The decision by Austria to people who decide not to have a Covid vaccination in prison takes tyranny to a new level.

The move must, of course, be condemned by everyone, irrespective of what side of the Covid/vaccination policy debate you have been on up to now.

However …
… I hope what is happening in Austria gives people who previously supported vaccine passports/sacking unvaccinated carers & nurses pause for thought.

Many such people have good intentions and genuinely, if mistakenly, believe these policies will have public health benefits ….

Sadly there are others, including some at high levels of power, who are apparently not interested in vaccination as a way of improving public health (especially for those high risk from Covid) but for whom vaccination is the end in itself …

Once well-intended people abandon the simple principle that decisions over medical treatment have to be made with free & informed consent, then the Austrian move becomes hard to oppose …

Sacking unvaccinated carers & nurses/banning people from ordinary day-to-day activities differs from putting the unvaccinated in prison only in the degree of coercion involved. There is no difference in the principle.

Whatever your views on the benefits of vaccination, it is time now to come #together to condemn unambiguously any form of coercion or pressure whether in the form of mandates, passports or direct compulsion.

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More from @cricketwyvern

18 Nov
Latest ONS estimates report previous Covid infection reduces chance of testing positive by 80%, exactly the same as having 3 vaccines and a bigger risk reduction than that given by any other vaccination status …

In most cases, the difference is statistically significant (note where the 95% confidence intervals don’t overlap).

For example, the reduction in risk from previous infection is twice that from AZ vaccine even if given within the past 3 months …

And do those previously infected boost their immunity further by getting vaccinated?

ONS reports that being double vaccinated has no effect on the risk of re-infection …
Read 8 tweets
17 Nov
It’s hard to think of a policy* which has unravelled so completely & spectacularly as vaccine passports.

They have caused huge harm & division, yet nearly every European country that has introduced them has seen unprecedented increases in Covid infections within a few months …
Note that doesn't mean vax passports have *caused* those increases but, in contrast to what people were promised, they have done absolutely nothing to prevent them.

(that said, it is quite plausible that they do make things marginally worse rather than better) ...
If Government scientific advisors had any integrity, they would be banging on Number 10’s door to demand that vaccine passports are ruled out for England under any circumstances …
Read 5 tweets
11 Nov
Hard to think of a better argument against England’s *Plan B* than Ireland’s situation.
They have had vax passports for months, v high vax rates & never-ending mask laws.
This has done nothing to stop case rates rising hugely over the past few weeks, now well above England* …

Using % positivity to control for higher UK testing makes for an even starker comparison.

Rather than questioning whether vaccine passports & mask laws are actually effective, there are suggestions ROI may go for even stricter vax passports. You really couldn’t make it up ...
As always, cases will come down in Ireland irrespective of whether or not they go for tighter restrictions, just as they have recently in England.

Politicians everywhere seem remarkably resistant to learning lessons from the past 18 months.
Read 4 tweets
11 Nov
The latest @UKHSA Vaccine Surveillance shows 78% of infections in working age adults (18-59) occurred in the fully vaccinated.

Estimated take up for this age group is between 70% (using NIMS population estimates) & 81% (using ONS) ...
Remember NIMS probably understates take up overall whilst ONS probably overstates (may be different for some ages).

So at best, vaccinated are currently testing positive at only a slightly lower rate than unvaccinated, but quite possibly higher ...
Remember also that care home workers manage risks to residents by isolating when symptomatic and regular testing.

How on earth can Govt continue to claim that sacking unvaccinated carers makes things safer for residents?
Read 4 tweets
3 Nov
A reminder why there will be little or no benefit on infection from sacking unvaccinated carers.

89% of care workers in elderly care homes are already double vaccinated. Many of remaining 11% will have been previously infected so high level of immunity ……

Even if the small % who are unvaxed & not previously infected have a higher risk of infection, they still take other control measures, e.g. isolating if symptomatic & regular testing. Any marginal additional risk reduction from sacking unvaccinated will be tiny.
But …

whether vaccinated are actually at less risk of getting infected unclear. We know there is significant waning of effectiveness against infection. Results vary, but some studies conclude VE goes to zero after as little as 4 months for AZ, 7 for Pfizer ……
Read 6 tweets
27 Oct
About this article by @whippletom on HSA surveillance data:
Using the NIMS population may underestimate unvaccinated case rates, but the data still raise serious questions about real world vaccine effectiveness which need investigating not dismissing ……

If we look at age 18-59 (most affected by vaccine mandates), HSA data suggest vaccinated case rate is 58% higher than unvaccinated.

Using the alternative ONS population estimates, rate amongst vaccinated is lower but only by 27%.
The true value will be somewhere in between …

On the face of it, those data are devastating for the case for vaccine mandates.

Rather than criticising @UKHSA for publishing data, far better to try to work out what is going on.

And rather than lobbying for the info to be suppressed, why not push for even more data? …
Read 5 tweets

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