LANSING, Mich. — The race for a COVID vaccine appears to be on the horizon. but without large numbers of Americans getting the vaccine, the notion of herd immunity could be a challenge. As the pandemic worsens across the country, Ash-Har Quraishi shows us how some are pondering whether people should be required to get a vaccine.
Coronavirus cases are spiking across most of the country. Hospital ICU beds are becoming scarce and a number of states are warning of potential lockdowns. JB Pritzker, Governor of Illinois explained “If they don’t start to bend this curve, then it is clear that we’re going to have to take more difficult measures and go to a stay-at-home order,” but this week some good news.
Pfizer concluded phase three of its vaccine study. the two-shot course they say is 95% effective against COVID 19. earlier in the week Moderna said it’s vaccine is 94.5% effective.
Dr. Tina Tan shared that “based upon the preliminary data that is out there. these vaccines appear to be quite safe and very very effective at preventing COVID.” If green lit by the FDA - one question that may arise is whether Americans should be mandated to get vaccinated.
In August Dr. Anthony Fauci weighed in, “you don’t want to mandate and try and force anyone to take the vaccine. we’ve never done that.”
According to a Pew Research survey in September about half of U.S. adults (49%) said they definitely or probably would not get vaccinated. that was up from 27% in May. Dr. Tina Tan “I think it's going to be really important to build public trust before we talk about mandating vaccines for adults or even for children.”
Tan points out that none of the vaccines have been tested in children and so school mandated vaccinations could be years away. Still, legal scholars say local vaccine mandates have historically had solid legal precedent for enforcement for more than a century. Juliet Sorensen, a professor of Health and Human Rights at Northwestern University’s School of Law, “the short answer is yes a vaccine can be mandated under the law.” “The constitution empowers state and local governments to take measures in furtherance of the public health as long as there is a basis in science for doing so,” and while few are endorsing a vaccination mandate right now as the death toll climbs without universal mask-wearing and social distancing it could be up for further debate.
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