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Should vaccines be mandatory? Show more Show less
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Vaccines are one of the most successful public health interventions in history. Yet there has always been and will always be a vocal anti-vaccination movement. Should governments exert their powers to make vaccines mandatory?

Yes, vaccines should be mandatory Show more Show less

Vaccines are possibly the most important modern medical advance and have saved countless lives. We cannot allow freedom of choice to endanger the lives of whole populations. Governments must step up and make vaccines mandatory.
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Vaccine mandates are constitutional

In the 1905 case Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court upheld the authority of the states to enforce mandatory vaccination laws under the police power of the states. Vaccine mandates have always been constitutional, and they always will be.

The Argument

Vaccines should be made mandatory because the government has the right to do so. Vaccine mandates are constitutional. The US Supreme Court has heard several challenges to these mandates. But, the Courts have maintained that these mandates are constitutional because federal and local governments have a duty to protect their citizens. [1] State and local governments in the United States have mandated immunizations as a prerequisite for attending public schools for quite some time.[2] This is because the government has the power to impose reasonable regulations to protect the public health of the public, even when such regulations impose on individual rights.[1] Vaccines may impose on individual rights, but vaccines are not an individual choice. The decision to vaccinate or not has consequences. When people choose against vaccination, they can make others sick, and in the most extreme cases, cause death. Vaccines should be mandatory because the right to individual liberties does not include the liberty to harm others.

Counter arguments

Vaccines should not be made mandatory because vaccine mandates are inherently unconstitutional. For instance, the First Amendment text states that Congress can not make laws "respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."[3] There are many people who do not want to be vaccinated because it is against their religious values and morals. Several religions oppose vaccines and mandatory vaccinations. One such example is The Church of Illumination; they state that “the teachings of the Church unequivocally affirm that injections of vaccines and inoculations are a violation of these biblical teachings… Immunizations and vaccinations are a form of blood pollution."[4] If the government were to force these people to get vaccinated, the government would be imposing on their individual rights. Vaccines should not be made mandatory because such mandates will interfere with rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/blog/jacobson-v-massachusetts-reiss
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2553651/#:~:text=The%20United%20States%20is%20on,in%20public%20schools%20%5B1%5D.
  3. https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/United_States_of_America_1992
  4. https://www.soul.org/church-of-illumination/tenet-on-immunizations
This page was last edited on Tuesday, 17 Nov 2020 at 17:22 UTC

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