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Many who think and feel the way I do are some of the last people who want to “regulate” how a business operates. We are proud of Iowa businesses and the hard workers making sure our economy is thriving. However, recently there was a hard line crossed. As a byproduct of the COVID pandemic, in our local communities we are witnessing an experimental pharmaceutical medical treatment being coerced on Iowa employees. Force or coercion never instills trust and it certainly never equals consent. The choice to take the COVID vaccine should be personal, with no strings attached but instead hard working Iowans have a carrot dangling in front of them. That carrot is their job, careers, and livelihoods.The means by which they provide for their family’s daily needs that is encompassed in the phrase “the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. 

Many like me will not stand by and allow, well-intentioned but misguided businesses, violate our fellow Iowan’s religious freedoms, human dignity, and constitutionally protected rights to bodily autonomy. This past year we have already felt the division in our communities when businesses were forced to become the public health police for masking and social distancing. We can also see the direction this will continue to go if unchecked with travel companies, ticketmaster, restaurants, etc. putting plans in motion for a vaccine passport.

This is especially true when limited amounts of chronic health conditions were studied in the initial trials for the Emergency use authorized COVID vaccines and none of them have proven to effectively block transmission (spread) of the virus as outlined in their FDA overviews and published trial data. However, what’s been demonstrated is a decrease in participant symptoms during the 8 week trial periods, meaning widespread use of this experimental product may not contribute to herd immunity. Iowans are smart. Iowans understand the risks and the choices available to them. We don’t need our employer (or government) dictating to us what is best when it comes to our personal health choices.

Many unknowns still exist such as: can vaccinated individuals still get infected, can they infect others, safety profile in pregnant women and children, safety and efficacy in those over 65 (not included in the trials), and will this stop or create more asymptomatic transmission?

Additionally, consider the ramifications of mandating a personal medical decision on an entire workforce! According to the AP, as many as 70% of our long term care staff are wary of getting the vaccine and Pew Research center survey from December showed 40% of Americans do not want to get it. 

How did we get here? How is it possible Americans have to “win back” freedoms and explain to our employers (or government officials) the dangerous precedent this is going to set? In an attempt to fortify our crumbling health privacy protections under a state of emergency, the bill SF555 is being villainized by unelected state health departments and paid lobbyists representing organizations with clear profit motivations. If passed, SF555 will ensure information and decisions are kept solely between you and your doctor. This bill’s main focus is privacy and choice for employees, the preservation of individual freedom. 

We may all be in the same ocean called the “COVID Pandemic” but we are not all in the same boat! Health solutions are never one size fits all and so consequently, different choices should be honored and respected. Please encourage your legislators to support SF555.

  • Informed Choice Iowa