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Scouts Canada Position on COVID Vaccines


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@RememberSchiff I was waiting for you to post this, you are a great news finder.   However, thought I'd get the pulse of the list on this release from yesterday:   https://www.scouts.ca/news-and-events/news/2021/09/scouts-canada-introduces-vaccination-requirement-for-all-members  Link to the FAQ's at the bottom of the announcement.   

For those that have not seen it the BSA's current position can be found here:   https://www.scouting.org/coronavirus/

"...We encourage everyone to consult with their physician and get vaccinated. It is our best hope for returning to normalcy in our Scouting family..."

RichardB

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I am fully vaccinated as is my wife and son (who had Covid and got the shot 2 days after it was approved).  My friends and my kids friends are all vaccinated.  I live in an area with where 74% of the total population is vaccinated (not just adults).  I had a coworker with no underlying issues (skinny, fit, etc.) die of Covid this year.  I fully believe in the vaccine and believe it is the best path out of Covid.

That said ... I think BSA has the correct policy and shouldn't change it.  We are a large country and the backlash would fall on our volunteers.  If there are requirements by other bodies (government, business, school, etc.) let them enforce those and I'm certainly willing to enforce other party requirements if we are using their facilities/etc.  I really have no desire to go beyond that at this time.  While mandates by businesses may work (as people get paid to work and quitting has bigger impacts) or travel (take a train/bus/plane is a big impact), I think a mandate by a scouting organization will simply lead to loss of membership with no increase in vaccination rates.

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Mandates, historically, have tended to backfire in the long run.

BSA’s statement is better nuanced.  Although it may leave room for spread in units/districts where members are avoiding vaccination for reasons other than an established personal risk for adverse reactions, we do no service to our nation for people to avoid scouting in order to shirk a mandate.

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1 hour ago, RichardB said:

@RememberSchiff I was waiting for you to post this, you are a great news finder.   However, thought I'd get the pulse of the list on this release from yesterday: 

"...We encourage everyone to consult with their physician and get vaccinated. It is our best hope for returning to normalcy in our Scouting family..."

 

If you mandate, you will lose volunteers and members. Do we need anymore bad publicity and membership loses. Also there is no panacea for COVID.  Consulting with physcians AND doing your own, legitimate research ( medlineplus.gov for general info; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ for the primary sources)

Research is ongoing on vaccines. And there are questions about the efficacy of them. Google Israel and COVID if you do not believe me.

And before anyone says I am an antivaxer, not only has everyone in my immediate family been vaccinated,  but also my wife is now staffing on the COVID floor at her hospital.  Informed decisions on this is important.

 

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Canada is also a completely different country. They are used to socialized medicine and while some segments will still fuss, it is not like here. Look at how quickly they went from 0% vaccinated to 70% plus once they had vaccine. 

I think all pressure should be brought to bear on all eligible people to be vaccinated through the means cited by Eagle1993 but I think BSA has to stick with its policy for now. 

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2 hours ago, qwazse said:

Mandates, historically, have tended to backfire in the long run

Like eradicating smallpox?

@RichardB, I appreciate that you're asking. Unfortunately, this topic has been politicized and is pretty much toxic. I like the "encourage you to talk to your physician" approach. I'd also explicitly add that units can set their own standards.

As much as people are afraid of losing membership over such a mandate, my council is losing quite a bit of membership due to the virus. My district has lost at least half of its packs since covid hit. People are limiting their contact with groups and scouts isn't that high a priority. Until this virus is under control there will be membership loss in my district.

Good luck. This is one decision where I'm glad I don't have to be the bad guy.

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I fully agree with Scout Canada's vaccination decision for Canada. Canadians if not agreeable to restrictions and mandates are somewhat acclimated to months of work restrictions, travel restrictions, curfews, lockdowns at a level not approached here. It could work there, even the part where scout parents must be vaccinated.

In the USA? We cannot agree to require vaccination of school children.

Other than echoing government policy, what more can the BSA do? Some thoughts

I think the BSA could implement a Scout Canada's policy at all their camps.  If not, could 100% (confirmed) vaccinated units receive camp reservation preference?

With the continuing world pandemic, Public Health merit badge will be required for Eagle....

Does President Biden's statement requiring private companies with 100+ workers to vaccinate or test weekly apply to BSA?  I would think so. As I understand, the legality is connected with OSHA requirements.

My $0.01,

Edited by RememberSchiff
legally replaced with legality
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4 hours ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

 

If you mandate, you will lose volunteers and members. Do we need anymore bad publicity and membership loses. Also there is no panacea for COVID.  Consulting with physcians AND doing your own, legitimate research ( medlineplus.gov for general info; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/ for the primary sources)

Research is ongoing on vaccines. And there are questions about the efficacy of them. Google Israel and COVID if you do not believe me.

And before anyone says I am an antivaxer, not only has everyone in my immediate family been vaccinated,  but also my wife is now staffing on the COVID floor at her hospital.  Informed decisions on this is important.

 

I didn't read anything about Israel having any different information than we do here.  Basically "They aren't nearly as effective against preventing Delta, protection ebbs over time, even if you do develop an infection you are drastically less likely to have serious complications."

Was there something I missed?

 

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22 minutes ago, SSScout said:

The Spanish (so called) flu spent most of 1918 and 1919 to disappear, without vaccines, with very little medical science prevention or correction.  We finally got "herd immunity".  Only took about 50 or 60 premature deaths world wide....  

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/influenza/

 

Not sure if your comment was tongue in cheek...I hope it was.  That same link says more than 600,000 died of the 1918 Flu (no longer PC to call it the "Spanish Flu").  

I have a Masters in Public Health, a 40+ year career in various aspects of Public Health and my wife is an RN.  Getting the jab was never a question and we stood in line as soon as we could secure an appointment.  Wife just had her 3rd booster shot due to an immuno-suppressant medication she is taking.  It knocked her for a loop for 2 days, unlike the first 2 doses which were no worse than the annual flu shot.  We also got our flu shots last Friday.  My buddy contracted COVID in August and was sick for 4 weeks in spite of being fully vaccinated.  The virus of today is not the same virus that was circulating a year ago when the vaccines were being developed.  Most of the "science" is indicating that COVID will continue to mutate and the vaccine will be an annual event just like the flu shot (and will probably be included in the flu shot vials).  We have returned to social distancing and wearing masks when out in public.  No way will I be found in a football stadium with 50,000 others without masks.  But that's just me.

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15 minutes ago, scoutldr said:

Not sure if your comment was tongue in cheek...I hope it was.  That same link says more than 600,000 died of the 1918 Flu (no longer PC to call it the "Spanish Flu").  

ooops.   proof reading failure is common in my family....  millions.....     that 600,000. is American deaths (low estimate) only.   

corrected above entry.  I apologize for the slip...   here's a reference....

 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu  

Edited by SSScout
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On 9/16/2021 at 10:32 AM, NealOnWheels said:

I have already heard one family a year ago say if we have to wear masks in Cub Scouts they would not participate.  I can only imagine what a vaccine requirement would do.

Be careful of observer bias here.

In our area, the part of the community that doesn't want to wear masks or vaccinate are certainly more vocal. The part of the community that don't want to be around those who don't wear masks or vaccinate is at least equally sizable but will just won't turn up and not say anything.

 

I tend to agree that at the Scouting level we should align with governmental national and local guidance, neither adding nor subtracting anything. Certainly at the Troop level. Even with that I received a lovely nastygram from a parent when I passed on requirements from a High Adventure base this summer, which is turn were a reflection of the CDC and State guidelines.

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On 9/16/2021 at 12:40 PM, SSScout said:

The Spanish (so called) flu spent most of 1918 and 1919 to disappear, without vaccines, with very little medical science prevention or correction.  We finally got "herd immunity".  Only took about 50 or 60 million premature deaths world wide....  

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/films/influenza/

 

Appreciate your tongue in cheek comment here. Though, fwiw, the 1918 flu didn't disappear. It became endemic, albeit it mutated to strains that were less virulent. The genetic markers can be seen in pretty much every years seasonable flu, and when combined with avian flu, in bird flu outbreaks such as in 2009.

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