Your Views: Bansal’s advice is divisive

Your Views: Bansal’s advice is divisive
(Photo Credit: Alexa Epitropoulos)

To the editor:

In her opinion piece of Nov. 4, entitled “Ask, ‘Are you vaxxed?’” Dr. Rina Bansal, president of Inova Alexandria Hospital, expresses dismay that so many people are not vaccinated against COVID-19 and urges us to ask our friends and neighbors about their status. This, she says, “is one more step you can take in protecting yourself.”

Bansal does not acknowledge the many people who say they have obtained natural immunity from having had COVID-19, nor those who have medical conditions that make vaccinations inadvisable, nor those who have religious objections to the vaccine.

She does not mention the research showing that there is increased risk of adverse events from the vaccine for people who have had the virus, nor does she mention the research showing that the vaccinated who become ill can carry viral loads comparable to those who are unvaccinated and can spread the disease to others. See, for instance, the CDC’s report on last summer’s outbreak among the vaccinated in Provincetown, and the recent U.K. study on community transmission published in The Lancet.

Bansal does, however, intend us to separate ourselves when she writes that we should “ask and verify the vaccination status” of those we interact with “face to face” because “knowing the answer to this important question is imperative to reducing the spread of COVID-19.”

Is this what we have come to? Are we to be separated into the clean and the unclean, the approved and the untouchable? I pray not, but this appears to be the direction in which we are being led by the head of our hospital.

-Sandra Levy, Alexandria