CARSON CITY, Nevada (LifeSiteNews) — The Public Employees’ Benefits Program Board of Nevada voted Thursday to effectively impose a fine on public workers for foregoing COVID-19 vaccination in the form of a monthly surcharge, ostensibly to cover the costs of weekly COVID testing.
Newsweek reports that the surcharge could run as high as $55 per month, and is slated to take effect for state workers and adult dependents in July of next year. State officials say testing costs the state approximately $18 million annually, and COVID-related health claims filed by state workers are on track to exceed $6 billion this year.
The COVID “pandemic has been shouldered on the burden of everyone. And now this particular burden — the testing — should be shouldered on the burden of those who refuse to” take the vaccine, said DuAne Young, policy director for Nevada’s Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak.
But a body of data suggests that mass vaccination has failed to end the pandemic. The federal government considers more than 197 million Americans (59% of the eligible) to be “fully vaccinated” (a moving target given the vaccines’ temporary nature), yet data from Johns Hopkins University reported in October shows that more Americans died of COVID-19 this year by that point (353,000) than in all of 2020 (352,000).
“State employees have been hit very hard with no raises over a number of years,” said board member Tom Verducci, who voted against the surcharge. “And I think of the soul out in the Lovelock working for the Department of Corrections, paid $800 a month in a trailer with three kids. I have a hard time with this one.”
Vaccine hesitancy persists thanks to unaddressed concerns about the vaccines’ safety, stemming largely from the fact that they were developed and released far faster than any previous vaccine.
Defenders stress that their development did not start from scratch, but rather relied on years of prior research into mRNA technology; and that one of the innovations of Operation Warp Speed was conducting various aspects of the development process concurrently rather than sequentially, eliminating delays unrelated to safety. However, those factors do not fully account for the condensing of clinical trial phases — each of which can take anywhere from 1–3 years on their own — to just three months apiece.
While cases of severe harm reported to the federal Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) after taking COVID shots do not establish causation and represent less than one percent of total doses administered in the United States, a 2010 report submitted to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ (HHS) Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) warned that VAERS caught “fewer than 1% of vaccine adverse events.” May reporting from NBC News quotes several mainstream experts acknowledging “gaps” in federal vaccine monitoring.
Additionally, many of the unvaccinated simply consider it unnecessary in light of significant evidence that immunity from prior COVID infection lasts longer and is more durable than immunity from vaccination, while religious and/or pro-life Americans harbor moral objections to taking something developed and/or tested with the use of fetal cells from aborted babies.
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