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European Alliance of Initiatives
for Applied Anthroposophy

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

Dear member of the European Parliament,

The mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations currently under discussion challenge the fundamental values to which ELIANT committed to when it was founded in 2006 – freedom and dignity, solidarity and the continued availability of choice. In this context, this means being free to get the vaccine for good reasons, as well as having the freedom to decide not to get 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]/[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 as 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. 
Thank you for upholding  your respective decision of last year, which will encourage European citizens to approach this serious situation with unity!
With hope, warm greetings and wishing you good health,
Michaela Glöckler

President of Alliance ELIANT
Rue du Trône 194
1050 Brussels

[1] More Information
[2] More Information
More Information

[4] More Information
[5] Christian Schubert, Magdalena Singer: Das Unsichtbare hinter den 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