Zain Chagla is an infectious diseases physician and an associate professor at McMaster University.
There should be no doubt: Vaccines are important in the fight against COVID-19. I wholeheartedly believe individuals should be vaccinated to protect against severe complications. I have put in hundreds of volunteer hours to make sure that evidence-based communication is brought to communities, both locally and internationally. And as someone who also works in travel medicine, I expect that making sure vaccines are up-to-date, including the COVID-19 vaccine, to be part of normal counselling.
But medicine is about recognizing what does and does not make sense based on the prevailing science. That’s why, in February, I questioned the paradigm that existed around stringent global testing and travel restrictions. And while there has been a significant transition away from those measures, we need to bring down the other limits to individual rights that don’t make medical sense.