Please be civilised to unvaccinated people like my son

·1-min read
<span>Photograph: Vladimir Gerdo/TASS</span>
Photograph: Vladimir Gerdo/TASS

We mustn’t punish those who are fearful of getting the Covid vaccine, writes the mother of an autistic man who suffers from crippling anxiety

I was disappointed by Dave Green’s letter (12 January) regarding the penalties he suggests for those who are unvaccinated. I can empathise with his words as a previous cancer patient myself, and also as a frontline nurse, but I disagree with his judgment on “anti-vaxxers”. Those who have chosen not to have the vaccine do not all share the same mindset, and it is worth bearing this in mind before they are all excommunicated from society.

My adult son is autistic and is unvaccinated by choice. His belief system may differ from most people’s, but as he is housebound due to crippling anxiety, hopefully he will not be much of a risk to himself or others. Let’s be civilised enough not to alienate him further. Of course, he might have chosen to forgo the Covid vaccine without the complexities of an autism diagnosis, but we cannot punish those who are fearful or those who wish to preserve their self-determination.

There are other groups of people who take up hospital beds and who are judged as selfish by some due to lifestyle choices too. Where should we draw the line? I hope open discussion and respect can be maintained in the discourse.
Name and address supplied

Have an opinion on anything you’ve read in the Guardian today? Please email us your letter and it will be considered for publication.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting