Photo courtesy of NPR.org
There were many debates within the country about several issues in the last two years.
None has garnered more attention and controversy than COVID-19 vaccine mandates. While this is not the case at Spring-Ford, and there is no anticipation it will be, other school districts have implemented vaccine mandates for staff and students across the country.
“Senate Bill 871, by state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), would add COVID-19 vaccines to California’s list of required inoculations for attending K-12 schools,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
If this bill were to be passed, every student would be required to receive the COVID vaccine and could only be exempt if they receive a medical exemption. The California Department of Health could also mandate vaccines for students without requiring exemptions based on personal beliefs. This is the exception, and nothing is set in stone, but a vaccine required for students does not seem to be the right approach.
Even though not many school districts are implementing vaccine mandates, places such as restaurants are implementing these mandates. In New York, children aged 5 to 11 were required to show proof of vaccination for public indoor activities.
The vaccine has shown that it prevents severe illness and the majority of people hospitalized due to COVID are unvaccinated. However, with the Omicron variant, vaccines do not appear to stop all forms of the disease.
“All vaccines still seem to provide a significant degree of protection against serious illness from Omicron, which is the most crucial goal,” wrote New York Times global health reporter Stephanie Nolan. “But only the Pfizer and Moderna shots, when reinforced by a booster, appear to have initial success at stopping infections, and these vaccines are unavailable in most of the world.”
Vaccine mandates will do little to stop the spread of COVID when new variants can still infect those who have kept up to date with the recommended series of vaccines. Along with the waning efficacy of vaccines over time, mandates could constantly change and include getting boosters with every new variant or every six months, which some people are not okay with.
However, the most important argument to be made is the idea of medical freedom. No one should be forced to take a vaccine, and the government should have no authority to demand of anyone that they should take any medicine.
The fact that fully vaccinated people can get infected and spread COVID shows how vaccine mandates may be less of a necessity for everyone to stay safe and more of a way the government decides that they know what’s best for your own health.
It isn’t to say that vaccines are not beneficial. It’s to say that not everyone may need it and if they do, they can choose to do so without government intervention.
The best approach to COVID vaccines would be to encourage those at risk to get it and let everyone else decide for themselves.
Society does not need a government that will be the deciding factor in what medicine they take. Each individual should be free to choose what they want to do with their health without repercussions.