Who Won the Week (8 August 2021)

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week posts, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.

I saw this on the BBC site early on in the week, and I put it on the backburner, I thought “I can use this if no other story pops up”. But actually, all that has happened is that I have thought about it more and more.

I’ll provide the link straight away, but I’ll also paraphrase.

Some guy I never heard of, from some band I never heard of, claims he was… well, the word they use is dropped, but presumably in the context of any regular job, we might use the word fired. For not being vaccinated.

I can already hear half of you out there saying “good”. But for me it raised some interesting legal questions. And they are questions – we all live in different jurisdictions and follow slightly different laws, so what might be an interesting question for me, might be a no-brainer for you.

Straight away, when I read this particular story, it sounded fake. Sour grapes. But I share it just for the hypothetical question it raises.

Bottom line, does your employer have the right to instruct you to have something injected into you?

I’m thinking legally, here. Doesn’t that seem a bit strong? After all, we might go through life, have ten, twenty, fifty different employers, it’s quite a loose relationship. Gone are the days when we had a single employer for the whole of our lives. So, why should any one of them have the right to say “you must absorb this substance into your body before you can work for us”?

I tried to think of precedents. Certainly with other vaccines, smallpox, polio, measles, mumps. rubella, and the like… Nobody is standing over us saying “take this, or you do not work for us”.

I tried to think of a present day analogy. An employer demanding a drugs test, for example. Or, athletes agreeing to anti-doping tests. But even they don’t stack up, because they involve taking a sample of blood out of your body, then analysing it. The COVID vaccine involves putting something into your body.

So, I’m trying to think. If somebody refuses the vaccine, what right does a new employer have to make them have it? And, what right does an existing employer have to penalise them, if they don’t?

It’s an interesting question, no?

And I can give you an answer from a UK/EU perspective. They have no right. Furthermore, any employer who tries to do this will find itself on the wrong side of discrimination legislation. Real-life people are sitting there, waiting to bring lawsuits against any employer who overplays its hand.

And, not that it matters, but that seems absolutely to fit in with my European laissez-faire attitude. I happen to think vaccines are important, so I made sure I got myself vaccinated, but what *you* do is entirely up to you. It’s your choice.

But I haven’t finished yet. Did you read the article? There was a twist to it.

The guy in the story, he didn’t refuse the vaccine.

In fact, he wanted to take the vaccine, but doctors refused it to him because he has an auto immune problem. And, he got fired anyway.

So it brings me on to my next question:

If somebody walks around unvaccinated, might there be valid reasons for this? Or, do reasons not matter?

This one definitely isn’t hypothetical, because I have first-hand knowledge of people who have been refused vaccines because of their existing conditions.

But if we say to somebody, “you must become vaccinated. No excuses”, then doesn’t that make us the Nazis?


  1. Interesting questions Pete. I have at least 3 autoimmune diseases which I know off, yet I did get vaccinated! Perhaps they aren’t severe enough to prohibit vaccination. As for the legal scenario, I wouldn’t know anything but from a humanitarian point of view, the band wouldn’t want a person who can spread the disease, to be with them during public performance.

    Liked by 1 person

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