Yes, James Gill should know, "America has had mandatory vaccinations for various diseases going back to the days of George Washington," although from this ambiguously constructed sentence, it's impossible to infer whether the writer claims it is true for vaccines or for the diseases.

What one must note, however, is that America's mandatory vaccines are sterilizing vaccines: measles, mumps and rubella; Varicella for chickenpox; OPV for oral polio; and others. These vaccines fail only when you do not build immunity (such as in the case of the immune-compromised). They prevent disease spread by preventing infection.

But our current COVID-19 vaccines are of the non-sterilizing variety. They don't prevent infection. They typically merely reduce disease symptom severity, at least temporarily.

Israeli study data show Pfizer’s shot went from a 95% effectiveness at the outset to 39% by late July, when the delta strain became predominant. It was already down to 84% before the delta variant arrived in the U.S.

The Food and Drug Administration’s threshold for satisfactory vaccine is at least 50% compared to placebo. In a month, CDC guidance went from “if you’re vaccinated you’re not going to get COVID,” including the delta variant, to “people who got vaccinated early are at increased risk for severe COVID disease.” So the folks in James Gill's Metairie barbershop may be understandably confused on COVID-19 matters.

While I've not encountered a "dingbat" who thinks the vaccine makes them magnetic, I have encountered snarky, anti-choice elites who insist their way is the only way. Their forced-vaccine mentality is identical to the forced sterilization mentality of fascists and communists.

To summarize, the meme that comes to mind is the one that says, “Remember to get vaccinated, or a vaccinated person might get sick from the virus they got vaccinated against because you’re not vaccinated.”

J. DOUGLAS FOGG

retired engineer

Baton Rouge