By: Angel Liang — Correspondent
With the development of new vaccines and the latest good news being delivered by Pfizer and BioNTech, the line to these vaccines also grows. Along with the hopefuls, also come the skeptics. Anti-vaxxers have gained a large platform recently with the announcement of the new coronavirus vaccine in the news. With rampant misinformation spreading online, especially on Facebook groups, the question about a government vaccine mandate has risen as well.
The CDC starts off by prefacing that vaccines, however safe and effective they may be, will never be “perfectly safe nor perfectly effective.” Thus, not everyone who receives a vaccine will be protected. Some may even receive minor “local soreness or redness at the injection site or perhaps a fever for a day or so.”
The CDC continues by stating that “rarely, however, vaccines can cause more serious adverse events.” Because a part of the population will have extremely negative reactions to the vaccine, people should expect and accept the fact that not everyone will be vaccinated.
In the United Kingdom, where the Pfizer vaccine has already been issued, there have been 2 allergic reactions. Because of that, UK medicines have warned people with severe allergies to take caution with the vaccine. This already adds onto the anxiety around the safety of the vaccine.
PBS News reports that in order to effectively control the coronavirus pandemic, at least 60-70% of the population must be vaccinated. Because of the misinformation about vaccines being spread online, the statistics supporting vaccination have dropped dramatically. PBS reports that since August, 60% of the people surveyed were willing, but in September, that number dropped to 49%. Not only are there people who medically are unable to be vaccinated, there are also anti-vaxxers who choose not to. There are people who are anxious about the safety of the vaccine and may choose to wait for more information to come out.
It is urgent that the vaccines go toward the people who most need it: health care workers, essential workers, and those who are at high risk. After these groups of people, it’s important that the average person in America also plays their part in pushing the country out of this pandemic.
Schools already have mandatory vaccinations and Covid-19 should be no exception, especially with the situation everyone is in. In fact, mandating certain vaccinations has been quite common and most legal challenges opposing these mandates have been struck down with the interest of public health.
First, the government should work on ramping up vaccine production to be able to provide enough vaccines for essential frontline workers. Second, the government needs to make these vaccines either free, mandatory, or easily accessible. People who cannot take the vaccine should be limited to those with health conditions, not those who cannot afford them. As a country, residents should be encouraged to vaccinate themselves even more to help protect those who are unable to be vaccinated.
Therefore, a governmental vaccination mandate is able to happen and is necessary in dire times such as now. People should look to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
image from USA today