The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Willing, But Not Able to Get Vaccinated

Oct 11, 2021

A report by the Department of Health and Human Services in August found that close to half of the unvaccinated people were willing to get vaccinated but did not because of real barriers that they face getting the shot.

That comes to tens of millions of people, many of whom are just out there on their own. They have little or no contact with health care providers. They don’t have access to a computer to make an appointment, or don’t have transportation to a clinic or pharmacy to get a shot. And many hesitate to get a shot because they think they can’t afford it. They don’t realize the vaccine is free.

Other people feel that they just don’t have the time. They fear that if the vaccination causes side effects, they may need to stay at home to recover, and they can’t afford to do that, since they are so far behind on their bills as it is. About a quarter of the workforce, 24%, or roughly 33.6 million people, have no paid sick time. And 22% of workers have fewer than five days of sick leave. So, if they don’t show up at work, they risk terrible consequences.

There are also millions of undocumented workers who don’t get vaccinated because they fear that the government can deport them using the information they provide for the vaccination.

Many unvaccinated people also have questions: How is it going to affect me? How will it interact with the drugs I already take? Others are confused by all the false information that is circulating about the vaccines. But they cannot readily reach medical staff to have their questions answered. For these reasons, they prefer to wait and see.

These are the hurdles big parts of the working class and poor face to get vaccinated. The rich do not experience these issues.

Insufficient or no public healthcare is the primary source of all these hurdles. Because public healthcare is not a profitable business, the companies did not invest in it. Because public healthcare is mainly for the working class, the Federal and State Governments drastically slashed funding to funnel more money to the rich as tax cuts for their businesses. Investing in the rich and neglecting public healthcare are the conscious choices of this government for the wealthy.

As a result, there is not sufficient public healthcare infrastructure to support medical staff to answer valid questions about vaccines, to mandate companies to provide ample paid sick days to their workers, to provide mobile or stationary vaccination centers so that the workers and poor can get easy access, and above all to have approaches to develop a public healthcare infrastructure the workers can trust. They do nothing.

Instead, the State and Federal governments have dumped their responsibility on workers through dictatorial decrees: vaccine mandates. This is the typical approach of the capitalist class and its government officials.