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February 11, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — Provincial governments in Canada should mandate that healthcare workers who refuse to receive a COVID vaccine (despite its many and well-documented risks) be sent home, according to three University of Ottawa law professors writing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) this week.
Forcing people to be vaccinated would be a clear violation of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, law professors Colleen Flood, Bryan Thomas, and Kumanan Wilson admit in their legal analysis of the issue published Monday. Since the Charter does not protect “economic interests and specifically the ‘right to work’,” however, it would be difficult for workers who don’t want the shot to keep their jobs if they refuse it, according to the law professors.
The policy is referred to in the United Kingdom and Australia as “no jab, no job.”
Now, questions about whether employers can fire workers who refuse experimental COVID-19 vaccines which are still in Phase III of their clinical trials have come to Canada, where a growing number of employees are wondering if their employers can mandate injections. Can the government strong-arm frontline healthcare workers into taking the shot? Will mandates affect teachers and students, plant workers and travelers? With “vaccine passports” and “digital vaccine IDs” for shopping and entertainment, as well as “vaccine incentive programs” emerging, how hard will it become to decline an injection?
Recent polls say about one in four Canadians do not want a coronavirus shot, and only 36% of Canadians said they would be willing to roll up a sleeve for one immediately; the rest would prefer to wait at least a few months to see more data.
In other parts of the globe, people are equally reluctant. One southeast London vaccination clinic reported closing early three days in a row last week due to low demand. Vaccine uptake has reportedly plummeted in Israel, as well.
While public health officials blame “anti-vaxxers” — those who question the safety and efficacy of vaccines — and “fake news” on social media platforms for the growing number of people hesitant to get the vaccine, it turns out that it is frontline healthcare workers who are among the most skeptical. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on February 5 that just 37.5% of staff members in nursing care facilities took a shot when Pfizer’s new vaccine debuted, for example. “Although efforts are ongoing to promote confidence in COVID-19 vaccination among health care workers, challenges persist,” the CDC report said.
Other public health officials have reported that “alarming numbers” of healthcare workers are refusing Pfizer and Moderna’s fast-tracked COVID-19 vaccines which are not Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved but have been granted Emergency Authorization Use status only.
A number of media reports have raised the issue of employers mandating vaccines, but the Ottawa University academics think that government mandates would be more effective. “In our view, provincial governments should not leave the decision of whether to require a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to the variability of choices made by different employers, but should set clear rules for all public and private health care settings,” they write.
Employee mandates would likely be challenged in labor disputes which consider the “reasonableness” of the employer’s directive, so the law professors writing in the CMAJ say it would be better to deny workers that avenue of redress and just let people challenge the government on Charter violations — a battle unlikely to succeed if religious and medical exemptions are allowed.
“It’s totally irresponsible and not compelling,” said Jay Cameron, a lawyer with the Calgary-based Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, a defender of Charter rights and freedoms under current extended pandemic emergency orders. “Not to mention it fails to truly engage on the issue of civil liberties.”
“If the employer is the government, whether federal or provincial, then the employer must abide by the Charter,” Cameron explained. “Mandatory vaccination is a violation of several sections of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In our view forced vaccination is simply unjustifiable in any known context, including Covid.”
Colleen Flood, the lead author of the CMAJ paper, declined to be interviewed by LifeSiteNews.
In the United Kingdom, the media reported on the plan of Charlie Mullins, the controversial chief executive of leading London plumbing firm Pimlico Plumbers, to impose a “no jab, no job” policy for existing and future members of his company’s workforce. Under new employee contracts, jobseekers would be required to prove they had received the COVID vaccine or be declined employment by Pimlico.
In response to reports from worried employees, three British organizations published an open letter to U.K. employees and employers last week, outlining employees’ legal rights surrounding vaccination.
“It is an established principle in English Law that an individual with the capacity to consent cannot and should not be compelled to have any medical treatment against their wishes,” said the letter from the UK Medical Freedom Alliance, Workers of England Union and Lawyers for Liberty.
Not only could employers be liable for breach of existing job contracts that did not require vaccination, the letter notes, but it cites the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act (1984) which states that regulations “may not include provision requiring a person to undergo medical treatment … ‘Medical treatment’ includes vaccinations and other prophylactic treatment.”
On January 27 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed Resolution 2361 to “ensure that citizens are informed that the vaccination is NOT mandatory and that no one is politically, socially, or otherwise pressured to get themselves vaccinated, if they do not wish to do so themselves,” and to “ensure that no one is discriminated against for not having been vaccinated, due to possible health risks or not wanting to be vaccinated.” The resolution applies to the United Kingdom, lawyers for the groups noted.
They also dispute the claims of up to 95% efficacy of currently available COVID vaccines which were based on evidence of preventing mild symptoms only. More important measures such as reduction of severe disease, hospitalization, and death were not assessed in either Pfizer/BioNTech’s or Moderna’s trials.
The measure of “effectiveness” was based on interim analyses of trial data and assessments of a tiny number of trial participants (only 94 out of 40,000 participants in the Pfizer trial or just 0.2% of the total cohort) who were the first to develop mild symptoms and tested PCR positive for SARS-CoV-2.
“The efficacy claim is based on the fact that 95% of this small group were in the placebo arm,” the open letter explains. “Closer scrutiny of the figures reveals that the Absolute Risk Reduction to an individual inferred by the vaccine is only about 0.4%. In addition, the full raw trial data is yet to be published and multiple cases of clinical disease, including two cases of serious disease in the vaccine group, were not included in the analysis, as they were not confirmed with a positive test.”
Nearly two decades of coronavirus vaccine research since the emergence of SARS in 2002 have failed, specifically because of an effect known as antibody-dependent immune enhancement (ADIE) or pathogenic priming which caused animals to develop more severe disease when exposed to the wild virus after being vaccinated.
“Instead of being protected, the animals got very sick, and some died. It is completely unknown at this stage, whether the currently administered vaccines will trigger this devastating effect, as animal trials were limited or skipped and the reaction to subsequent exposure to SARS-CoV-2 virus in humans has not been specifically tested,” the U.K. open letter asserts.
The same letter also notes that vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 are based on a completely new biotechnology. “mRNA and DNA-vector vaccines have never previously received full regulatory approval for mass public use and are more akin to genetic manipulation/modification than traditional vaccination.” The long-term effects of this new technology that has never been used in humans are unknown.
Theodor Kuntz of Vaccine Choice Canada concurs, saying in an email to LifeSiteNews that since COVID vaccines have only been granted “interim approval” by Health Canada for use during an emergency, “this means that the vaccine is technically an ‘experimental’ drug.”
“The CMAJ Group seems to have lost their moral compass,” said Kuntz. He noted a number of points that the lawyers seemed not to be aware of in their paper, including:
“The COVID-19 vaccines currently available do not prevent infection or transmission of the virus.”
“COVID-19 poses virtually zero risk to someone under age 45 and a very small risk for healthy individuals under 70 years of age.”
“The safety testing of the COVID-19 vaccine products has not been completed. The results of Phase III safety trials are not expected until 2023.”
“A proper risk-benefit analysis ought to be conducted for each individual.”
Regarding the authors of the paper, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms’ Jay Cameron added, “Many principled legal scholars disagree with their cavalier attitude toward an individual’s physical autonomy. Our office is closely monitoring any threats to compel Canadians to be vaccinated against their will.”
LifeSiteNews has produced an extensive COVID-19 vaccines resources page. View it here.