That is the title of an excellent post by AP2, over at Pointless Overthinking. The question is a challenging one, for we should certainly have the right to self-determination and bodily autonomy, something I have personally pressed for when it comes to subjects like abortion – but at what point do we have to acknowledge that our rights come with responsibilities? Where is the line? AP2 makes a point that mandatory is not the same thing as compulsory – namely, no one is going to be marched into a vaccination centre and forcibly jabbed – but rather, they will face the consequences of their choice. I’ve made similar statements to others – no one has to get the covid-19 vaccine, but if places of work decide to exclude you for your choice… well, they are exercising their own right to choose, and they’re choosing not to expose their staff and customers to a potentially deadly virus.
So, if someone defies a mandatory vaccination, they cannot be surprised if there further consequences to their decision. As AP2 points out, if someone chooses not to wear a seatbelt, they and they alone face the consequences of their choice – if someone drinks and drives, they are not only risking their own life but the lives of others. In choosing not to get vaccinated (or for that matter, following the other covid measures), a person is risking the health and even lives of others. That’s not exactly noble, despite all the claims about standing up for freedom and liberty.
In the comments of AP2’s post, I’ve seen people rally against the vaccines, as ‘alternative’ options are available. What alternatives? Why should we continue to regard the vaccines as experimental, even after all their testing? Why do people still suggest vaccines aren’t effective, even when there is plenty of evidence to show that they are?
Vaccines help prevent the spread of covid and they help to mitigate the symptoms and effects of the virus if you catch it. Vaccination as a general, historical practice is proven to work. Look at smallpox and tuberculosis, to name but two diseases that no longer ravage us. I can only imagine what would have happened if the internet and social media existed back when the smallpox vaccine was released. We’d still be fighting it now.