How many anti-vaxxers were protected as kids?
Credit:Illustration: Andrew Dyson
To submit a letter to The Age, email [email protected] Please include your home address and telephone number.
How many anti-vaxxers were protected as kids?
At a time when we should be honouring and applauding the many scientists world-wide who developed safe vaccines (years ahead of the usual time line for such developments), we constantly hear of a ground swell of objectors. Notwithstanding the fact that there might be a very, very small cohort of individuals with rare medical conditions for whom a vaccine might be contraindicated, the rest of the deniers remain a conundrum.
Just consider, many of these people might not be here to protest if their parents and grandparents had not looked after their developmental years and had them vaccinated for tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, polio, measles, rubella, mumps, hepatitis and the flu. Furthermore, I wonder how many ingest “recreational” stimulants without much thought.
Russell Brown, Warragul
Who will support my son’s family if he loses his job?
A long time Labor voter, I am devastated by the Andrews government’s decision to mandate vaccinations for authorised workers. The state is well on its way to the prescribed 80per cent vaccination rate and this mandate will further alienate and marginalise many Victorians.
It also pushes many people into an untenable situation. My son is one of those people. He is the father of three children and has a new job as an authorised worker. He also has epilepsy which has been controlled by medication. He has been advised of the danger of introducing anything new into his system as it has the potential to upset the delicate equilibrium controlling his condition.
He is being forced into either supporting his family by having the vaccination, or not having a job. Who will support my son and his family if this vaccine results in a change in his currently stable condition? Will the Andrews government give an undertaking to those who might be the collateral damage for this mandated vaccination?
Bernadette Young, Rye
It is our human right to live in a safe community
Human rights are based on principles of dignity, equality and mutual respect and are the cornerstone of strong communities. I must say that I am a little confused when people state that mandating vaccinations is inconsistent with their human rights (The Age, 6/10). Isn’t it also our human right to live in a safe community during a pandemic? It is recognised that getting vaccinated is the only way we can begin to see our way through living with this virus, and respect is about recognising the value and dignity of each human life.
Julie Ottobre, Forest Hill
Using coercion to force people to be vaccinated
Whether you are vaccinated or not, any mandatory health direction is abhorrent. To enforce any form of mandatory medical action upon a person who has chosen otherwise is essentially an act of violence. We all have the human right to personal sovereignty and choice. Vaccines administered under this direction are done under duress, through coercion and manipulation. I am outraged that we have come to this. With the vaccine rate as high as it is, this mandate against all authorised workers who choose otherwise, needs to be immediately withdrawn.
Melissa Ort, Fitzroy North
Authoritarian rules and reasonable conditions
Mandated vaccinations for workers are conditions of employment. Mandated vaccinations for restaurants, etc, are a condition of entry. Building workers must wear hard hats, and restaurants are allowed to have a dress code. “Mandate” implies authoritarian application of rules. This is offensive to some. Conditions of employment and entry are widely accepted as reasonable rules. Let’s change the terminology to reflect reality, at least.
Gavin Youl, Maldon
The right to be vaccinated
While it is wonderful that Australia has reached the 80per cent first dose vaccination rate, Scott Morrison cannot start celebrating until he can explain why our First Nations peoples are still well behind this statistic and if our disabled community are anywhere near this figure as well. It seems that once again our most vulnerable are being left behind by the Coalition government.
Bruce McMillan, Grovedale
What about the teachers?
Re “Students in COVID-19 hotspots wary of return to class” (The Age, 5/10). Teachers in hotspots are expected to return to work without any discussion around their wellbeing or the safety of their workplace.
It is all very well for principals and the unions to say “follow COVID safety protocols”. Twenty-eight kids who have been hanging out with their extended families, crammed together in under-ventilated classrooms. Oh yes, they will be compliant when the request comes through to “please wear your mask properly”.
Vicki Mills, Herne Hill
Mask and kids? Of course.
Having two primary school-aged children who are too young to be vaccinated, I am all for recommending that children wear masks in school. However, most adults cannot wear one properly, over their mouth and nose, and constantly touch it and pull it off to talk, so how can we expect children to get it right? Oh yeah, kids are smart and respect the dangers of COVID-19.
Amanda Peucker, Flemington
No excuses, mask up
For the past two weeks, construction workers in Victoria have been stood down due to rising COVID-19 cases in their industry, mainly due to non-compliance of health orders. On day one of their return to work I walked past four construction sites in our suburb and there was not a mask to be seen. Working during Victoria’s extended lockdown has been a privilege extended to a lucky few and with that privilege comes responsibility. So, come on guys, put on those masks and start playing by the rules.
Sandra Bennett, Hawthorn East
More empty promises
Last year Dan Andrews promised to “fund and staff” 4000 intensive intensive care beds to cope with a potential increase in COVID-19 cases. The promised beds have not eventuated. Now, to cope with the expected surge in cases, elective surgery at some private hospitals has been cut by 50per cent (The Age, 6/10) to free up beds and staff.
So once again Dan Andrews has failed and others (elective surgery patients and surgeons) must pay the price while he refuses to take responsibility, let alone apologise. No doubt his PR team will spin the circumstances while any responsible journalist who questions his failure will be deflected or belittled. Those who believe what he says are at best gullible, at worst, foolish.
Kevin Ruljancich, Hawthorn East
Rationing out treatment?
As intensive care beds become scarce, how will hospitals prioritise between selfish, unvaccinated patients and double vaccinated patients with other life-threatening issues? I suppose the heroic, anti-establishment freedom fighters will readily accept the care of the state if they become sick.
Jack Ginger, South Caulfield
Lockdown through love?
Melbourne is the world’s most locked down city. That sounds very different to being the world’s most liveable city as we were for several years. But we have had far fewer deaths per capita than many cities which have opened up earlier. So is Melbourne now one of the world’s most caring cities?
Marguerite Marshall, Eltham
Six hours of trauma
What a relief to know that Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram can all be turned off at once (The Age, 5/10). Where is the switch so that it can be done permanently? What a concern that there are people who are so addicted to these services, they cannot handle it when an outage takes them down.
Bruce Watson, Clifton Springs
Blame everyone else
A brilliant article by Shaun Carney – “It’s too early to be sending Berejiklian tributes” (Opinion, 6/10). Poor Gladys, it is all the fault of the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Substitute Dan Andrews and imagine the outpouring of vitriol and bile from Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg, Greg Hunt, Alan Tudge and their News Corp sycophants.
Ian Panther, North Ringwood
The women’s support
Tributes from her Gladys Berejiklian’s colleagues in the Liberal Party can be regarded as unsurprising expressions of loyalty to a former premier. More interesting is the widespread sympathy for her coming from many women, particularly on social media. Much of this portrays her as a victim of the “bad boyfriend” experience many women can relate to. Other sympathisers see her as representative of the way women are treated in politics more broadly. Regardless of the allegations levelled against Berejiklian, many women clearly feel sorry for her.
Rod Wise, Surrey Hills
Our children’s problem
Sussan Ley has approved three new coal mines within a month. How can this be justified? We are on the brink of an existential crisis that is confirmed with each bushfire season and a record number of storms. This government simply does not care about the next few decades because it will not be its problem – but it certainly will be our children’s.
Irene Zalstein, East Doncaster
Warned, 44 years ago
Climate scientists have been warning of impending climate catastrophe for a lot more than 20 years (Letters, 6/10). In July 1977, during a meeting at oil giant Exxon’s New York headquarters, scientist James F.Black put on a slide show warning that the burning of fossil fuels could endanger humanity.
He later said, “Present thinking holds that man has a time window of five to 10years before the need for hard decisions regarding changes in energy strategies might become critical”, and “general scientific agreement that the most likely manner in which mankind is influencing global climate is through carbon dioxide release from the burning of fossil fuels”. It is not as though anyone has been blindsided.
Helen Moss, Croydon
Children before profits
So safety breaches at childcare centres leading to penalties have disproportionately happened at those run by for-profit providers (The Age, 6/10). It is a simple question, really: education and care for children or for profit? An uncomfortable truth for governments.
Brian Newman, Brunswick
My need to read books
I am a tertiary-educated 79-year-old who was homeless. I now live on a long-term rental basis at a motel. I am longing for some decent reading material. I have just been informed by a local library that I cannot join because I live in a motel. Is this an issue at all libraries? Do they believe that motel residents are only temporary and may move on without returning their books?
Robyn Marxsen, Box Hill
Fearful of federal ICAC
Do these Liberal ministers and backbenchers who are asking for a rethink on the national integrity commission (The Age, 6/10) really believe that political survival is more important than integrity? Is this group (and their leader, I suspect) aiming to have an official promulgation of the 11th commandment – “Thou shalt not be found out”?
Ian Grandy, Nunawading
Learning from the master
Scott Morrison’s “guilty until proven innocent” characterisation of NSW’s Independent Commission Against Corruption is straight out of the Trump playbook. He is trying to undermine confidence in a public institution for political gain. He is conflating the investigative process, and the court process where the onus is on the state to prove its case. Our courts would be rather empty if the police assumed everyone were innocent.
Mike St Clair-Miller, Seddon
Nothing to hide, no worries
The federal Coalition has made clear it they do not not want an integrity commission like the one in NSW as they think it has too much power to investigate and prosecute possible corruption, and this would hinder their job. This is the same party that has passed stringent security laws. Any opposition to these, the reply is, “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about”. It seems to me that an integrity commission with power to do its job properly should hold no fear to politicians because, after all, “if they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to worry about”.
Frances McKay, Kensington
What else do we expect?
Politicians are put into electorates by deal-making, number-crunching, favour-granting party apparatchiks. Why, therefore, is the electorate surprised when politicians act in the same deal-making, favour-repaying manner when they are in office?
Peter Roche, Carlton
Religion and politics
Your correspondent says that these days we do not criticise politicians for their religious beliefs (Letters, 6/10). Really? What we do do is to try and determine if their religious beliefs affect their political judgments. For example that NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet considers it to be a leadership virtue to be “passionate” about policy (The Age, 6/10) would be insidious if this were religiously motivated.
Peter Drum, Coburg
A national treasure
I’ve just read Richard Flanagan – “Looking away won’t save us” (Spectrum, 25/10) – and blown away by the man’s mastery of thought and expression. How lucky we are to have this wisdom. I am deeply moved.
David Marshall, West Brunswick
AND ANOTHER THING
Credit:Illustration: Matt Golding
Did the vaccine cause Facebook to crash?
Bronwyn Petrie, Portland
Translation of anti-vaxxer saying “I’ve done my research”: I’ve been reading my Facebook feed.
Joan Kerr, Geelong
So the CFMEU protests have become super-spreader events. Well, who is surprised?
Jan Dwyer, Rosebud
There have been about 29 million jabs in Australia. We’ve seen every one of them on television.
Cor Peeters, Doncaster
Will anti-vaxxers berate their dear old mums for getting them vaccinated as children?
Anne Bennett, Blackburn
Gary Sayer (6/10), local party members are there to sell raffle tickets and give out pamphlets on election day, nothing more.
Ian Powell, Glen Waverley
Harry Truman had a plaque on his desk that read “The buck stops here”. If Andrews had one, it would be “It’s not my problem”.|
Lara Blamey, Mount Eliza
Matthew Guy’s special subject: the bleeding obvious.
Tim Durbridge, Brunswick
If it takes shakedowns and extortion to extract support from the federal government to keep the national population alive and well, bring it on.
Dorothy Waterfield, Seaholme
Morrison: We will not listen to anyone about what we should do about climate change. We’ll wait until everything else has failed.
Rob Gardner, Clifton Springs
Who to trust: an ICAC commissioner or a politician under investigation?
John Johnson, Venus Bay
We wanted a federal watchdog but have been offered a whiteboard.
Denis Fielding, Geelong
Tony Wright, Ross Gittins, Waleed Aly. Three outstanding journalists who provide top-quality reporting and analysis.
Elizabeth Sprigg, Glen Iris
The Age’s editor, Gay Alcorn, writes an exclusive newsletter for subscribers on the week’s most important stories and issues. Sign up here to receive it every Friday.
Most Viewed in National
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article