As the COVID-19 pandemic has continued to decimate the entire world, the light at the end of the tunnel has begun to get just a bit brighter. Multiple COVID-19 vaccines are now approved by the Food and Drugs Administration in the United States, which are the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson and Johnson vaccines. (J&J was approved in the last week)
As the United States is trying to vaccinate as many people as possible, a lot of ethical questions have been raised regarding immunizations. Is the vaccine 100% safe? Should people of all ages get it? While these questions can be confusing, www.fda.gov can answer all questions regarding COVID-19 vaccines.
The most recent question that has been debated across the country regards employer rights to require COVID-19 vaccines for workers. Should employers be allowed to require workers to receive COVID-19 vaccines? It’s not a simple question, and a lot of different factors play into it.
John Baird, a senior at Hillcrest High School and Presidential Scholar Finalist, had a few points to make about vaccines being mandatory by employers.
“I’d say they (employers) can require it unless employees have religious grounds or something else viable to oppose it.”
Baird brought up an interesting point. Individuals may have cultural reasons not to get the vaccine. While this may be a roadblock, it doesn’t stop the fact that the more people who are vaccinated in a workforce, the more safe both the employees and customers will be.
Anika Balakrishnan, a Junior at Hillcrest, had a strong opinion on the vaccination issue.
“I understand individual freedom. But I can also see the people arguing for this are worried about their rights, which they should be, but many places require vaccines already. We have to get vaccinated just to go to school. Employers can have the choice to require it. As long as they provide it and have the means to help take care of everything, I think it is fine.”
COVID-19 vaccines have been proven safe. According to the CDC, not a single person has been recorded dead due to a vaccine dose, while more than 500,000 people in the United States alone have died from the virus. Employers, especially those in jobs that may be exposed to those at risk (retail, hospitals, restaurants, etc) completely have the right to require a COVID-19 vaccine.
If people are worried about their freedom, they shouldn’t work there. Several immunizations are required for people to go to public school, so there’s no reason it should be different for workforces. The more people who get the COVID-19 vaccine, the more people’s lives will be saved, and the faster this country will recover from the devastation the pandemic has caused.
Sources used: https://www.ksl.com/article/50113069/should-employers-be-able-to-require-covid-19-vaccine-question-sparks-heated-debate-at-utah-capitol