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So you’re a ‘refusenik’ now if you don’t want your kids vaccinated?

It was not so long ago that the Hyacinth Buckets of this parish would have their teenage school going daughters shod in Dubes. Now it seems that the new social cachet might be provided by a vaccination certificate.

For, according to a report this morning in the Irish Times, as far as the promoters of vaccinating children aged between 12 and 15 are concerned it is no longer really a matter of safeguarding their health. Au contraire, Rodney old son:

 

So even the rather dubious rationale for vaccinating children who are minimally at risk from Covid in order to protect allegedly “vulnerable” adults is being downgraded in favour of “facilitating psychosocial development.” I wonder what impact the knowledge that children are being given the vaccine to protect adults including teachers who in any normal society are supposed to be the ones protecting them will have on their psychosocial well-being?

Where this all comes from, according to Paul Cullen’s report, is also interesting, not to say slightly off-putting. For it would seem it is the fruit of focus groups involving parents and their children. As someone on the Twitter machine pointed out, focus groups as used by political parties and businesses are commonly associated with finding out how to manipulate opinion towards ends desired by those who pay for them, rather than necessarily the interests of those being focused upon.

And whatever about the legitimacy of using such a mechanism to find out how to encourage punters to vote for some vacuous politician waiting to be told what his or her convictions are, or how to make more people buy a car, it is surely a dubious method with which to shape an important piece of public policy.

It would seem too, that as various vox pops and a cursory knowledge of the narrative around teenage vaccination would indicate, that the health issue cited above was tacked on by the organisers of the focus groups, rather than the participants themselves who it seems value the fact that being vaccinated might “facilitate more freedoms.”

As we reported previously, a recent article in the British Medical Journal, ‘asserted that the risks to children from Covid-19 vaccines outweigh the benefits, including any benefits regarding reducing infection for adults’.

If all of this is what has convinced the relevant state authorities to pursue “universal vaccination of young people,” then it does not say much about where we are as a society. Or perhaps it says a lot about where we are as a society.

Vaccination of teenagers is clearly something that many, perhaps even most, of Ireland’s peers within the EU, want to happen. A report in the Guardian this morning indicates that, while most members of the UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation are cautious about pursuing such a path, the Tory government is clearly set on it. They have already ignored warnings from significant sections of the medical profession and have set about changing the composition of the JCVI with the obvious intent to get its approval.

Here, it ought to be recalled that when vaccination policy was first framed last December that there was no reference to vaccinating anyone under the age of 16. In fact it has only been in the past month or so that there has been a concerted campaign by the authorities to promote the vaccination of children.

It demonstrates how quickly the state line can change, and more disturbingly, how quickly the general public can be swung behind something that met with a pretty frosty reception when it was even hinted at by Zero Covid fanatics. One such group ISAG was cautious in even first mooting the masking of school children. That of course was taken up by the Irish National Teachers Organisation but even their fear of contact with potentially diseased children was focused on their demand that teachers be among those prioritised for the jab, rather than the childer themselves.

It is almost akin to the “broken windows” theory which under former Mayor Rudi Giuliani informed New York’s pre Woke reclamation of the city from criminals. That theory claimed that once a community accepts relatively minor anti social behaviour as the norm, that pretty quickly the barriers to other more serious offences are lowered.

Once again, as with much of what the political class has persuaded the citizens of this republic to accept over the past decade or so, the Covid panic has induced most people to accept all sorts of things they would have previously thrown up their hands in horror at had they been suggested.

Are there valid medical reasons to vaccinate children – and you can be absolutely certain that the 12 year age criteria will be the next target – against a virus that few contract, and fewer still become ill if they do? Some would suggest that there is not. And they include many actual doctors as opposed to history doctors like myself.

But even if there are, surely that ought to be the defensible basis for such a vaccination programme, and not the views of a focus group whose main concern is whether their children can go away on holiday or see a live band.

Of course if all that fails, there are already those in the media and state gearing up for the next phase which will be to take the gloves off when it comes to persuading the vaccine “refuseniks”, as the Irish Examiner called them, of whatever age or station in life that they will either take the medicine or prepare for an extended period of house arrest. Just like the Soviet refuseniks in fact, if they were fortunate not to have something worse befall them.

We live in interesting times.

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