President Joe Biden has been discussing the implementation of “vaccine passports” requiring Americans to prove they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 to gain entry into certain areas.
One man’s adverse reaction to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, provides tangible evidence as to why that is a bad idea.
Richard Terrell, 74, of Goochland County, Virginia, received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on March 6, WRIC-TV reported. Four days later, he started to feel a bit off.
“I began to feel a little discomfort in my armpit and then a few days later I began to get an itchy rash, and then after that I began to swell and my skin turned red,” he said.
His condition continued to worsen, and he was admitted to the emergency room on March 19 after consulting with a dermatologist.
“It was stinging, burning and itching,” Terrell said. “Whenever I bent my arms or legs, like the inside of my knee, it was very painful where the skin was swollen and was rubbing against itself.”
By the time he was admitted, the rash had spread over his entire body and his skin was so dry and red, it could be “peeled off.”
WARNING: The video below contains graphic images.
Dr. FNU Nutan, a dermatology hospitalist at VCU Health, explained that a biopsy confirmed Terrell’s condition was a reaction to a drug.
“We ruled out all the viral infections, we ruled out COVID-19 itself, we made sure that his kidneys and liver was okay, and finally we came to the conclusion that it was the vaccine that he had received that was the cause,” Nutan said.
The doctor added that the reaction could have been life-threatening if it had not been treated.
This is not to say that all Americans should avoid the vaccine. Dr. Nutan herself said that a reaction like Terrell’s was very rare, and that she still trusts the vaccine.
“If you look at the risk for adverse reaction for the vaccine it’s really, really low,” she told WRIC-TV. “We haven’t seen a great concern at all. I am a big proponent of the vaccine.”
That said, Terrell’s story is certainly a clear example of a reason that Americans should be able to choose whether or not they receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
The whole idea of a free society is that citizens can make risk assessments for themselves and act accordingly. If Americans decide that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks, they should get it. If not, they should be free to reject it.
By creating “vaccine passports,” the Biden administration would effectively take away that freedom.
However, that has not stopped the administration from pushing for them.
“The Biden administration is working on creating a set of standards for people to prove they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19, according to an administration official,” CNN reported.
“The official said they’re currently working with a range of companies on the standards, including non-profits and tech companies, adding that they are likely still weeks away from being finalized, the official said.”
White House press secretary Jen Psaki tried to downplay this draconian effort by assuring reporters on Monday that there would be “no federal mandate requiring every American to obtain a vaccination credential.”
Federal mandate or not, encouraging businesses to determine whether or not their employees and/or customers have been vaccinated is a clear overreach.
CNN even said the effort could affect the workforce, meaning Americans may be barred from working for certain companies if they do not agree to get vaccinated.
While Terrell’s reaction is a rare one, it demonstrates that there are still risks to getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
For that reason, each American must be allowed to choose whether or not they receive the vaccine without fear of repercussions.