People with concerns about the vaccine are not ‘selfish’: Unacceptable in a democracy – Government minister’s language around vaccines deliberately creates an enemy

The language that the government is using to describe people who are unsure about taking the vaccine has been raised a notch today, with Michael Gove calling them ‘selfish’.

He has used these words deliberately, knowing that they will help engender an atmosphere where the unvaccinated are looked down on and regarded as different. This sort of differentiation never ends well. A government minister uses words. Others use fists.

Are people who are refusing the vaccine selfish? No. There is no way that you can define someone as selfish for being concerned about a vaccine that (a) has side effects that are well documented (b) is still in a trial phase and (c) is for a disease that most people are not at any danger of dying from.

It is not a morally acceptable for person A to have a medical intervention with possible side effects in order to protect person B. That is not how a free society works. To suggest they should accept a vaccine with any risk at all is outrageous.

This is not the way we behave in the UK. We do not force someone to have an injection for anything for the benefit of other people. Once this happens we have crossed a line. And saying that you don’t have to have it, you just can’t go to football, study, etc, etc without it, is the same as forcing it. 

We are truly living through terrible times.