Should the COVID-19 vaccine be mandatory?
As more people are getting vaccinated or acquire natural immunity from an infection, and with pandemic mitigation policy in place, the COVID-19 pandemic is finally starting to recede. So this leads to the question as we roll out the vaccine: Should it be mandatory? I would argue it should be, for the same reason I argued for making the measles vaccine mandatory back in 2015.
What I do not understand is why some people argue an employer mandating employees get the vaccine is problematic, and yet favor a government mandate for that same vaccine. You can always get another job if you refuse to get a vaccine, but escaping a government mandate would be much more difficult.
In fact, there is a strong case that employers should be allowed to mandate employees get a vaccine. Preventing employees from getting sick increases productivity and reduces time lost to illness. It also protects more vulnerable employees, such as those who are over 65 or have health conditions that make them more vulnerable to the virus. No one is forced to work for an employer that mandates a vaccine.
Unless you are infringing on the lives, property and liberty of others, you should be allowed to do as you please. If refusing a vaccine only affected the person refusing it, there would be no issue to debate. But as we have seen with measles, that is not the case. If we want to get "back to normal" after a pandemic that has killed half a million Americans, we are going to need to get to herd immunity.
We have already sacrificed a great deal in our fight against the Communist Virus. We have seen businesses closed, and we were prevented from attending church services for months. We are required to wear a mask any time we are indoors in public places. Making a vaccination mandatory (either one time or annually) is far less of an imposition on our liberty than what has already been done to slow the spread of COVID-19, and would make it easier to eliminate restrictive policies in place to slow the spread of the virus.