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European Alliance of Initiatives
for Applied Anthroposophy

What speaks in favour of being free to decide whether or not to take the Covid-19 vaccine?

Our commitment to freedom, dignity and solidarity

Dear Friends of ELIANT,

Along with our best wishes for the New Year we would also like to send you our warm thanks for your Christmas donations! They enable us to continue with the work and there is certainly lots to do!

The mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations currently under discussion, challenge the fundamental values that ELIANT signed up to when it was founded in 2006 – freedom and dignity, solidarity and the continued availability of choice. This means being free to take the vaccine for good reasons as well the freedom to decide not to take the vaccine due to possible health risks.

Scientific reasons why a free decision is needed on whether to accept the Covid-19 vaccine
During a pandemic it is about affording protection against infection (1) and (2), illness (3)and possible death. Although the currently available vaccines appear to offer limited protection against becoming seriously ill, they do not prevent the illness from occurring, nor do they stop its spreading in any significant way (4). Furthermore the currently known side effects can be very serious even though they may be uncommon. That is why we believe that an individual risk assessment is essential.

Can we vaccinate ourselves out of the pandemic?
Despite all the promises it appears that new variants such as Omicron are able to break through the vaccine barrier and infect the vaccinated and unvaccinated in equal measure. It is assumed that a third or fourth booster will provide the additional protection needed. Well-known virologists such as Prof. Hendrik Streeck, Director of the Institute for Virology and HIV Research at the University of Bonn's Faculty of Medicine however state in all honesty: "We do not know exactly how effective the protection is nor how long it lasts. I believe that under these circumstances mandatory vaccination is a very blunt instrument." There is also justification in assuming that the rapid increase in the number of people who have recovered will also lead to herd immunity.

Taking responsibility for ourselves encourages resilience and team work
We have learned through salutogenesis, resilience and psycho-neuroimmunological research that people with strong inner values, a positive approach to life and a religious or spiritual orientation have access to stronger powers of resilience. Fear and coercion by contrast call up emotions that are detrimental to resilience (5).

Working together without fear, referred to psychological security, is a pre-condition for successful team work and community building (6). That is why everyone and particularly those working in the health sector who are subject to greater risk – and know the importance of protecting themselves and others – must be allowed to decide freely for themselves whether or not to take the Covid-19 vaccine.

Human dignity
Already on the 27th January 2021 the EU Parliamentary Assembly stated that: "There should be no discrimination against those who are not vaccinated because of potential health risks or because they do not wish to be vaccinated (7)." We can all help to uphold this recommendation and ensure as part of a new kind of solidarity, that the individual is not submerged.

With hope, warm greetings and wishing you good health
Michaela Glöckler

Thank you warmly for your donations given at a time when ever more initiatives are called for.

  1. More information
  2. More information
  3. More information
  4. More information
  5. Christian Schubert, Magdalena Singer: das Unsichtbare hinter dem Sichtbaren. Gesundheit und Krankheit neu denken, Perspektiven der Psychoneuroimmunologie, Norderstedt 2020
  6. The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth. Amy C. Edmondson, Harvard Business School, Wiley, New Jersey, 2018.
  7. More information see point 7.3.1 and 7.3.2