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Jack Stine’s six step COVID vaccination plan

President Joe Biden speaks in the State Dining Room of the White House on Sept. 9, 2021 in Washington, DC. Biden outlined his administration's six point plan, including a requirement that all federal workers be vaccinated against Covid-19. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

I am woefully unimpressed by the Biden administration’s plan for mandatory COVID vaccines. After watching President Biden’s canned, pasteurized, and homogenized speech, I felt as if I had just watched one of those late night informercials for the “two-in-one magic vegetable chopper and violation of your rights” type specials.

President Joe Biden revealed the new “six step” plan to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID. As a vaccinated person, tired of masks and looming restrictions, I can confidently say I am not in favor of any mandates from any government, state or federal.

Stine: Refusal to get vaccinated is about consent for some

But at the same time, I have made the argument that if a private employer requires vaccination as a condition of employment, fine — being philosophically consistent when it comes to advocating for free markets and freedom of association is easy.

But what do you do when it becomes an OSHA regulation? What do you do when it becomes a federal mandate on the employer to see that you are vaccinated? This is obviously a massive overreach on the part of the Biden administration. But outside of it clearly being an overreach of federal powers, it is a misstep if we actually want to see people get the vaccine.

What we are dealing with here is a question of education and acceptance. How can we expect the most concerned or paranoid among us to comply, if they feel as if they are under attack?

So, being a “solution oriented” kind of guy, I thought to myself, “how would I have set up a six step plan?”

After consulting with myself, I now realize that the Biden administration would have done better to meet and confer with me on how I would have gone about getting hesitant Americans to accept the vaccine. Quite frankly, I’m impressed with myself. My plan is remarkably cheap, simple, and effective. It is based on one simple idea: This thing we used to do called “talking” or “chatting” with people.

To put it another way, the Biden administration needs to change the messaging and the standards for the vaccine resistant or hesitant.

I have found that in engaging in good faith conversations with the vaccine hesitant, while acknowledging concerns they may have about the vaccination progress, one begins to open up to the possibility of getting vaccinated. And that is the first step.

The second step is engaging with the nuances and variables behind why someone decides to not get vaccinated. Is it a personal choice? Health concern? Religious preference? Have they had COVID? Do they hate needles? Do they want to wait a few months, or years? Factoring this in creates a more accurate picture of the individual reasons for not getting vaccinated.

The third step is to ignore the partisan nature of the vaccination process. I personally do not care how many Republicans or Trump voters haven’t gotten the vaccine — so the White House would do well to stop expressing concerns over members of the House who do not advocate for the vaccine. A member of the House once said “islands can tip over.” I don’t care what fringe elements of our representation say — as it pertains to vaccines. I only care about someone making the best medical choice for themselves.

The fourth step is to get other physicians involved. For many Americans, the image of Dr. Anthony Fauci or Dr. Rochelle Walensky telling them to get vaccinated for the 10,000th time is absurd and counterproductive. Get a new set of physicians in the public square acknowledging the concerns of people from the communities they originate from. Have these physicians talk openly about the litany of conspiracies, falsehoods, and statistical anomalies the American public has been exposed to over the last 18 months. This openness and candor would certainly contribute to some increases in vaccination.

The fifth step, and quite possibly the most difficult for many people to accept, is to provide hospitals with more resources from the federal level to handle the surge of unvaccinated COVID patients, and accept it as being an inevitable factor of living in a free and diverse country. People will continue to contract and die from COVID-19. Accept this as a fact and fill the gap for the most dedicated and brave of us: the health care workers. Give them everything they could ever possibly need.

The sixth and final step is to stop the tired and truncated messaging platform the White House has used since January. Stop with the “shots in arms” routine, stop with the blaming or shaming of the unvaccinated, and stop with the illusory threshold of “zero COVID cases.”

The issue of the unvaccinated now is one of communication and messaging. The Biden administration would do well to cease with this song and dance, and update their standards to fit a new model of dealing with the unvaccinated.

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