Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Erie Times E-Edition Article-Will you be required to get a virus vaccine? Here’s what to know

Posted by M. C. on December 6, 2020

I had strange feeling when Lisa Thompson left the Erie Times-News. Among other duties she was saddled with editing reader letters. All of a sudden the now nameless letter editor has an email address referencing Philadelphia.

The premier local editorial writer, regular guy Pat Howard, was made an offer he couldn’t refuse. The local guy everyone looked forward to reading is, today at least, replaced by I want the government to control your life/race-baiter extraordinaire Eugene Robinson.

The Erie Times-News is now the Gannette/USA Today Times-News. Their articles make the AP stuff we are used to seeing look like gold. “Submitted for your approval” is the article below. Setting us up for mandatory vaccination. Won’t happen? Next time you are reading the bulletin board in the doctor’s examination room look at the horrendous list of mandatory vaccines that must be pumped into babies.

With two coronavirus vaccines under emergency review by the Food and Drug Administration, the nation’s attention is turning to who will get the vaccine first and when.

A big question remains: Will Americans be required to get vaccinated?

For some, the short answer is yes, public health and legal experts say. But a mandate is not likely anytime soon, and likely not to come from the federal government. Instead, employers and states may condition return or access to workplaces, schools and colleges upon getting the vaccine and mandate it once the FDA issues full approval, potentially months later.

“It’s much more likely that a private organization or company will require you to be vaccinated to get certain access to places,” said Arthur Caplan, a professor of bioethics at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine. “People worry about the president, governor, or county executive telling them what to do. I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

At an August town hall hosted by Healthline, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the vaccine won’t be mandatory in the U.S. “I don’t think you’ll ever see a mandating of vaccine, particularly for the general public,” Fauci said. “If someone refuses the vaccine in the general public, then there’s nothing you can do about that. You cannot force someone to take a vaccine.”

And on Friday, Presidentelect Joe Biden told reporters that he would not make vaccinations mandatory. “But I would do everything in my power – just like I don’t think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide – I’ll do everything in my power as president of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing,” Biden said.

Historically, states have had the power to mandate vaccinations. In 1905, as smallpox was spreading through Massachusetts, the Supreme Court upheld the authority of states to enforce compulsory vaccination laws in the case of Jacobson v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

“There’s a long history in our constitution that permits the state to act for public health and safety, and that has always included vaccination,” said Lawrence Gostin, director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University.

“But although they have the power, I think it will be very unlikely that they will exercise that power,” he said. “They would be fearful of causing a backlash and politicizing the vaccine.”

It’s more likely that vaccination requirementswill play out as they have in the past. Once fully approved by the FDA, a vaccine may eventually be required for children in public and private schools and daycare settings, for college and university students, and for some health care workers and patients, Gostin said.

All 50 states and Washington, D.C., have laws requiring certain vaccines for students, and exemptions vary by state. All states grant exemptions to children for medical reasons, 45 states grant religious exemptions, and 15 allow philosophical exemptions for those who object to immunizations because of personal, moral or other beliefs, according to the National Conference of Legislatures.

Health care facilities across the country are increasingly requiring health care workers to be vaccinated against various diseases, and some facilities are adding these requirements due to mandates in state statutes and regulations, according to the CDC.

When it comes to the flu, 24states have flu vaccination requirements for long-term care facility health care workers, and 32 have them for long-term care facility patients, according to the CDC. As of 2016, 18 states had flu vaccination requirements for hospital health care workers.

Other employers also require certain vaccinations.

“Will the general public be required to get it? That’s highly unlikely. That’s not the American tradition or culture,” said Peter Meyers, professor emeritus at the George Washington University law school and former director of the school’s vaccine injury litigation clinic. “We recommend it. We make it as easy as possible to get it. We make it free. If enough people take it, we’ll have herd immunity.”

Nurse Practitioner Gabriela Huyke prepares for medical examination of a volunteer for the COVID-19 vaccine study at the Research Centers of America on Aug. 13 in Hollywood, Fla.

Be seeing you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: