Should the coronavirus vaccine be mandatory for all US citizens?


Fact Box

  • In sharp contrast to the current coronavirus lockdown, the so-called “Hong Kong Flu” pandemic, which killed 1 million worldwide, did not prevent the famous Woodstock music festival from happening in 1969. 
  • Recent polling indicates that nearly one in three Americans would refuse a coronavirus vaccine. 
  • Anti-vaccine activists have joined forces with anti-lockdown activists at protests around the country.
  • A 2019 survey revealed that 45% of American adults doubt vaccine safety

Mandy (No)

Like all pharmaceuticals, vaccines often have major side effects--especially during the first few years of implementation. If scientists can even make a COVID-19 vaccine, it wouldn't have undergone full and rigorous testing or have been vetted in double-blind, placebo-based, long-term studies to confirm efficacy. Therefore, it shouldn't ever be mandated.

The H1N1 flu shot (when finally released) was not successful at granting herd immunity, as research showed it was only 37% effective, while the flu shot, in general, has been only 45% effective for the 2019-2020 flu season. It is extremely hard for scientists to make vaccines for respiratory infections since those types of viruses mutate often. The SARS infections of 2002-2003 had a high case-fatality rate of about 10%, but there was no final vaccine made for it, as it died out on its own. Scientists are still trying to figure out why 2-10% of vaccinated people do not respond to vaccines or create any antibodies (which may be due to genetic variations). Therefore, vaccine-induced 'herd immunity' is not possible to attain when targeting respiratory viruses. 

If we really want to save lives, we cannot coerce people to risk suffering life-altering side effects (seizures, encephalopathy, Guillain-Barré syndrome) and potentially death by mandating a vaccine that, in the long run, won't even build herd-immunity. People deserve the freedom to choose what methods work best for them to protect themselves and others. For some, it may be the vaccine. For others, it may be social distancing, wearing masks, disinfecting surfaces, increasing vitamin intake, implementing a healthier lifestyle, and maintaining personal hygiene.   


Juan (Yes)

The history of the pandemics of yesteryear demonstrates why a mandatory vaccine is the key to victory over the coronavirus. Statistics and science also support this approach. Not everyone will be medically able to get a vaccine, so it is important for the rest of us to be vaccinated. Experts believe that we need at least 70 percent of the population to have immunity to coronavirus for herd immunity to start playing a role. Those same experts say getting exposed to “get it over with” is not wise.

Instead, the safest, most controlled way to achieve herd immunity is through a vaccine. This approach would also likely decrease lost revenue caused by those missing work due to being sick. And while it is impossible to develop a cost-benefit model for something with so many variables, likely, the revenue gains of keeping our workforce healthy would indeed outweigh the cost. 

Some might argue that mandatory vaccination is government intrusion. Yet, one’s liberty does not give them license to endanger others, and the government exists to protect the population in ways private action can’t. An individual can put the best security system around their house, but to keep out microscopic threats like coronavirus, everyone must be protected.

Lastly, some believe that vaccines are generally not safe. However, the one scientific study underlying much of this belief has been discredited as fraudulent. It’s time that the vaccine doubters embraced the idea that vaccines are the answer to the coronavirus pandemic. 

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