Philosophy

Is Mandatory Vaccination Against COVID-19 Precautionary? — Guest Post by Jaap Hanekamp

This post originally ran at Hanekamp’s own site1. He is a chemist and theologian.

My love and I are fortunate enough to have three children, now in their twenties. They are well and truly underway to adulthood, and the oldest is getting married in about a month.

When we were younger, much younger, we also took care of teenagers needing bit of help in their lives. In total we had nine ‘interesting’ teens passing through our home and our lives, and most of them are still ‘with us’. Some of them have become good friends.

So, what do you do when you try to raise your own kids or try to foster-care teenagers you barely know anything about?

Well, you change diapers, have a good conversation, getting puked all over, help with homework, forbid and encourage, take them to the doctor, cook and eat together, do some hiking and camping, visit schools and talk to teachers, get vaccinations, and on and on.

In short: (foster)parenting is being there for the little and not so little ones; that is willing the good for the other. As Edward Feser points out:

“First, love is primarily a matter of will rather than passion. Second, pleasant feelings are therefore not of its essence, even if they are usually associated with it. Third, love is a matter of willing what is good for the beloved. Fourth, love of another for his own sake has priority over love of another merely for some benefit he provides.”

Slowly but surely and if ‘all’ goes well, those in your care grow in responsibilities and independence. But: whatever has all this to do with vaccinations against diseases?

A lot actually. Willing the good for the other entails that you take care of the other’s physical wellbeing, amongst many other things. And if vaccinations add to this wellbeing, and it does for a few diseases, then immunisation via vaccines is the right thing to do.

The WHO, for all its apparent weaknesses, does some reasonable summing up of the available vaccines in the world:

Dengue; Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis E; Human papillomavirus (HPV); Influenza; Japanese encephalitis; Measles; Mumps; Poliomyelitis; Rabies; Rotavirus; Rubella; Tick-borne encephalitis; Varicella; Yellow Fever.

The obvious questions come to mind: what about a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine? And: if one or more vaccines do come to market, is mandatory vaccination then the way to go, because corona-doom or some such?

Let’s consider these questions from a precautionary perspective as one of the mainstays of present-day culture, shall we.

Reiterating, precaution has materialised in a legal principle called the precautionary principle (PP) and is defined as follows (Rio Summit of 1992 Declaration on Environment and Development):

“Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.”

The PP can be found in numerous national and international legislations and treaties.

Two primary reasons are generally put forward why we should be precautionary under conditions of uncertainty, and we now live in uncertain times, right?

First, we have to acknowledge that unforeseen consequences always follow from our actions; second, we need to acknowledge the vulnerability of the global ecosystems, human society, and ourselves.

New technologies need to be treated standard as a potential threat and can only be approved after extensive research and careful deliberation. As Late Lessons from Early Warnings: the Precautionary Principle 1896-2000 from the European Environment Agency (EEA) preaches about new technology: ‘their very novelty might be taken as a warning sign’.

So, what about COVID-19? Surely, SARS-CoV-2 is not a human technology? Well, some do push for the idea that we have crossed the boundaries of the natural and social (italics added):

“If climate change was the result of carbon emissions, the emergence of viruses such as HIV, and the coronavirus SARS- CoV-2 could be traced to the intrusion of humans into delicate forest ecosystems and the vast animal incubators of the agro-industrial complex. As citizens of successful modernizing societies, we face all-pervasive risks that fundamentally blur the distinction between the social and the natural.”

Our and the world’s vulnerability is underlined at every turn in this debate, and that delivers a huge opening for those who see the world through a precautionary lens: pandemics are no longer natural but ‘under our control’, as I remark in my Utopia and Gospel (italics added):

“… risks customarily involve an amalgamation of natural phenomena (e.g. snow), artefacts (e.g. ski slopes) and institutions (e.g. ‘avalanche watchers’). Therefore, even the most natural of perilous occasions like storms, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, and tsunamis are no longer seen as merely natural phenomena threatening human life and property. They are considered to fall under human scrutiny and prediction. The human environment, and thereby its risks, is almost entirely perceived to be social, and thereby predictable and controllable.

How do we ‘control’ pandemics (because we should!)? The biggest buzz surrounds the progress of vaccines. There is even talk of making vaccinations against SARS-CoV-2 mandatory, as some argue:

“To win the war against the novel coronavirus that has killed nearly 163,000 people in this country, the only answer is compulsory vaccination — for all of us.

And while the measures that will be necessary to defeat the coronavirus will seem draconian, even anti-American to some, we believe that there is no alternative. Simply put, getting vaccinated is going to be our patriotic duty.

The reason: When an effective vaccine is available for COVID-19, it will only defeat the pandemic if it is widely used, creating “herd immunity.” It is important to note that during an epidemic, there is no threshold above which the protection conferred by herd immunity cannot be improved. Thus, the more people who are immunized, the lower the risk for all of us, including those who are not vaccinated.

Nor is there an alternative to vaccine-induced herd immunity in a pandemic. Relying on enough people becoming infected and then immune is dangerous, as exemplified by the Swedish experience where the COVID-19 mortality rate exceeds that of its more cautious neighbors. Broad induction of immunity in the population by immunization will be necessary to end this pandemic. In simple terms, a refusal to be vaccinated threatens the lives of others.”

However, a precautionary rush towards vaccinating the global population, even mandating such an operation, could well wreak havoc amongst the immunised.

Immune enhancement -especially Antibody-Dependent Enhancement; ADE- might result in people being worse off after some kind of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. As Eroshenko et al. warn (italics added; see also this recent study):

“ADE has been observed with dengue virus, Zika virus, Ebola virus and, importantly in the context of COVID-19, coronaviruses (CoVs). Although no well-defined set of viral properties has been definitely established as causally linked to ADE, viruses with severe clinical manifestations of ADE show an ability to either replicate in macrophages or other immune cells or otherwise manipulate these cells’ immunological state. We believe that it is important to consider ADE in the context of efforts to develop countermeasures against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Indeed, data from previous CoV research strongly suggest that ADE may play a role in the virus’s pathology. If this is the case with SARS-CoV-2, then careful design and testing of vaccines or alternative approaches to prophylaxis will be needed to prevent ADE.

So, the precautionary notion to vaccinate the world population against SARS-CoV-2 as a means to dampen or eradicate this disease, is utterly counter to the precautionary understanding of new technology, even more so when a compulsory (precautionary) program is decreed.

Mandating vaccinations against COVID-19 fosters an unsolvable contradiction as…

… precaution, in its classical form, should focus on ADE and other risks of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine (the new tech), which conversely might leave the pandemic ‘unchecked’, ‘requiring’ a lock-down of sorts by the fearful public/politicians, which is very bad for our economies and thus for our health, which requires a secondary precautionary response … ad infinitum.

So, the application of the PP could drive for bans/moratoria on technology -_vaccines_- and regulation -_immunisation programs_- that, at the same time, is mandated out of precaution -_vaccines; immunisation programs_.

As said so many times, the PP is a useless piece of rhetorical equipment that is primarily driven by fear, fear of death to be precise.

And that is not surprising. In our culture, we have embraced a minimalistic anthropology of human life. The philosopher John Haught puts it like this in his Is Nature Enough? (italics added):

“When we die, our minds and memories dissolve into the eternal silence that awaits menacingly beneath the feeble flickering of life. Eventually the whole universe will decay into energetic immobility, and nothing or nobody will be left to remember anything that went on during its long pilgrimage to nonbeing. Many billions of years from now, after the physical universe has lapsed into flame or frost (probably the latter according to the latest physical theories), everything to which it has given birth will be greeted by undying nothingness.”

This ‘ontology of death’ is regarded as the basic structure of the cosmos, which leaves (human) life far less ‘real’ than the overwhelmingly astronomical lifelessness we are surrounded with.

What once was regarded as the rule life is now the exception in a lifeless cosmos seemingly destined for the entropy-death: “… beggar or king, death is the end of all things. Why, life might be seen as a virus infecting the perfect organism of death,” as remarked in Terry Gilliam’s film The Zero Theorem.

In fact, from the epidemiological point of view, we are nothing other than virus-carrying organisms dangerous to ourselves and others.

This modern philosophy on life and death most of us, knowingly or not, embrace, makes a (mandatory) vaccine-immunisation program, in some macabre sense, alluring.

All the COVID-19 deaths we have seen so far, inflated statistics or not, have been the result of ‘lack of control’ of the pandemic, which should be at our precautionary fingertips. We have learned to control, and precaution expanded that notion manyfold.

Conversely, the hazard for some people becoming very ill or dying as a result of a SARS-CoV-2 vaccination program at least gives us data on our understanding, or lack thereof, of viruses and the possibilities and limitations of vaccines-immunisation.

In that sense, a quick introduction of a mandatory vaccination protocol could be regarded as a gargantuan clinical trial, without the usual and important safeguards that is.

No, this has nothing whatsoever to do with conspiracy-thoughts of any kind. Neither is it an accusation of coldheartedness against doctors and nurses. It is just taking a widely shared worldview to its logical conclusion.

Yet, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix bursts this dreary ‘cocoon of death’ with a poignant scene between Voldemort and Dumbledore (italics added):

“There is nothing worse than death, Dumbledore!” snarled Voldemort. “You are quite wrong,” said Dumbledore, still closing in upon Voldemort and speaking as lightly as though they were discussing the matter over drinks. Harry felt scared to see him walking along, undefended, shieldless. He wanted to cry out a warning, but his headless guard kept shunting him backward toward the wall, blocking his every attempt to get out from behind it. “Indeed, your failure to understand that there are things much worse than death has always been your greatest weakness —“

That indeed is not only Voldemort’s greatest weakness but ours as well. We should heed these words well the coming months and years.

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1Several of you have met Jaap before, who is somewhat well known. He used to wrestle under, I believe, the name The Holland Horrible. He can correct me if I’m wrong.

Categories: Philosophy

14 replies »

  1. There are things much worse than death. Death is the only “safe” state, where nothing bad can happen to you anymore. Attempts at complete safety are actually death wishes.

    Humans demanded we control life, emotions, diseases, the global temperature, the weather, the actions of everyone around us. This is the result of the attempted removal of reality. You can hide reality or deny it, but the consequences remain. That will become apparent.

  2. “Is Mandatory Vaccination Against COVID-19 Precautionary?” Yes, if you wish to be a servant of the New World Order.

    One can be suspicious of such PP “humanitarian” life affirming advocates as these, mostly atheistic, folks who are the same ones supporting world population control and reduction with contraception, abortion, euthanasia, and now, we presume, mandatory vaccinations.

    Obviously, this whole thing is all about One World politics. Science and medicine have been called into service to provide a rationale and make sure this vision happens quickly and expeditiously. The cowing of millions with the Covid “pandemic” has to be most heartening to them.

  3. So: Implementation of predictive policing heavily based on science and data is evil, while implementation of the precautionary principle heavily based on anecdote and fear (but falsely peddled as being based on science and data) is the paramount good.

    Sounds to me like a bunch of PP, or poo-poo.

  4. “Dengue; Hepatitis A; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis E; Human papillomavirus (HPV); Influenza; Japanese encephalitis; Measles; Mumps; Poliomyelitis; Rabies; Rotavirus; Rubella; Tick-borne encephalitis; Varicella; Yellow Fever.”

    Which of these are diseases with a “high” probability of death?
    Which of these are diseases with “high” probability of serious secondary consequences?””
    Which of these are diseases with “high” probability of serious money consequences (Chicken pox is known to shutdown entire schools for a week).

    Which of these are diseases that everyone gets, almost no one knows they have, almost everyone recovers from, but we can correlate secondary diseases 30 years later with and can get the Government to pay a pretty pretty penny for?

    Where does covid fit?

  5. The great British site run by Toby Young, Lockdown Sceptics, had a link to this story yesterday: https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/renowned-european-scientist-covid-19-was-engineered-in-china-lab-effective-vaccine-unlikely?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=a2a31eda26-Daily%2520Headlines%2520-%2520World_COPY_813&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-a2a31eda26-402264009

    If this Italian Professor is right, then there may never be any reliable vaccine. Even if he is wrong about it being a lab engineered virus, there may still may not be one. The flu vaccine is not very effective and exists mostly to churn out millions of new doses each year to make money for Big Pharma.

    All kinds of corners in terms of safety and sound clinical trials, etc. are being cut in the rush to proclaim a vaccine for SARS-COV2. This virus is simply not deadly enough to warrant treating it any different than ordinary flu, and certainly doesn’t warrant the extreme and invasive mandatory vaccine programs some are pushing for. Herd immunity and already available (and cheaper and safer) remedies like HCQ are the way to go.

    I’m sure many of you have seen the video making the rounds yesterday of Australian police choking a woman and wrestling her to the ground for not wearing a mask. These totalitarian tactics are only going to get worse around the world if people don’t start waking up and fighting back. If this is what the Covidtotalitarians are doing to people who refuse to wear face diapers, just imagine what tactics they’ll use to force you to take repeated injections of Gates’ Special Sauce.

  6. The Covid 19 vaccine currently being developed in 146 laboratories around the world is the first of its kind. It utilizes messenger RNA and electrical impulses to enter the cell nucleus and rewrite the genetic code of the cell so that it produces an antigen, effectively modifying the human genome. In other words, you will not be the same human human you were before getting vaccinated.

    https://youtu.be/uv3poZH2SiM

    http://ir.inovio.com/news-releases/news-releases-details/2020/INOVIOs-COVID-19-DNA-Vaccine-INO-4800-Demonstrates-Robust-Neutralizing-Antibody-and-T-Cell-Immune-Responses-in-Preclinical-Models/default.aspx

  7. @Elizabeth,

    Unless I’m misremembering my biochemistry, mRNA to protein synthesis happens in the cytosol and not the nucleus (and for excretion happens on the endoplasmic reticulum/golgi apparatus) and thus shouldn’t (mostly) result in any rewriting of nuclear DNA. So I’d take that press release with a grain of salt.

    I’m also unaware of anyone using a reverse transcriptase here; but I may be wrong. It would take a reverse transcriptase to take an RNA strand and make a DNA sequence from it. True enough, some RNA viruses do act this way. So, let me go see if I can find out if coronaviruses have a reverse transcriptase as a part of their reproductive strategy. Hmm, can’t find one, yet.

    As a side note, human herpes viruses (includes the offshoot chickenpox virus) do insert themselves into human host DNA, so …

  8. This is a great, fascinating post. I skimmed it. Thank you. When I have more time will try to read and think it through. In the meanwhile, is there yet a vaccine for Heresy? Shoot me up.

  9. Apologies but this ADE puts me in mind of a Star Trek (Original) episode called Miri

    Spock discovers research dating back three hundred years: there was a project with the goal of prolonging life. It worked, after a fashion, but a miscalculation annihilated the adults, leaving only the children to survive on their own for the last three centuries. Once they reach puberty, they succumb to the disease.

    Of interest perhaps to Joy

    Despite being transmitted by the BBC in the UK in December 1970, “Miri” was not broadcast again until the ’90s. An official BBC statement by Sheila Cundy of the Programme Correspondence Section reads: “After very careful consideration a top level decision was made not to screen the episodes entitled “Empath” [sic], “Whom The Gods Destroy” [sic], “Plato’s Stepchildren” and “Miri”, because they all dealt most unpleasantly with the already unpleasant subjects of madness, torture, sadism and disease”

  10. but a miscalculation annihilated the adults, leaving only the children to survive on their own for the last three centuries. Once they reach puberty, they succumb to the disease.

    You see that’s what I dislike about sci-fi. It’s irrational pretending to be science. The scenery is dull and they all wear the same thing.

    they us long words to bamboozle the audience! A pet hate of mine.

    There’s a flaw in Sock’s findings. They must have been hiding the adults round the back of the planet.

    Give me blatant fairytales instead.
    I used to. Think Dr Who was for adults until a few years ago. It’s hard to tell the difference.

    Star Tracks topic in those banned episodes was not appropriate for children OR adults! You see how someone can get a name for themselves.

    Just asked my Brother yesterday,
    “Did you know that L Ron Hubbard…”
    Yes, he interrupted and spoke for about ten minutes. He didn’t know what my question was going to be.

    Pesky aliens.

  11. “The Empath” was actually a brilliant episode (especially for the third season where Roddenberry had little hands on involvement, although it was an early script of his).

    I pick on the BBC nannyism, but NBC had its censors as well (they wouldn’t let women show their navels – Roddenberry later got even by having a show where the people had two navels).

    … and yes, I love me a fairy tale … fairy tales can come true … did for me … young at heart

    L Ron Hubbard … ’nuff said

  12. Joy:

    Star Trek’s topic in those banned episodes was not appropriate for children OR adults!

    I won’t defend the other two, but “The Empath” was actually about torture AND death AND sacrifice AND redemption AND adherence to rules AND grace AND life after …

    Yes, those are awful themes to be teaching children OR adults

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