If you’ve been following this blog, then you’re aware of my feelings towards vaccines. So questioning whether or not the coronavirus vaccine will be mandatory became inevitable. And upon doing some research, I came across a history lesson from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that ties directly to COVID-19.
Increased immunization rates result in a significant decrease in diseases, which provide both individual and community protection. When a large percentage of the population is immunized, they serve as a protective barrier for those who are not immunized and those who experience vaccine failures. Since the introduction of vaccines, Smallpox has been completely eradicated and Poliomyelitis is on the verge of eradication. In the United States, infants and children are currently vaccinated against Diphtheria, Haemophilus Influenzae Type B, Hepatitis B, Measles, Mumps, Pertussis, Poliomyelitis, Rubella, Streptococcus Pneumoniae, Tetanus, and Varicella.
The first state law mandating vaccination in the United States was passed in Massachusetts, 1809. They also became the first state to enact a school vaccination requirement in 1855. In the 1905 ruling of Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of states to compel vaccinations. The court advised that health regulations requiring Smallpox vaccination did not violate the liberty rights of individuals under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Vaccination requirements rest in the police power of the state. The police power embraces “reasonable regulations established directly by legislative enactment as will protect the public health and the public safety.”
I share this information to preface some updates coming out of The New York Law Journal regarding the coronavirus.
The New York State Bar Association’s governing board (NYSBA) has tabled a vote on whether the COVID-19 vaccination should be mandatory, even if we object for religious, philosophical, or personal reasons. The vote will take place on November 7, and it was tabled because the board has to review all of the recommended measures in their 84-page report.
On page 60 of the report, the following was advised:
When a vaccine becomes available, there will be a majority of Americans who want the vaccination. However, some Americans may push back on the COVID-19 vaccination for religious, philosophical or personal reasons. Nonetheless, for the sake of public health, mandatory vaccinations for COVID-19 should be required in the United States as soon as it is available. Mandatory vaccinations are supported by the authority of the state police power when the vaccinations are necessary to protect the health of the community. Constitutional challenges under the religious freedom clause under the First Amendment and under the substantive due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment have failed, when the individual interests are not strong enough to outweigh the public benefit.
Many anti-vaccine groups and attorneys of injured clients are against mandating the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccine-injury lawyer Patricia Finn stated the following:
“While previous constitutional challenges under the religious freedom clause under the First Amendment and under the substantive due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment have failed, none of the cases cited by [the] NYSBA [Health Law Section’s task force] address [the] failed safety and efficacy of the mandated vaccinations, or the requisite necessity and ‘lack of a public emergency’ required by Jacobson.”
Recent polls have found that only 50% of Americans are committed to getting the vaccine, and a quarter is wavering. The rush to develop a vaccine has raised red flags for many, especially when you consider the name of the initiative: Operation Warp Speed. However, there is a push to boost confidence, with epidemiologists estimating that to stop the pandemic, 70% of the population will need immunity by either getting the vaccine or by becoming infected.
Unfortunately, White House Health Advisor and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Anthony Fauci, halted any ounce of optimism that I had when he stated that there’s a chance the vaccine may not provide long-term immunity.
“When you look at the history of coronaviruses, the common coronaviruses that cause the common cold, the reports in the literature are that the durability of immunity that’s protective ranges from three to six months to almost always less than a year.”
“That’s not a lot of durability and protection.”
So getting the COVID-19 vaccine could be the equivalent of getting the annual flu shot, and it may be mandatory?
Yeah, I’m not an advocate for civil unrest, but if this vaccine becomes mandated, I’m confident that everything I’ve seen in Sci-Fi thrillers will come to fruition. Anarchy will be an understatement when describing the country’s reaction. Just look at the behavior caused by quarantining and wearing a mask.
Until Next Time…
Cornwall, W. (2020, June 30). Just 50% of Americans plan to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s how to win over the rest. Retrieved July 25, 2020, from https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06/just-50-americans-plan-get-covid-19-vaccine-here-s-how-win-over-rest
Grant, J. (2020, June 22). State Bar Association Tables Vote on Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations. Retrieved July 25, 2020, from https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/2020/06/22/state-bar-association-tables-vote-on-mandatory-covid-19-vaccinations/?slreturn=20200625073349
Lovelace, B., Jr. (2020, June 2). Dr. Anthony Fauci says there’s a chance coronavirus vaccine may not provide immunity for very long. Retrieved July 25, 2020, from https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/02/dr-anthony-fauci-says-theres-a-chance-coronavirus-vaccine-may-not-provide-immunity-for-very-long.html
Malone, K. M., & Hinman, A. R. (n.d.). Vaccination Mandates: The Public Health Imperative and Individual Rights. Retrieved July 25, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/imz-managers/guides-pubs/downloads/vacc_mandates_chptr13.pdf
Report of the New York State Bar Association’s Health Law Section Task Force on COVID-19. (2020, May 13). Retrieved July 25, 2020, from https://nysba.org/app/uploads/2020/05/HealthLawSectionTaskForceCOVID-19Report_5.13.20-1.pdf