President Biden’s Vaccine Mandate: A student shares why a vaccine mandate might not be the best choice.

On September 10, President Biden announced new measures to battle Covid 19. The Department of Labor will develop a new emergency rule requiring all federal employees and contractors to be vaccinated, as well as workers at any healthcare facility that receives Medicare or Medicaid. In addition to this, every company with over 100 employees is required to mandate vaccinations or test unvaccinated employees weekly.

There was an immediate backlash to these mandates; 24 states and the Republican party have threatened to sue if the mandates were implemented. In addition, countless other organizations have expressed disapproval as well. These groups claim the mandate violates both employees and employers’ freedom. But to understand if these mandates really are infringing on people’s freedom, it may be helpful to look at the reason for the mandate. On September 10th President Biden stated the reason, “The bottom line — we’re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated coworkers.”

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What does it mean to protect vaccinated individuals from unvaccinated individuals? If a vaccine is fully effective, why would an unvaccinated person pose a risk to a vaccinated person? According to the CDC, “COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick.” If vaccines are “effective”, what does a vaccinated person have to fear? According to scientists, variants, such as the Delta variant, originate as the virus gets spread around from person to person. In an article in Healthline magazine, Dr. Purvi Parikh said, “If everyone is vaccinated, eventually infections drop to zero and so do variants, but if the virus has an easy host, such as an unvaccinated individual, then it is easy for it to mutate into a more contagious and virulent form.”

The logic is, that if people are not vaccinated a virus can mutate into being more deadly or contagious as they spread it around. A virus becoming more contagious is not necessarily an issue, what should be a worry, is it becoming more harmful. Some viruses actually become less harmful. The 1918 influenza pandemic mutated into one of the strands of the common flu we have today. Why do we not seem to be worried about the flu mutating into something more deadly?

For many people, the vaccine makes a lot of sense, especially for the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions for whom Covid-19 can be very dangerous. But if you are under the age of forty, you have a .04% chance of dying of Covid, and the younger and healthier you are, your chances of getting sick decrease dramatically. For people in these categories, a vaccine barely seems necessary, especially with many warnings from doctors about the insufficient testing of the vaccine, and the rare but dangerous side effects, such as blood clots.

         I don’t pretend to be a doctor.  But here is the point I want to make. With so much conflicting data and opinions, personal choice is essential. Medical professionals should be allowed to share their opinions on Covid. Hospitals should be allowed to offer alternative cures. Patients should be allowed to choose treatment. Employers should be allowed to decide the rules for how to keep their employees safe. And employees should then be able to make their decision and negotiate with their employer. President Biden’s mandate, however well intended, will eliminate the freedoms of both employers and employees. The more we limit freedom, the more science, which operates on the basis of freedom, will be suppressed. If we allow that, we will become controlled by the whims of power-hungry individuals, and an ever-growing government. 

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