What would the health situation be like, “if we all did the same”? | R.L.

Serafín Carballo was the director of the Balearics office for childhood and adolescence, the ‘defender of the minor’. He was sacked last week because he refused to be vaccinated. This only came to light because the anti-corruption office had demanded vaccination information re ministers and senior officials. This was in order to check if anyone had jumped the queue; not to see if they hadn’t been vaccinated.

Carballo has since spoken to the press. The sacking was “an authoritarian decision”. He is in no way an anti-vaxxer. He had chosen not to be vaccinated as he wanted to wait for more data about the long-term effects of vaccines. His boss, the minister for social affairs Fina Santiago, has responded by observing that if everyone thought this, then no one would be vaccinated. Everyone has the right not to be vaccinated, Santiago notes, but “as a senior official you do not”, as there would otherwise be a “problem with the government’s message” of wanting everyone to be vaccinated.

There has been much support for Carballo. I disagree with his sacking. From what one can make out, his is the only such case in the country. He doesn’t believe, as the government has argued, that his refusal would set the wrong example; I’m inclined to agree. Nevertheless, his stance of wishing to wait for more data isn’t a good justification. Santiago is right in this regard. What would the health situation be like, “if we all did the same”?