Concerns about vaccination mandates
To whom it may concern:
I understand that the government restrictions related to the pandemic have upended the lives of many. I also understand that many people have died from the complications related to the novel coronavirus. However, the harms of a vaccine mandate are far greater than the benefits at this time. I do not consider myself anti-science or anti-vaccination as a whole but these are my major objections against requiring any non-FDA approved vaccine:
- The vaccine has not been approved by the FDA. It had only been emergency authorized. With a vaccine mandate, you will be requiring people to or withholding civil liberties to those who choose not to participate in a large-scale scientific experiment where the risks are unknown.
- If the vaccine does truly work, which I do not assume it does not, those who are at risk have the opportunity to protect themselves if they so choose. Those who choose not to participate will assume their own personal risks. If you do not acknowledge that the vaccine will protect the vulnerable you are therefore assuming uncertainty in the effectiveness of the vaccine while requiring people to take it or withholding civil liberties if they do not.
- The risk of most people dying or being hospitalized due to coronavirus is low enough that the benefits of taking a vaccine for said people are negligible. It might be better to allow the vaccine to be available for those who truly need it.
- There are ethical implications of creating a second class of citizens based upon their decisions of whether or not to participate in a scientific experiment. In light of the racial discrimination of the past we will likely be returning to a new era of discrimination of an entire class of citizens. In the United States, people of colour have had a history of being forced to participate in medical procedures such as abortion and sterilization without their consent. Withholding their civil liberties because of refusal to participate in this scientific experiment will likely segregate them from many aspects of life as they have been segregated throughout American history.
If you have reasonable arguments against these concerns, I am open to hearing them. As you can see however, these statements are not those of a “conspiracy theorist” or a “science denier” but of someone who genuinely wants the answers about how the school will address these concerns. I understand that this is not a democratic process, but I hope to reach some consensus on these answers.
Ethan Stine commented
@Mart Osner We don't have a "Right to be Healthy" in the books in this country.
Mart Osner commented
In this country we have the right to do, choose and say a lot. Anyone has the right to choose to not get vaccinated, but don't forget that exercising your rights to this extent may infringe upon someone else's right to be healthy.
"The risk of most people dying or being hospitalized due to coronavirus is low enough that the benefits of taking a vaccine for said people are negligible."
Would you be willing to bet the life of a family member on these odds?
Thank you for your beef. I will make sure to bring this up at the USG meeting tonight at 7pm. Rebecca Flintoft, associate vice president of student life, will be in attendance. So, I encourage everyone interested to attend.
Here's the link: https://mines.zoom.us/j/94205578087?pwd=bWpjSitrZHNDQThhenc5NlRhY1FsUT09
You can also find the link on our website: usg.mines.edu
I agree and would like to add that Mines has shown itself to be different from the norm repeatedly throughout the pandemic. I firmly believe that a group of such scientifically-minded people will willingly vaccinate without a mandate to the point of herd immunity. I myself plan to be vaccinated, but don't believe that those with concerns should be made to choose between their education and their right to control their own bodies.
I have the utmost respect for science and fully recognize the benefits of vaccines. However, I also have a great desire for my personal freedom and bodily autonomy. I agree that it would be incredibly improper to mandate a relatively new vaccine that has only thus far received emergency authorization. I have no doubts about its effectiveness and have very few doubts about its safety, but as a young, healthy individual, I have similarly few doubts about my safety even if I were to contract the coronavirus. I recognize that the school has a responsibility to protect all of its students, but it has done so through providing easily accessible vaccination opportunities to its students and has no place forcing us to do anything regarding our individual persons.