The vaccine invention had to be good news for most Americans. Finally, scientists have found a way to stop the pandemic and save hundreds of thousands of people’s lives. For now, healthcare workers, older people, and people with related conditions are the primary groups eligible for vaccination. However, no one could have expected that the demand for the vaccine would not be 100%. Recently, CNN published a report stating that some medical workers refused to be vaccinated for unspecified reasons (Howard & Gumbrecht, 2021). Moreover, when doctors went out to the public to offer the vacated doses to citizens who fell into the priority groups, they still had 3-4 vaccines left by the end of the journey. As a result, these vaccines were expired, since after being removed from the freezer, the vaccine must be administered within 6 hours.
Therefore, there is a question – is it worth making vaccination mandatory? And does the state have the right to introduce such measures? How ethical is it to refuse vaccines? For which groups should vaccines that have been abandoned be redistributed? Personally, I believe that the state will not need to resort to compulsory vaccination. Of course, some people may have concerns about the lack of testing of COVID-19 vaccines compared to, for example, influenza vaccines, and others may refuse for religious reasons.
However, based on the information provided in the CNN report, more than 90% of health workers agreed to be vaccinated. In terms of herd vaccination, even vaccination of 60-70% of the population is enough to stop a pandemic (McNeil, 2020). Given the exclusivity of the cases where vaccination has caused complications, I will definitely get vaccinated when it comes to me. At the same time, I do not condemn people who refuse to be vaccinated – they may have associated diseases, due to which vaccination can cause complications, or have a strong fear. Besides, there are not so many such people. However, an information campaign is needed that clearly identifies the potential risks of vaccination and honestly describes the consequences of avoiding vaccination.
Howard, J. & Gumbrecht, J. (2021). Hospitals thought they’d see Covid-19 vaccine shortages. Sometimes, they have to throw away doses. CNN. Web.
McNeil, D. (2020). How much herd immunity is enough? The New York Times. Web.