It's time to listen to the 'adults' and ignore those who refuse the COVID vaccines: national security expert
Anti-vaccination protest (Joseph Prezioso/AFP)

In a column for The Atlantic, national security expert Juliette Kayyem said the time has finally come for the country to move on and do whatever needs to be done to halt the rising tide of COVID-19 infections -- and the accompanying death toll -- and ignore the complaints of those who refuse to take advantage of readily available vaccines designed to combat it.

Under the provocative headline that reads, "Vaccine Refusers Don't Get To Dictate Terms Anymore," Kayyem makes the case that the Covid pandemic has reached a crisis stage that is doing irreparable harm to the country.

Noting that massive efforts being made by the U.S. government, the medical community and private industry to get people vaccinated, Kayyem claimed the anti-vaxx community is holding the country back, writing, "What all of these decisions show is that the adults running major institutions in our society want to move forward, and they are done waiting around for vaccine refusers to change their mind."

"Some refusers say they definitely won't get vaccinated; others say they haven't yet gotten to it. But the specific feelings and concerns of vaccine refusers should be largely irrelevant to vaccinated people who are eager to move on with their lives. Americans are entitled to make their own decisions, but their employers, health insurers, and fellow citizens are not required to accommodate them," she wrote before asserting, "The vaccinated have for too long carried the burden of the pandemic."

Kayyem continued, "People in the crisis-management field have made peace with blanket one-size-fits-all policies that some individuals don't like. When a ship is going down, passengers aren't given the luxury of quibbling with the color or design of the life vest, and they can't dither forever about whether to put one on or not. Emergencies invariably force people to make some choices that they might not consider ideal, but asking everyone to get vaccinated against a potentially lethal virus is not a big imposition. Ironically, by talking as if everyone, given enough time, will eventually choose the shot, public-health agencies may have understated the urgency of the matter and invited the vaccine-hesitant to dwell on the decision indefinitely."

"Sorry. Time's up," she added before adding the caveat, "I know, I know: I should try harder to understand the feelings of unvaccinated Americans. Being more patient and empathetic would make me sound nicer. But do you know what's really nice? Going back to school safely. Traveling without feeling vulnerable. Seeing a nation come back to life."

You can read the whole piece here.