- Probably not, experts say, because everyone has the fundamental right to be protected from the spread of disease.
- Still, tensions have risen as more vaccination mandates are implemented.
- A protest in Canada has drawn renewed attention to the issue.
The article “Does the COVID-19 vaccine impose human rights violations?” was first published on August 24, 2021 and updated on January 31, 2022.
Even Napoleon could not force everyone to get vaccinated.
In some ways, not much has changed. Governments and private sector employers around the world have encouraged those lucky enough to have access to COVID-19 vaccines to take them – often with civic incentives similar to that of Napoleon, but increasingly through targeted vaccination mandates.
In Canada, thousands of people collected in Ottawa last weekend to protest government mandates for the COVID-19 vaccine, spontaneously building on what started as a narrower protest organized by truckers.
The rally in Canada was only the most recent commotion. After the French government sought to make vaccination practically inevitable with rules and mandates, a national demonstration drew nearly 240,000 people. Parents in South Korea have protested vaccination mandates in schools, and about 16,000 people went to Hamburg earlier this month to protest vaccination rules.
Vaccine mandates in the past
In the middle of the 19and century, the British government do compulsory vaccination against smallpox. Local anti-vaccination leagues have been form in responnse, brandishing the same hesitation and uneven understanding of science returning among anti-vaccination activists today. In many ways, there’s not much new.
Yet some things about vaccine mandates seem to have changed over the past few decades.
When a successful polio vaccine candidate has been announcement in 1953, it made its developer a minor celebrity; parents quickly sought it out for their children without needing coercion. Seven years later, Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” was awarded to “American scientists”.
But then science became intertwined with the Cold War and government secrecy. The labs were bombed, a superfluous and a flawed swine flu vaccination effort dozens people with a rare neurological disorder, and Soviet disinformation on the origin of AIDS, an epidemic that claims hundreds of thousands of lives last year – spread around the world. Seeds of doubt have been sown everywhere.
So, COVID-19 vaccination mandates can certainly seem like an attractive option to help stem the spread of the disease, as long as everyone involved has equal access (and credible exemptions are possible).
But perhaps a more fundamental effort is needed to rebuild trust in science – potentially rendering warrants useless.
Learn more about vaccination mandates
For more context, here are links to further readings of the World Economic Forum’s strategic intelligence platform:
- Incentives for taking COVID-19 vaccines in India, such as subsidized property taxes and discounted restaurant meals, have shown promise, according to this article. (The conversation)
- “Nobody wants to feel ashamed or belittled for doing nothing.” Programs in rural America that traditionally helped farmers are now educating the public about COVID-19 vaccines, according to this article, and a big part of the job is to listen. (Kaiser Health News)
- Large crowds gathered to protest against COVID-19 vaccination mandates suggest hesitation may be more common in Europe than the survey results suggest, according to this article – which traces some of the anti-vaccination history of the region. (Montaigne Institute)
- Vaccination rates among pregnant women have lagged, but this survey of more than 17,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women who received COVID-19 vaccines showed they had not experienced symptoms more severe than their non-pregnant counterparts. (Daily Science)
- “Everyone I know is pissed off.” According to this article, vaccinated Americans have long since lost patience with their unvaccinated compatriots. (Atlantic)
- How vaccination mandates help companies: According to this analysis, this is a measure that companies can take to “internalize the externality” imposed by the unvaccinated outside their walls and control the spread of the virus. ([email protected])
- According to this study, people infected a long time ago with SARS generated particularly potent antibody responses when vaccinated against COVID-19, raising hope that vaccines can be developed to fully protect against new variants. of coronavirus. (Nature)