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Vaccine Mandates May Make Healthcare Worse

"It’s like an elephant being attacked by a house cat. Frustrated and trying to avoid the cat, the elephant accidentally jumps off a cliff and dies.” -John Ioannidis on lockdowns

Such is the case with vaccine mandates for health care workers. California, New York City and the Veterans Administration--among the worst-run states, the worst-run cities, and the worst-run federal agencies in the US--are either requiring employees to get vaccinated or requiring frequent testing for non-vaccinated employees. No matter what your stance is on COVID vaccines, it's important to think beyond stage one before making a policy, which nobody in charge seems to have done. 

The first problem is that some--perhaps many--of the vaccine records are fakes. There's apparently a big black market for forged shot records. Given how easily they could be forged--I could whip one up on the computer in five minutes--it's surprising that people want to buy a pre-printed one. 

The second problem is that there's already a shortage of health care workers (see this and this), and these policies are going to aggravate that shortage. Health care workers have already quit over no jab, no job. 

Is Grandma at more risk from COVID, or from a lack of help with her medications, bathing and wound care? Consider that California is seeing a handful of COVID deaths a day and 771 COVID ICU patients at this writing, out of a population of 40 million. The situation is similar in New York City: single-digit deaths per day and a few dozen hospitalizations in a city of eight million. Again, what's the bigger risk to Grandma: COVID or a lack of care?

Veterans using the VA system have already seen 20 million appointments delayed, cancelled or rescheduled, sometimes in other states. Wait time during the worst of the pandemic was 42 days.

Waiting at the VA Hospital. From Pexels.

That leads us to the third problem: the backlog of needed medical care for the entire country. Millions of surgeries and exams were postponed during the pandemic and the double whammy of high demand and limited supply is going to drive up prices and wait times. 

About those wait times. Suppose a large portion of health care workers, along with state employees in California, choose weekly or twice-weekly testing. How long are people with a real need for a COVID test going to have to wait for an appointment? What happens if state employees or health care workers can't get a test? Do patients and taxpayers have to wait even longer for services? How much time are backlogged clinics going to spend on COVID tests for asymptomatic people when there are patients who need real medical care?

All of this might be worth it for a good enough vaccine for a bad enough disease. But given the 1% absolute risk reduction shown in the vaccines' clinical trials and the growing number of breakthrough cases (see the Olympics, Israel, the UK, and the Texas Democrats), the vaccines aren't working as advertised. Given the relatively tiny numbers of people seriously ill and dying of COVID, it's not as advertised, either. Compelling vaccinations might make an existing situation worse than the problem they're trying to solve. 

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