09/16/2020 / By Cassie B.
As the world inches closer to developing a COVID-19 vaccine, we are also on the brink of facing the very disturbing prospect of a push for mandatory vaccination.
President Trump told the military to prepare for the delivery of as many as 200 million doses of the vaccine, which they hope will be ready by the end of the year “for everybody that wants to get it.”
But what about those who don’t want it?
Roughly $10 billion of taxpayer money has been poured into the development of a vaccine and other therapeutics. Right now, 45 different clinical trials using public funds are underway.
There is a lot of doubt about the efficacy and safety of a vaccine that is being developed so quickly that the project working on it is known as Operation Warp Speed. Scientist have been trying and failing for two decades to come up with a safe coronavirus vaccine, and it seems unlikely that they would have managed to suddenly find something acceptable in mere months.
In fact, it isn’t even clear whether such a vaccine could create the kind of immune response it needs to in order to offer full protection. Some people who have recovered from the virus are being infected again, which means the antibodies may not offer a long-term protection.
The leader of the World Health Organization’s response to the epidemic, Dr. David Heymann, said: “We don’t even know if a vaccine can produce an immune response which would protect against future infection.”
And when you consider the safety record of vaccines that have been around for many years, it’s only logical to worry that a rushed vaccine will be even worse. AstraZeneca recently paused the third phase of its clinical trials of the vaccine they’ve been working on after a trial participant developed a “potentially unexplained” illness.
With so many ways for this to go wrong, you may be planning to skip the vaccine. Unfortunately, there are some very real worries that we may not have a choice in the matter. Even without an official mandate, punitive measures could be implemented that make it hard for people to avoid getting one. For example, some individuals could face losing their jobs if they don’t get vaccinated.
In Massachusetts, the flu vaccine has already been made mandatory for children age 6 months and older who go to school across all age ranges from childcare to universities. Students who fail to get the vaccine before December 31 will not be allowed to continue with the school year.
Indeed, every state already has a mandatory vaccination schedule in place that children must adhere to before attending school. Therefore, it stands to reason that the coronavirus vaccine could be added to this mandate. However, all states allow for medical exemptions and some also allow religious and philosophical exemptions.
It may just be a matter of time before the vaccine is required not only for those attending school but also taking public transportation, getting health insurance, going shopping or even leaving the house.
The New York State Bar Association recently issued a report demanding that all Americans get the coronavirus vaccine when it’s ready. The report, which was published by more than 24,000 lawyers, called for legislation that requires everybody to get the jab unless their doctor deems it clinically inappropriate.
Public support for a coronavirus vaccine has been dropping in recent months. In a May poll, 50 percent of Americans said they’d be willing to get a coronavirus vaccine. However, a September poll revealed that just 21 percent would be willing to get a vaccine as soon as possible, while another 50 percent would consider it but would wait to see how it works for others first. Meanwhile, 21 percent said they would not get the vaccine.
There is no question that COVID-19 is a very dangerous disease, but those in power who are using the threat of the virus to push forward Big Pharma’s profit-fueled vaccine drives could do a lot more harm to human health than this disease if the vaccine turns out to be unsafe and is administered on a wide scale.
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