FAMILY MATTERS: Were there unintended consequences of vaccine policies?


Vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, lockdowns and the “no jab no job” policy for COVID have significantly affected New Zealanders both positively and negatively – in workplaces, within families, for church attendance, social gatherings, even for who gathered at your Christmas dinner table last year.

A research paper published in the British Medical Journal Global Health earlier this year was entitled “The unintended consequences of COVID-19 vaccine policy: why mandates, passports and restrictions may cause more harm than good.” It surveys 13 potential unintended consequences of vaccine policy, in the areas of behavioural psychology, political and legal effects, socioeconomics, and the integrity of science and public health.

The nine authors come from the Universities of Harvard, John Hopkins, Washington, Edinburgh, Oxford, Toronto, & the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicines, and others – some of whom work on vaccine confidence for a living.

We speak to the lead author who is a Canadian expert in global public health and has worked on Zika control in Haiti and on Ebola in Africa. “We were not seeing sufficient deliberation around the social harms of these policies, and there was a bifurcation – like, a big polarisation – in the media coverage of vaccine mandates.” – Dr Kevin Bardosh, lead author.


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