There is a 99% survival rate of COVID-19 and thousands of people die every year from the flu. Leaders and health officials pleaded with us to be considerate of that 1% high-risk group, for us to follow guidelines that would protect lives, because even though those people were high-risk they were not disposable and we agreed.

Now we have a vaccine that has not been tested on the disabled, much less on people with blood disorders, with a significant risk of adverse reaction or death for those excluded from those trials: an estimated 1% of recipients that are being asked to ignore as mandatory vaccines are considered for the greater good. 

Who decides which 1% is more worthwhile than another 1%? No one should ever die from a forced medical procedure because we have the "right" to personal autonomy. There are some people that have a higher chance of surviving COVID-19 than its vaccine and they should not be ignored.

Politicians should not be saying there is no excuse to not take the vaccine when there are quite a few. People who qualify for the vaccine should consider their privilege in being fully functioning healthy individuals and also the rights of those who aren't. Not everyone qualifies for the COVID-19 vaccine and people should be made aware of that fact, not shamed or intimidated when they decide it's not right for them. Herd immunity is not reliant on a vaccine, it happens naturally too and for some, that is all they have. They should be respected not abused. All too often, complex lives don't fit into popular narratives, that does not mean those lives don't matter. If you can't get the vaccine, wear a mask, that is what we should be hearing.

MELISSA BOUDREAUX

property manager and freelancer

Kenner