Tucson, Ariz. On Sept 7, the Pima County Board of Supervisors will consider a proposal to mandate that all healthcare workers in Pima County licensed by the State of Arizona, and their direct support staff, be vaccinated against COVID-19. The original deadline for beginning the vaccination process was Sept 1. Employers of the workers would be required to file compliance documents with the Department of Health. The consequences for noncompliance have not yet been spelled out.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) submitted written testimony objecting to “the proposal to violate the fundamental human rights of all citizens associated with healthcare by forcing them to take an injection without voluntary informed consent.”
AAPS notes that all the COVID-19 injections are experimental, and that studies are not scheduled for completion before the end of 2022. The only FDA-approved product, which is generally unavailable here, is Comirnaty made by BioNTech in Mainz, Germany. The manufacturer is required to conduct post-marketing studies of adverse effects including myocarditis, with a 5-year follow-up.
The Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines are only available under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), AAPS notes, and are supposed to be fully voluntary.
Many workers have had COVID-19 and are thus already immune, and the majority are at low risk of a poor outcome if they are infected. They may therefore judge that the risks of the vaccine outweigh any benefit, AAPS states. Also, the vaccine may not prevent transmission.
“Patients in Pima County are already reporting difficulty in accessing medical care of any kind,” AAPS reports. “If personnel are diminished because of declining to accept the COVID product or because of vaccine-related disability or death, tremendous preventable death and suffering will occur.”
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons has represented physicians in all specialties since 1943. Its motto is omnia pro aegroto, everything for the patient.