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  #1  
Old 07-03-2021, 12:00 AM
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COVID Vaccination Hesitancy

Now in early July 2021, with the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus expected to become the dominant version of the virus in the next few months, the concerns of the threat of the virus spreading even faster to those still unvaccinated have increased dramatically. It is the most transmissible version of the virus so far, especially in the areas of the country where the total vaccination rate is still quite low and at significant risk.

We now know that it is not just catching the virus and dealing with its immediate health concerns, but the growing number of adverse after effects to the health of people of all ages, once they are lucky enough to survive and essentially recover, referred to as “long-haul symptoms”. Those symptoms and affects include shortness of breath, chest pain, physical fatigue, compromised sense of smell, reduced lung capabilities and diminished mental/cognitive functions described as “brain fog”. I assume we will continue to learn more as time goes by.

What is very disheartening to me is a recent national poll that indicated that just over a quarter of those surveyed said that even now, they have decided to still not get vaccinated. While I can understand their earlier reluctance to getting vaccinated, based on mis-information, false myths and lack of trust of government officials, it makes no sense now. The vast majority of trusted messengers, specifically health professionals, including doctors and nurses, are in agreement that the possible health risks associated with the vaccine’s pales in comparison to the potential detrimental and deadly affects of the COVID-19 virus to those who are not vaccinated.

I get it that Americans have always been an individualistic people who don’t like being told what to do. But in times of crisis, they have historically still had the capacity to form what Alexis de Tocqueville called a “social body,” a coherent community capable of collective action. The basic sense of “peoplehood”, of belonging to a common enterprise with a shared destiny, is exactly what’s lacking today. Researchers and reporters who talk to the vaccine-hesitant find that the levels of distrust, suspicion and alienation that have marred our politics are now slowing down the vaccination process. They find people who doubt the competence of the medical establishment or any establishment, who assume as a matter of course that their fellow countrymen are out to con, deceive and harm them.

This mentality, epitomized by the sentiment of: “the only person you can trust is yourself”, has a tendency to cause people to conceive of themselves as individuals and not as citizens. A recent survey of people who were refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine revealed that they often used an arguments such as: “I’m not especially vulnerable. I may have already gotten the virus. If I get it in the future, it won’t be that bad. Why should I take a risk on an experimental vaccine?” They are thinking and reasoning, mostly on a personal basis, about what’s right for them as individuals more than what’s right for the nation and the most vulnerable people in it. It’s not that they have rebuked their responsibilities as citizens; it apparently never occurred to them that they might have any. When asked to think in broader terms, they seemed surprised and off balance.

For me, the overwhelming relief of now being fully vaccinated, (having eagerly received the two doses of the Pfizer vaccine back in March 2021), is that now I do not have to worry as much about catching the virus, but also about harboring the COVID-19 virus asymptomatically and passing it on to someone else, especially a family member who has a compromised immune system, causing them to get sick. At this point, I believe that with just few exceptions, everyone should get vaccinated.

I recognize, but disagree that general public safety concerns should take religious beliefs into account, as an excuse to not getting vaccinated. I accept that there are some people who have legitimate health issues that would preclude their getting vaccinated. But for everyone else, stop the silly bribing inducements by various States. We are now at the point where I believe that the local, state and federal governments should mandate that the reluctant, the recalcitrant and the reckless, all get inoculated against this virus so we can finally get this world-wide pandemic under control. Let employers make being vaccinated a requirement for working there. Also, let retailers of all sizes, determine whether or not their customers need to wear face coverings in order to enter and patronize their stores. While personal freedoms should be protected, they should not be ranked higher than the healthy well-being of the broader community in our country. This vaccination issue is not about individuals, but about all of us, collectively living and working together.

Alas, I am afraid that even if what I am advocating does occur, there will still be a significant number of Americans who will still refuse to get vaccinated. Then, what we may ultimately experience is what philosophers Hebert Spencer, Charles Darwin and Adam Smith have simplistically theorized as “survival of the fittest”. This speculation can also be interpreted as survival of the most intelligent, those who seek out honest, truthful, factual information based on both science and experience. The people who have been vaccinated have observed, understand and acknowledge the high degree of protection against the virus that the vast majority of people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, are proving to be mostly immune to the spreading virus or, if they catch it, their symptoms are not as serious. The odds are against the people who refuse to get vaccinated since they will be much more susceptible to catch the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus and suffer its consequences and either die or suffer long-term health issues. The sad reality is that this likely outcome is avoidable if these people were not as naïve, ignorant or untrusting of science and would just get vaccinated.

AVB-AMG
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My current & recent car history:
2020 BMW 440i xDrive Coupe (Wife's daily driver)
2016 BMW X5M (My daily driver)
2014 BMW M6 Coupe (gone)
2013 BWM 335i xDrive Coupe (gone)
2011 BMW 335xi turbo coupe (gone)
2007 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG (gone)
2007 BMW 335ci twin turbo coupe (gone)
2004 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG (gone)
2004 BMW X5 4.4i (w/full Aero Kit - gone)
2001 BMW X5 4.4i (w/full Aero Kit - gone)
2000 Mercedes-Benz E430 Sport (gone)
1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL (owned for 46 years)

Last edited by AVB-AMG; 07-03-2021 at 10:34 PM.
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2021, 12:02 AM
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Old 07-12-2021, 01:59 AM
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I disagree that a federal (or state) mandate should be issued for vaccinating. That's un-Constitutional. Employers can't mandate it because if violates HIPAA laws. Schools should be able to as they have for a number of other illnesses/diseases, nothing new there.

Honestly, I can take care of me and my family. That's all I need. I'll feel a bit better after my kids can get vaccinated (<12yo) but we're home schooling the one in school until that's an option. We respect other's rights to care for themselves and their families in the way they see fit. Hopefully nothing happens to them, but if it does, a choice was made. And that's America, having choices. Just as with us taking the vaccine, if something happens, a choice was made. We all weigh our choices. Where I lose respect for people, is when they base a health care decision on politics. Or any decision really. Because at the end of the day, most politicians from both sides don't care what happens to you or me as long as their campaign contributions keep coming in.
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  #4  
Old 07-20-2021, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalworks View Post
I disagree that a federal (or state) mandate should be issued for vaccinating. That's un-Constitutional. Employers can't mandate it because if violates HIPAA laws. Schools should be able to as they have for a number of other illnesses/diseases, nothing new there.
crystalworks:

Aside from my personal beliefs and preferences, there is a very important question that is being asked, with differing answers:
"Can Employers Require or Mandate that their Employees be Fully Vaccinated?"

If an employer wants its workers back in the office, can it require or mandate that they be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before they come back? And if a reluctant worker refuses to get immunized, can an employer show them the door? From my research, there is no federal law specifically addressing that issue so the matter remains up to private businesses, state, local or other applicable laws, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There is confusion as to whether or not HIPAA prevents employers from requiring vaccination as a prerequisite for employment. HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, applies to what the Department of Health and Human Services refers to as “covered entities” — and to certain organizations and people who do business with those entities. HIPAA applies to health plans and most health care providers who work for covered entities and are themselves required to follow HIPAA because the law expressly applies to them.

Certain organizations DO NOT have to follow privacy and security rules contained within HIPAA, such as life insurance companies, employers, workers’ compensation carriers, schools, state agencies, police agencies, and local municipal governments. Employers can ask you for your information under HIPAA, but if they ask the doctor for the information directly, the doctor cannot give it out. Doctors are covered entities, but employers are not. One’s employer’s ability to dig into your health information and health care records is more thoroughly covered by equal employment laws and not by HIPAA.

Keep in mind that people have to reveal medical information all the time. HIPAA does not grant each American medical patient a universal shield against the passing of medical data. Employers have a legal right question whether job candidates are fit for service. For example, schools can ask bus drivers whether they can see properly with or without corrective lenses. Airlines can ask pilots whether they have a history of seizures. Railroad engineers can be required to take drug tests. Police officers and Firefighters are required to prove physical fitness. Medical examinations are often attached to such employment. HIPAA does not ban the asking of such questions or the gleaning of such data.

Also, on June 1, 2021, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) stated that employers can now order their employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccination shot, provided that they comply with the reasonable accommodation provisions of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), religious exceptions, and other laws. The justification for allowing employers to mandate vaccinations is based upon the logical and strong premise that unvaccinated employees present a “direct threat” to others in the workplace. It is also very likely that in the near future, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will promulgate COVID-19, related health and safety rules that employers are required to adhere too. Currently, OSHA is relying on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for guidance pertaining to vaccinated and unvaccinated employees.

Before requiring employees be vaccinated, employers should be aware that an employee who does not get vaccinated due to a disability (covered by the ADA), or a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance, (covered by Title VII), may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation that does not pose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer’s business. The EEOC has recommended the following “reasonable accommodations” for employees who cannot get vaccinated: masking, working at a social distance from coworkers or non-employees, working modified shifts, getting periodic tests for COVID-19, teleworking, or reassigning the employee.

Employees cannot cite their societal, political, economic philosophies, as well as personal preferences as a reason not to get vaccinated if their employer mandates vaccinations.

Therefore, from all of this, I do believe that the bottom line is that employers generally have the right to mandate that their employees get vaccinated for COVID-19 virus as a prerequisite for employment, abiding by the stipulations I noted above. So if the current or prospective employee does not want to get vaccinated or if they cannot show proof of being vaccinated, then they will have to find employment somewhere else. You and others have a different interpretation, understanding and belief. Therefore, I think the reality is that since the legislatures in many states are currently in the process of enacting legislation to prevent this from happening, the fate of this question will most likely be ultimately decided in the courts.

AVB-AMG
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My current & recent car history:
2020 BMW 440i xDrive Coupe (Wife's daily driver)
2016 BMW X5M (My daily driver)
2014 BMW M6 Coupe (gone)
2013 BWM 335i xDrive Coupe (gone)
2011 BMW 335xi turbo coupe (gone)
2007 Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG (gone)
2007 BMW 335ci twin turbo coupe (gone)
2004 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG (gone)
2004 BMW X5 4.4i (w/full Aero Kit - gone)
2001 BMW X5 4.4i (w/full Aero Kit - gone)
2000 Mercedes-Benz E430 Sport (gone)
1961 Mercedes-Benz 190SL (owned for 46 years)

Last edited by AVB-AMG; 07-21-2021 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 07-21-2021, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVB-AMG View Post
Therefore, from all of this, I do believe that the bottom line is that employers generally have the right to mandate that their employees get vaccinated for COVID-19 virus as a prerequisite for employment, abiding by the stipulations I noted above. So if the current or prospective employee does not want to get vaccinated or if they cannot show proof of being vaccinated, then they will have to find employment somewhere else. You and others have a different interpretation, understanding and belief. Therefore, I think the reality is that since the legislatures in many states are currently in the process of enacting legislation to prevent this from happening, the fate of this question will most likely be ultimately decided in the courts.

AVB-AMG
I agree, the courts will ultimately decide it. And seeing as how the Supreme Court is conservative, patient's privacy will be upheld and employers will not be able to require vaccinations excepting in very specific industries. That's my guess anyway.

HIPAA's privacy stipulations are very limiting as to what can be shared by physicians and to whom, or asked for by employers, and when they may be asked for. I worked in a health care provider's corporate office for a short while. And my wife works for a large financial institution. Employers who are not considered "covered entities" can not access a person's personal health information without consent from that individual. They are not even allowed to ask reasons for sick leave other than to require a doctor's note (which will not stipulate the illness causing the leave, only the length of required leave).

Quote:
Originally Posted by AVB-AMG View Post
Keep in mind that people have to reveal medical information all the time. HIPAA does not grant each American medical patient a universal shield against the passing of medical data. Employers have a legal right question whether job candidates are fit for service. For example, schools can ask bus drivers whether they can see properly with or without corrective lenses. Airlines can ask pilots whether they have a history of seizures. Railroad engineers can be required to take drug tests. Police officers and Firefighters are required to prove physical fitness. Medical examinations are often attached to such employment. HIPAA does not ban the asking of such questions or the gleaning of such data.
Of course. Just because it is okay for requirement that a pilot have 20/20 vision by an employer, doesn't mean it would be okay for a bank to require employees be vaccinated. Apples and oranges.

There are few exceptions that I would be okay with requiring vaccinations. Health care providers (specifically in a hospital setting or assisted living/hospice), schools/day care centers, and the military. I do, however, feel it is okay for employers to require masks be worn on/at the job/workplace. That requires no HIPAA information and could be considered part of a uniform requirement.
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2005 X5 4.4i Build 04/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, Pano, Sport (Purchased 06/14 w/ 109,000 miles) (Sold 8/15 w/121,000 miles)


2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, DSP, Pano, Running Boards, OEM Tow Hitch, Cold Weather Pckg (Purchased 08/15 w/ 90,500 miles)

2010 X5 35d Build 02/10
Nav, HiFi, 6 DVD, Sports Pckg, Cold Weather Pckg, HUD, CAS, Running Boards, Leather Dash, PDC, Pano (Purchased 03/17 w/ 136,120 miles)
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2021, 09:19 AM
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"When the Team Chief said.... You're trapped in a hole with nothing but a goat and a slinky, what do you do? Stubby said, I'm not sure but it won't end well for the goat...." ~(Overheard) Last day, Phase 3, Q Course
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