Vaccine Mandates Work—but Only If They’re Done Right

The US Food and Drug Administration approved Monday the Covid-19 vaccine, which was manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech. It is possible that you have already received a dose. Millions of Americans have. The new designation was not just a formality. It is now official, President Joe Biden announced. In the same speech, President Joe Biden said: "If you are a business leader or a leader of a non-profit organization, or a leader in a state, that requires vaccinations, I urge you to now do that.
A lot of people got their shots almost immediately. Vaccines can be safe, effective and cost-free, but around 30% of Americans still have not received their shots. The sticks are here, the carrots have failed. They might even be able stop the fourth wave in the Covid pandemic in America if they do it right.

The Pfizer drug, like the other vaccines available under EUA is extremely effective at keeping people from getting sick with Covid. It is clear that this alone won't be enough. There are more than 100,000 people with Covid in the US, the highest number since January. Incentives like cash or prizes have been used by states, localities, as well as businesses to get people to do what is best for them. This is called a "nudge" in behavioral economics. These nudges did not change the momentum in states that have low vaccine uptake. Now it's time to mandate. Get ready to push if you're among the 30% of Americans who have not vaccinated.

The Pentagon is the most pushy of all. The Department of Defense announced immediately that it would add Covid-19 vaccines, to the already-extended list of vaccines required for servicemembers. California's UC system, which is home to many large universities, already has mandates. However, more schools are joining: Ohio State University, University of Michigan and University of Minnesota. Mandates were placed on city workforces in Los Angeles, Chicago, and other areas. At her inauguration, the new governor of New York stated that she would also institute them. New York City implemented them for teachers in public schools and the NYPD. The open letter was signed by nearly every major medical and healthcare professional association. In late July, the influential American Medical Association reiterated its position. Even Goldman Sachs' hardcore capitalists wont allow anyone to enter their offices without proof of shot. Three examples are all that is required to create a trend in journalism. They were there, I believe.

This may sound like jackbootery, but the history of American public policy and health law shows otherwise. Vaccine mandates, and other rules restricting personal behavior for the sake of societal wellbeing, are extremely legal. Ask Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett. She affirmed this notion with a terse "not-gonna-happen" response to a lawsuit filed by students at Indiana University regarding their vaccine mandate. Barrett's firm nope supported an appeals court ruling that was in turn based upon Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905 Supreme Court decision) which gave permission for smallpox vaccinations and other public health regulations. By the way, most Americans support vaccine mandates. Of course, they are divided along political lines. A study from this summer found that elite Republicans could be more forceful in their support for vaccines. This is not just a personal choice. Ask your doctor to make that happen, but it would increase the number of people who plan to get vaccinated by up to 7 percent. No one has the right to be unmasked or unvaccinated in a crowd. Gostin states that Americans don't have the right to spread an infectious disease to others.