Vaccine mandates...are you for, or against, and why do you have the stance you have?

This one can be a bit of a touchy subject for some, so I’m hoping to have a civil debate here. Basically, should the government force a vaccine mandate, i.e. force people, with the threat of loss of job, to get a vaccination? This goes for more than just Covid, though obviously, that’s what the issue is today.

I ask this because it came up today in our state meeting, as several large cities and the state itself seem to be looking into doing this for first responders and state…and perhaps even county…employees. The meeting was a bit contentious. I’ve also seen this a lot in the news, so figure it’s becoming a real thing, especially since this is happening in several places and I believe for Federal workers as well.

Myself, I’m very pro-vaccine. I think that anyone who can, should get vaccinated…not just for Covid, but for basically most if not all things. Hell, I even have the shingles vaccine hopefully preventing me from getting that nasty stuff. I’m a big vaccine guy…I think it has been one of the most helpful and impactful technologies in human history. That said, I don’t know about forcing people to get the vaccine. I do see the other side, especially with respect to people who are first responder types or directly engaged with the healthcare side of interfacing with the public. So, you might say I’m a bit on the fence on this one. Thus the thread. So…thoughts? For? Against? On the fence? And can you explain why you are coming down (or on the fence like me) on this?

I’m pro-vaccine and very much for mandates. I don’t actually see the other side. To me it is a dumb point of view. Very hurtful to themselves and all around them. It would be a huge help to the health and safety of everyone and the economy if we could achieve a 90% vaccination rate.

I said it somewhere else, the bulk of the people who actually go through with quitting over this are probably too stupid and illogical to be trusted as first responders. I hope the some of the protesting cops in the big cities go through with there resignations. I think it would be a major improvement for those forces.

There is no government forcing a vaccine mandate. Is it a tremendous amount of pressure to face losing your job? Of course it is, but it still isn’t a mandate. There are still choices.

My kids can’t go to public school without having certain vaccines injected into their bodies. Is that a government forcing a vaccine mandate? I have other choices, although they would be a great hardship.

I am generally for vaccine mandates for COVID-19. However, I think they need to be rolled-out consistently and uniformly. Here in CA school children will be mandated to get the COVID shot, but their teachers will not, and prison guards will not (powerful unions pulling strings with the Governor). Mandates will only work if they are universal, otherwise people who are against them will simply adjust. Maintaining a lower vaccination rate enables the virus to hang around and spread and mutate, which is clearly detrimental to population health and the economy. Providing escape routes and exemptions wont get us to where we need to be.

I am not sure mandates will ultimately work unless they have some teeth, and how far are we willing to go? Vaccinate or we will arrest you and take you to jail and physically force you.(?). I think maybe a better way to go is to make life too hard without getting the shot, by restricting activities (flying, restaurants, movie theaters, basically any public place). Carrot, stick and that whole business.

This is a fascinating article on how Portugal are over 85% of the population fully vaccinated. They did this without a mandate. They did not suffer the wave of the Delta variant and there has been no anti-vax movement taking effect in the name of “freedom”. As a consequence while most countries including the US has plateaued in vaccination rates, Portugal moved fast and as a consequence are returning to normality faster for everyone.

I’m absolutely in favor of mandates. 100%. In fact, fighting against a pandemic is one of the few things I’d endorse outright tyranny for.

I’d favor everyone being required to vaccinate (unless they can demonstrate a really good reason not to,) and that card being required to do just about anything - go to a shop, travel, etc.- and extremely heavy fines for those who won’t comply.

My brother has left his long-time job as a firefighter and EMT because he didn’t want to get vaccinated as required. As far as I know, he was excellent at both jobs, and a model employee. He was Assistant Chief after under a decade and doing well.

He is not stupid, nor bad at being a first responder.

When I heard he was losing his job over vaccination requirements, I was physically ill.

But I was physically ill because I couldn’t believe that he could make such a terrible choice, and be bitter about it. It is absurd to me that he could think it’s some matter of “personal choice” when his job is literally to work physically close to and in enclosed spaces with people who are by definition not healthy. How could he possibly think he should be allowed to hold that job and NOT be vaccinated, putting his patients at risk every day?

I do not support physical force or absolute mandates, and I have concerns about the Biden OSHA plan (only because I don’t want any president to have that level of power as an individual). But in general I support as many business and other mandates as possible. If you’re not vaccinated you should not be allowed into any public building or event.

I’m in favor of mandates because the right of the unvaccinated to spew virus filled droplets ends at the noses of those who can’t be vaccinated. If you want to live and work in isolation, fine, you don’t need to be vaccinated, but to mingle with other people you shouldn’t be able to put them at risk - especially since the risk of being vaccinated is so tiny.

I absolutely support vaccine mandates. I’ve said before that I view anti-vaxxers the same way I view people who think that the barrier at a railroad crossing doesn’t apply to them. We all need to obey mandatory traffic laws because without them, we can injure not only ourselves but also other people. And yes, there can be rare cases where obeying the law can cause injury or death, but that doesn’t change the fact that sometimes we need to give up some freedom and take some degree of risk to protect society as a whole.

I agree with this stance – employers should mandate it for their employees, especially those who work with the public or on site. The government should mandate it for their employees, especially those who work with the public or on site. Private companies should require vaccines for entry into special events and non-essential things like restaurants, but I’m opposed with mandating it for regular shopping.

I’m opposed to the federal government requiring the vaccine in order to remain a free person or avoid fines, but as a condition of most employment, definitely for that.

So, I’m going to chime in with my take, both for and against a formal mandate.

For: I don’t hear this a lot, and maybe my limited knowledge of how viruses work is flawed, but from what I understand, every time someone gets the virus it has a chance to mutate. Taking that further, we know, for a fact, that some people with the vaccine can get covid. Our folks call them ‘breakthrough infections’, which sounds really technical and cool when they say it. So, assuming the first part of what I said is correct, then to my mind, it’s possible to get a covid variant due to a mutation from a vaccinated person…which would render the vaccine less effective going forward.

For: Not everyone can get vaccinated. Many have real issues with the vaccine. Also, many have immune deficiency issues that render them more susceptible. Especially if we are talking about first responders then I think a mandate makes sense, as they are going to be the ones directly interfacing with this group, potentially. I think this justifies a mandate.

Against: Really, these will both be pretty weak, but I think it’s important to be able to at least see the other side. The first one is that right now, a lot of agencies are already strapped for personnel. We are feeling the crunch in our own organization, with several agencies reporting deficiencies in personnel levels. The police, especially have been hard hit…from a meeting earlier in the week the force lost 6 additional people this week. This is without a mandate, just losses either through burnout or being poached by other organizations and entities who are in the same boat. The fire department is even worse off (as are things like public works and the detention centers and prisons). By forcing a mandate, you are going to cut even more deeply into this already shrinking pool, and right now some of the agencies are barely functional. That would be a Bad Thing™. There are mask mandates already in effect, at least where I am, and in all of those agencies I mentioned here they do weekly testing already…I believe the detention centers/prisons are doing biweekly at this point.

Against: Even weaker, perhaps, is that there is a non-zero risk of having a bad reaction to the vaccine. I know we have had a few…myself, I just got sick for a few days and that was it, but several have reported more serious issues. If you force someone to get a vaccine they don’t want and are only doing under duress and they have a bad reaction, I think that would open the organization up to potential liability. Also, as I said, we already have safety precautions in places such as requiring masks and the like.

I guess one last point, perhaps on the ‘for’ side, is that this sets a precedent for action. This could be for or against, depending on how you feel about this. My thought, however, is if we ever get a really bad pandemic…which, bad as this has been I don’t think this rises up to that level…we will already have the hooks in place to do this much earlier on. If, say, the infection rate was the same as the current pandemic but the death rate was over 20%, it would allow for this to happen almost automatically. Also, the public would already be adjusted to the idea. This is also why I’m a bit on the fence about doing it now…there could be backlash from the public on this (more than there already is).

Anyway, those are my thoughts on this subject, FWIW.

We were able to wipe out smallpox in nature via vaccines - that disease is I think orders of magnitude worse than COVID-19, so maybe global action was easier back then. Perhaps a disease that just kills people is “not bad enough” to warrant global action and local cooperation, but something that both kills people gruesomely and disfigures survivors would nudge everyone to do the right thing.

Some might debate that.

I’m strongly pro mandate. This is a situation where there is a clear public need, and no rational objection.

If someone insists on being irrational, that’s fine. Don’t do it while on the public dime, or in a manner that allows you to pose a danger to others.

I’d also strongly support denial of hospital treatment and insurance coverage to any non-vaxxed idiots who catch covid.

Well, I could be wrong about this (I probably am as a baseline assumption), but I think Covid is more like the Flu than Smallpox wrt us being able to wipe it out through vaccination. I think at this point Covid is with us just like the Flu, and we will have to get seasonal vaccinations just like we do with the Flu.

If I’m wrong about that then I’ll learn something. :slight_smile:

Well… you may want to rephrase that. Not getting vaccinated is nothing other than super stupid, especially when he’s an EMT. And it’s also pretty dumb when it involves having to change a livelihood that he’s apparently good at. And for what? So he can exercise some sort of personal freedom without actually being responsible?

What was his thinking? Just toddler-like resistance to being made to do so, or was there something more to it?

No, I agree with you. I was just comparing to another pandemic situation where the disease produces a much more alarming set of symptoms - that might persuade the hesitant to get the shot.

COVID-19 is still one disease. We could wipe it out if we act quickly enough. Instead, too much of the world is being dumb about this.

Flu has been around a lot longer and they’re always trying to guess which strains to try and be ready for. We actually had something close to a silver bullet for COVID-19, nothing like it for Flues.

I’m fearful we’re going to fail at this and COVID will become like flu and be with us for decades to come.

I’ve lost a good friend to COVID before we had vaccines. He was a very healthy 52. I nearly lost my sister to it. I have very little tolerance for the willfully ignorant fighting on behalf of future strains of COVID.

My feeling exactly. It’s just that simple: I have no tolerance for people whose stupidity and baseless paranoia is inevitably going to lead to completely unnecessary and preventable suffering and death. It will also likely enable COVID to remain a global plague for a long time to come, with new variants popping up all the time. An immunologist recently described the unvaccinated as “virus mutation factories”.

He could be brainwashed. Fox news and conservative talk radio can be very convincing if that is all you listen to.

I am pro mandate, with exceptions with a doctor’s note.

Sure, but the catch is that COVID is considerably more lethal than the flu. In 2020, deaths from influenza AND pneumonia combined (53,495) is similar to that of suicide (44,834) and kidney disease (52,260). COVID on the other hand, is fourth with 343,323 deaths in 2020 (and more in 2021), behind cancer with 598,832 deaths, and ahead of unintentional injuries(192,176) and strokes(159,050).

2019 deaths from flu were estimated at about 28,000.

That’s the problem - it’s not lethal enough to be a sort of modern-day Black Death, but it’s far from being similar to influenza, except in that the consequences of not being vaccinated can be far worse, especially for vulnerable people.

That’s why mandates are necessary in many situations. I like the idea of just letting mandates be more or less situational- things like “no gatherings above 25 people unless vaccinated” would effectively force most people to get vaccinated- they’d need to be, in order to go to church, see a movie, go to a football game, and so on.

But nobody would be forcing them to- it would be their choice, and one where there’s a path without explicit penalty.