If Vaccines Are the Answer, Why Not Mandate Them?
Before we even get rolling on this, I want to put this out up front: I am not in favor of making the vaccine mandatory. There's a lot of reasons why I feel that way, some of which we'll probably get into in this article, but overall, I just don't think that's the way to go. However, with that out the way, I do find it shocking that no politician, especially from states where COVID numbers are high like Louisiana, has brought it up or is publicly pushing for it.
Can the Government Mandate Vaccines?
Despite what you may see online, the Government can legally mandate vaccines. Employers also have every legal right to mandate you getting vaccinated. Both issues have been put in front of the Supreme Court numerous times and the Court has green lit it every time. There's precedent and if you try to fight it, you will more than likely lose.
Just look up Jacobson v Massachusetts from 1905. That is the main case brought when it relates to mandatory vaccinations. Basically, the Supreme Court ruled that individual liberty is not absolute and is subject to the police power of the state. The Jacobson case is what was cited while upholding mask mandates, stay at home orders and other recent cases during the COVID pandemic.
Why Hasn't The Move Been Made to Mandate the COVID Shot?
So, here's the question: If the vaccine is the answer, why not mandate it? The majority of doctors, politicians and experts say that the COVID shot saves lives. They have the legal grounds and legal precedent to do it. So, why isn't any one taking the steps to mandate it? I get that it is a political issue that could potential cause a ton of people to get voted out of office. But, it's about saving lives, right? Plus, by reinstituting other mandates and restrictions, arguably, you are causing more damage to people's lives and livelihoods. So, as the old saying goes "something, something, something or get off the pot".
What Options Are There to Combat COVID?
The reality of the COVID pandemic is this: there are 3 options, only 2 of which make sense. You can: A) Mandate the vaccine. B) Open everything back up and let people make their own decisions. or C) Lock everything back down indefinitely and ruin people's lives. A & B are the only reasonable options. C is just stupid, irresponsible and reckless...so, I don't even really want to count that as a viable option.
Going back to the first sentence of this article, I don't think the government should make the vaccine mandatory. Unlike the smallpox epidemic which had a 17% fatality rate, the likelihood of surviving COVID is much higher. We don't mandate the flu vaccine or any number of things. Does it suck watching people get sick and suffer? Yes, it absolutely does. Does it suck that doctors and nurses are having to pull extra shifts treating people with COVID? I'm sure it does.
Where Do We Go From Here?
But, at this juncture in time, the vaccine is optional. Some employers are starting to mandate it, which is their legal right. But, the vaccine is an option. If you chose not to take that option, that is your right. If your employer mandates it, you have the option to quit and work somewhere else. That's how choices and options work. You don't have to like it, but you don't have to work there. There's another option. So, this idea of putting everyone in 'time out' by locking things down and reissuing restrictions because people didn't get something that is optional is just ridiculous.
Not everything that is legal is right. And not everything that is right is legal. But in the case of COVID, the options are pretty cut and dry: mandate the vaccine or leave people alone. "Tweet or get off the branch".