Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), an outspoken critic of the Biden administration’s handling of the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, asked on Monday if the government can mandate a vaccine that is not even effective against the current strain of the virus.
“Can government mandate you take a vaccine that is not effective against the current strain?” Paul asked on Twitter, linking to an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, which asserts that it would be “irrational, legally indefensible and contrary to the public interest for government to mandate vaccines absent any evidence that the vaccines are effective in stopping the spread of the pathogen they target” and concludes that is “exactly what’s happening here”:
Can government mandate you take a vaccine that is not effective against the current strain? https://t.co/lhQCBzrgtv
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 10, 2022
Indeed, for months, public health officials have changed their tune on the vaccines, suggesting they prevent hospitalization and severe illness rather than transmission, despite the fact that they did not originally sell the vaccines to the general public that way. Even before they discovered the omicron variant, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Rochelle Walensky admitted in an August interview on CNN that vaccines did not prevent transmission.
When asked in that interview if vaccinated but infected people could pass the virus on to others, she replied, “So, yes, they can with the delta variant. And that was the reason that we changed our guidance last Tuesday. Our vaccines are working exceptionally well. They continue to work well with delta with regard to severe illness and death. They prevent it,” she said.
“But what they can’t do anymore is prevent transmission,” she added:
“Our vaccines are working exceptionally well,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky tells @wolfblitzer. “They continue to work well for Delta, with regard to severe illness and death – they prevent it. But what they can't do anymore is prevent transmission." pic.twitter.com/s83YyBQqeh
— The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) August 5, 2021
According to experts, however, “the shots are mainly designed to prevent severe illness, says Louis Mansky, a virus researcher at the University of Minnesota,” the AP reported.
“And the vaccines are still doing their job on that front, particularly for people who’ve gotten boosters,” the outlet added.