‘Boosters are an attempt to preserve liberty not infringe it’: Readers on unvaccinated Britons

Thousands of readers wrote to the Telegraph this week after Philip Johnston said "the unjabbed don’t help" when it comes to nations battling the omicron variant and risked pushing countries back into lockdown.

Earlier this week, Boris Johnson said the Government "reserves the possibility" to implement further Covid restrictions and said the latest data will be kept under constant review "hour by hour", refusing to rule out further measures after Christmas.

While some of you believe an individual should be free to make a choice about vaccinations, others explain why they believe vaccines and boosters are the only way out of the pandemic. 

Here we round up your views. Join the debate in the comments section below.

‘If people want to remain unvaccinated, that is at their own risk’

@Hugh Currie:

"If people want to remain unvaccinated, that is at their own risk. What I do strongly object to is people trying to deny others the opportunity by block booking booster jabs by group action, then not turning up as reported in the Telegraph the other day. These people I would jail."

‘Boosters are an attempt to preserve liberty’

@T.T:

"There is a small minority of people who think boosters are some kind of infringement on their liberty rather than an attempt to preserve it."

‘Assuming that the unvaccinated are selfish is narrow-minded’

@Rania Guirguis:

"If you want to convince the unvaccinated to get jabbed, you will need to understand why in the first place they chose not to have the jab. Assuming that they must be selfish, or conspiracy theorists, is a very narrow-minded view to say the least. Coercion and stigmatisation can only backfire."

‘Anti-vaxers, are they frightened or just self-obsessed?’

@Lionel Woodcock:

"It is evident to me that anti-vaxers spend their energy attacking people who think it is a responsibility and a community service to get jabbed. They cannot argue that vaccination doesn’t work – the facts are there. They are full of, perhaps fabricated, anecdotes. What they fail to do is to put forward a logical reason as to why they should not take the jab, instead hiding behind the camouflage of personal freedoms. Are they frightened or just self-obsessed?"

‘Don’t blame the unvaccinated’

@Chris Brew:

"I don’t believe if every person was vaccinated that the Government would stop locking down. Covid would still be around, and we need to learn to live with it! Don’t blame the unvaccinated, blame SAGE."

‘Freedom of choice separates us from a dystopian society’

@Alun Fisher:

"Freedom of choice separates us from the dystopian society some apparently wish us to live in. If someone wants to get vaccinated, they can do so. If someone wants to wear a mask by themselves in the car? They can. It’s down to individual choice. Respect my right to make my decisions."

‘The choice is to have the booster or find yourself isolated’

@Chris Brooks:

"The choice for everyone to decide is to have the booster and be accepted everywhere, or find yourself isolated. You can decide, but no crying about it."

‘It is a totally selfish attitude to not wish to protect others around you’

@William Osborn:

"Why should cancer sufferers, stroke victims, those suffering cardiac arrests and road traffic victims have their treatment delayed because of hospital beds being blocked by unvaccinated Covid sufferers that choose not to have the vaccine?

"If they feel that strongly about the vaccination, then they should stay at home, and avoid public spaces where the risks of catching and spreading the disease is far higher. It is a totally selfish attitude, not to wish to protect others around you."

‘We’re all entitled to our decisions’

@Jemma Wolstencroft:

"We’re facing a resistance because Government advisors have overreacted to omicron and Covid in general. The doomsday numbers have not arrived, nothing to do with the unvaccinated. Leave the healthy young population to live their lives and let the old or unwell to begin with have the vaccine if they like. We’re all entitled to our decisions. 

"Thousands of vaccinated people have the virus today, they spread it amongst themselves. The unvaccinated are a scapegoat that the numbers cannot support. Find somebody else to blame. Like the government who didn’t prepare the NHS for winter (again) and are firing 40 per cent of the NHS staff in April making matters worse. If the vaccine cannot protect you from the unvaccinated, you have a bigger problem on your hands."

‘Unvaccinated people are more likely to suffer more severe symptoms’

@Michael Jamieson:

"Its not catching the disease, its the severity. Unvaccinated people are more likely to suffer more severe symptoms, especially if they have underlying health conditions. The problem is then these people depleting NHS resources for vaccinated people getting treatment for non-Covid issues. 

"Are we heading for ‘No Vax-No Treatment’ because that’s where its heading I fear?

"Governments around the world should change the vaccination technique immediately even if it takes a little longer and may result in a little wastage."

‘We’re stuck with it now’

@Psmith not Smith:

"I don’t agree with forcing people to get vaccinated, and I emphatically do not support Covid ID measures. However, I have always supported the focused protection strategy outlined by the Great Barrington Declaration, and it is surely now obvious that had we done this, people refusing the vaccine would be facing restrictions on freedom that the rest of us would not be facing. 

"It would be taking the form of some sort of health surveillance upon those known to be at risk, leaving the majority free to go about their lives. The rest of us are facing lockdown measures, ultimately, for the simple reason that we did not oppose lockdown in principle when it was first foisted upon us irrespective of the actual risk to us in each case. We’re stuck with it now."

‘We don’t live in a dictatorship’

@Bron Scott:

"You answered your own question. It is the inability of our NHS to adapt, cope and plan that is the nub of the problem, not those who are unvaccinated. You can’t force people to be vaccinated. We don’t live in a dictatorship (although the last 2 years have pushed this to the limit). 

"What exactly has the NHS spent the billions it has been given in tax payers money on? Clearly not on adapting and pivoting to the new world we now live in, like all privately run business has had no choice but to do. If the NHS was a private business it would have gone bust."

‘Why is there no official NHS data on the vaccinated and unvaccinated in hospitals’

@Stephen Peters:

"It is not wholly down to the unvaccinated who are spreading the virus – most of the contagion is amongst the vaccinated people – as the vaccine is not able to stop anyone actually catching the virus, even though it apparently lessens the chances of doing so. Personally I know of many vaccinated people who have caught the virus – and many primary school aged children who have caught it and spread it amongst themselves. 

"Also, you say that ‘anecdotal evidence’ shows all these unvaccinated people hogging the ICU beds which begs the question, why anecdotal? Why is there no official data to tell us precisely how the numbers split between the vaccinated and unvaccinated who are ‘clogging up the NHS’?"

‘There is always some risk, the debate is just about how much’

@Philip Bridge:

"Few would argue that the way we get back to some semblance of normal life anytime soon is if enough people are vaccinated. Otherwise the only way is some combination of restrictions on liberties while the whole population gets infected at a manageable pace to build up herd immunity. Assuming there isn’t another mutation that takes us back to square one. 

"Vaccination is a way of massively accelerating that process. I assume even anti-vaxxers accept that point. But suppose there is some level of risk – there is always some risk, the debate is just about how much. The anti-vaxxers aren’t prepared to take that risk, but they want very much that the rest of us do so they too can benefit from getting back to a normal life. That is the very epitome of selfishness."

‘To carry on with restrictions is unsustainable’

@Sarah Redpath:

"Over 80 per cent of the population are vaccinated. Some vaccinated people still become very ill, usually due to other health conditions. Some unvaccinated only get mild illness.

"Eventually we will have to live with Covid. We effectively have achieved herd immunity through a majority vaccinated populous. The restrictions are harming businesses and delaying treatment for other illnesses.

"We were told vaccinations would allow life to get back to normal. Why are you putting restrictions on a country who have mostly been vaccinated? It would be helpful to know how many unvaccinated people have antibodies. To carry on with restrictions is unsustainable."

What are your views on Britons who are choosing not to get vaccinated? Let us know in the comments section below

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