallo et al, 2021) showed absolute risk ratios in reducing covid-19 infection of merely 1%. This means that neither a fully vaccinated employee nor the service-users are really protected from the virus. Indeed, the vaccines were developed and tested not primarily to prevent infection but to reduce symptoms; as such, they are more accurately described as prophylaxis rather than immunisation.
At a local level, the vaccine has a proportional rather than absolute effect on herd immunity. The policy suggests that a fully vaccinated workforce would be significantly less at risk than if 95% of workers were vaccinated, and that anyone not taking the vaccine presents a serious danger to others, but there is little evidence for this. The company appears to be pursuing a ’zero covid’ strategy, despite the virus being endemic and the vaccines offering only limited protection.
The employer claims that it has issued a reasonable management instruction. But not only is the effectiveness of the vaccine dubious, the policy requires staff to receive an injection that could cause them harm. The company states that the vaccines are authorised as ‘safe’, making no reference to the emergency approval and lack of long-term safety data.
As the WEU statement explains, the vaccines use novel genetic technology to induce an immune response. The vaccines were developed so rapidly that government ministers have described them as ‘miracles’. However, it is not possible to compress time. The long-term safety profile is unknown, as this stage of experimental trials will not be completed until 2023. Employers should be reminded of the thalidomide scandal, when a drug given to pregnant women for morning sickness was inadequately tested, resulting in hundreds of deformed babies.
While we do not know the long-term hazards, we now have plenty of data on short-term impact. The employer’s critique omits mention of the adverse reaction surveillance run by the MHRA. The Yellow Card system, introduced in 1964 following the thalidomide scandal, has never had so many reported events for a medical substance. According to the latest Yellow Card analysis (covering the period to 2 June 2021), a total of 922596 events have been reported, with 1295 deaths. The Pfizer vaccine (14.7 million first doses, 10.7 million second doses) has one Yellow Card in 374 doses, and one one fatal reaction in 62562 doses. AstraZeneca (24.5 million first doses, 15.7 million second doses) has one Yellow Card in 205 doses and one death in 46581 doses. Moderna (0.46 million first doses) has one Yellow Card in 140 doses and one death in 115000 doses.
Based on Yellow Card reports, last week medical expert Tess Lawrie wrote an open letter to June Raine, head of MHRA, imploring ‘cessation of the vaccination roll out while a full investigation is conducted’ because of mounting evidence of adverse reactions. No employer imposing covid jabs can plead ignorance of the rising number of fatalities linked to this dubious medical intervention.
The employer’s response concludes with this justification for the vaccine requirement: –
- Vaccines reduce the chance of individuals catching the virus
- Vaccines significantly reduce the prospects of individuals suffering from complications requiring hospitalisation and/or dying if they do catch the virus
- Vaccines significantly reduce the transmission of the virus
As discussed above, the first and last points are debatable and hardly based on factual evidence, but the second point is more valid. However, if the company has such confidence in the vaccine, why would it regard any unvaccinated worker as a mortal hazard? The letter bluntly tells our member that she is risking lives by disobeying mRNA-injected discipline, noting the vulnerability of service-users. Apparently many of the clientele have not had the jab. The company asserts that the vaccine reduces risk of hospitalisation and death, but these are very unlikely outcomes for healthy adults on the payroll. Vaccination would not prevent employees from unwitting carrying the virus into the workplace from outside. By its own logic, the policy is targeting the wrong people.