Mandatory vaccines have been a controversial topic for many decades. This is because historically, the responsibility of public health preservation remains at the hands of the state and local governments. In efforts to curb the spread of communicable diseases, these responsibilities and powers may involve the institution of mandatory vaccination legislations and quarantines. The history of mandatory vaccination laws dates back to 1809 in Massachusetts. In the recent past, the debate on mandatory vaccine has been precipitated by the swine flu in 2003.
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The swine flu vaccine is a vaccine that was developed to control the spread of the swine flu pandemic. These vaccines include Pandemix that is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and Celvapan manufactured by Baxter. According to NHS (2010), “the swine flu vaccination program began on 21 October 2009 and the highest-risk groups were offered the vaccine” the development of the swine flu vaccine remains a mystery in that immediately after the swine flu pandemic, global manufactures of drugs and pharmaceuticals were armed with the vaccine. This put into serous doubt the quality of the vaccines. In addition to that, making it mandatory was of course a major concern in that those interviewed expressed concern on the safety of the vaccine.
I harbor a personal belief that mandatory swine flu vaccination goes against my rights and freedoms as a citizen of this nation and as such I do not support it. This is due to the fact that the central tenets of the constitution hinges on a free society where decisions regarding my body are personal. I can therefore not be forced to take up a mandatory vaccination. According to Carlson (2009), “mandatory vaccine violates rights on making choices in regard to own bodies”. It therefore my belief that I should make decisions that directly has impact on the well being of my body.
Mandatory vaccination not only goes against the rights and freedoms of the citizens, it gives more powers to state on the control of individuals. While I do understand the fact that the need to preserve and protect the health of the nation during times of health crises such as the swine flu pandemic, the communication channels would better be enhance to train and inform he citizens on the need of a vaccine. The term mandatory dilutes the good intended reason the state or local government would be having during such programs.
While I know there have been concern and support from various stakeholders in regard to mandatory vaccination, I still believe that the need to safeguard the provisions of our constitution on sections related to freedoms of decisions and control of bodies must be given enough consideration and protection. This is because our nation has achieved its global status today because of the democratic nature of our constitution and systems that ensure freedom of thoughts and decisions. Mandatory vaccination goes against all these provisions that past generation of our leaders have protected with all the zeal. Failure to safeguard this constitution on the pretext of health concerns portray our inability to deal with our current challenges.
In conclusion, I reject mandatory vaccination for whatever reason and believe strongly in the free and fair systems. In addition to the above, I have the full knowledge that the state and local government have the capacities to initiate vaccination processes through a mutual agreement with its population. This must be based on the fact that there is an urgent need for such a process and the population can easily observe that the need is indeed real.
Carlson, J. (2009). Labor’s lead. Modern Healthcare, 39(46), 17. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite database.
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NHS (2010). Information on the swine flu vaccine. Web.