Should A COVID-19 Vaccine Be Compulsory
Should A COVID-19 Vaccine Be Compulsory in the United State; Without a doubt, this would be highly controversial and the government would need to engage in another balancing act.
With COVID-19 vaccine developers reporting promising results, it is probable we will one day face a major public health question: can the government compel New Zealanders to be vaccinated? Just as inevitably, some people will refuse a vaccine. As we have seen overseas with debates over the wearing of masks, and more generally with anti-vaccination activists everywhere, compulsion is not a simple matter.
There are competing rights and duties on both sides. Forcing an individual to be vaccinated is a violation of their fundamental right to personal autonomy, which informs the more specific right to bodily integrity.
Basically, those rights mean every person can make decisions for themselves and what can and cannot be done to their bodies. Why Should A COVID-19 Vaccine Be Compulsory
The state’s duty to protect
While international human rights treaties support this, they do not specifically talk about the right to refuse medical treatment. Rather, they state that everyone has the right not to be subjected to medical experimentation without free consent. Should A COVID-19 Vaccine Be Compulsory nowardays?
And here we see how quickly the stakes are raised. These rights are part of the broader right to be free from torture, cruel and inhuman degrading treatment or punishment. The specific reference to medical experimentation is a response to what happened under the Nazi regime during the second world war.
But it’s the fundamental right to life that throws the COVID-19 vaccine issue into stark relief, because it also means governments must make some effort to safeguard citzens’ lives by protecting them from life-threatening diseases. Although everyone has the right to the highest attainable standard of health, this includes the right to be free from non-consensual medical treatment. But this in turn may be subject to the state’s obligation to prevent and control disease. Should A COVID-19 Vaccine Be Compulsory in England
The right to be free from non-consensual treatment can only be restricted under specific conditions that respect best practice and international standards. The introduction of mass immunisation programs therefore requires quite a balancing act. contact us to acquire a covid passport online
In New Zealand, the courts and their English predecessors have long recognised and protected the right to bodily integrity. The New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 also clearly states that everyone has the right to refuse medical treatment. Should A COVID-19 Vaccine Be Compulsory in Asia?
Public health can trump individual rights
Public health can trump individual rights; Any restriction of that right, any intrusion into the individual’s bodily integrity, would require explicit statutory authorisation. Such legislation would have to be interpreted very strictly and, wherever possible, consistently with the Bill of Rights Act.
There are examples of how this would work in practice. A recent decision from the Supreme Court of New Zealand addressed whether the fluoridation of water as a public health measure was a violation of the right to refuse medical treatment. The court found it was. But – and it’s an important but – the court decided some public health measures could override the right to refuse medical treatment where these measures are clearly justified. Public health can trump individual rights do you agree?
Clear justification would mean there must be a reasonable objective to compulsory vaccination that justifies the limits placed on the right to refuse medical treatment. Such limits must be no more than are reasonably necessary to achieve the desired public health outcome, and they must be proportionate to the importance of mandatory vaccination.
The idea of a link between vaccines and autism has been extensively investigated and conclusively shown to be false. The scientific consensus is that there is no relationship, causal or otherwise, between vaccines and incidence of autism, and vaccine ingredients do not cause autism.
Nevertheless, the anti-vaccination movement continues to promote myths, conspiracy theories, and misinformation linking the two. A developing tactic appears to be the “promotion of irrelevant research an active aggregation of several questionable or peripherally related research studies in an attempt to justify the science underlying a questionable claim”. Public health can trump individual rights it is possible?
Thiomersal (called “thimerosal” in the US) is an antifungal preservative used in small amounts in some multi-dose vaccines (where the same vial is opened and used for multiple patients) to prevent contamination of the vaccine. Despite thiomersal’s efficacy, the use of thiomersal is controversial because it can be metabolized or degraded in the body to ethylmercury (C2H5Hg+) and thiosalicylate. As a result, in 1999, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) asked vaccine makers to remove thiomersal from vaccines as quickly as possible on the precautionary principle. Thiomersal is now absent from all common US and European vaccines, except for some preparations of influenza vaccine. Trace amounts remain in some vaccines due to production processes, at an approximate maximum of one microgramme, around 15% of the average daily mercury intake in the US for adults and 2.5% of the daily level considered tolerable by the WHO.
The action sparked concern that thiomersal could have been responsible for autism. The idea is now considered disproven, as incidence rates for autism increased steadily even after thiomersal was removed from childhood vaccines. Currently there is no accepted scientific evidence that exposure to thiomersal is a factor in causing autism. Since 2000, parents in the United States have pursued legal compensation from a federal fund arguing that thiomersal caused autism in their children. A 2004 Institute of Medicine (IOM) committee favored rejecting any causal relationship between thiomersal-containing vaccines and autism. The concentration of thiomersal used in vaccines as an antimicrobial agent ranges from 0.001% (1 part in 100,000) to 0.01% (1 part in 10,000). A vaccine containing 0.01% thiomersal has 25 micrograms of mercury per 0.5 mL dose, roughly the same amount of elemental mercury found in a three-ounce can of tuna. There is robust peer-reviewed scientific evidence supporting the safety of thiomersal-containing vaccines. Where Public health can trump individual rights
Consequences for refusing vaccination
What are the Consequences for refusing vaccination; In the end, should a COVID-19 vaccine become available, New Zealanders would have the right (but not the absolute right) under international and domestic law to refuse to be vaccinated. And the government could and might even be obliged to override that right.
So, no definitive answer. Furthermore, just because the government could make vaccination compulsory doesn’t mean it should. It might not even have to. A person could still exercise their right to refuse vaccination but the government could then impose limits on other rights and freedoms.
In practical terms, this could mean no travel or access to school or the workplace if it placed the health and lives of others at risk. Similarly, a refusal to be vaccinated could limit jobs or social welfare benefits that depend on work availability. But, again, the government would have to present clear justifications for any such restrictions. Consequences for refusing vaccination in the USA
Public consent is vital; Without a doubt, this would be highly controversial and the government would need to engage in another balancing act.
But a purely voluntary approach can have mixed results, too, as the 2019 measles outbreak showed. The main problem appears to have been a poorly designed immunisation program that missed various ethnic, socioeconomic and regional targets. The success of a voluntary approach will be dependent on a highly performing vaccination program that is accessible to all New Zealanders and backed up by a strong public education campaign. Consequences for refusing vaccination in Asia
Ultimately, as the collective effort of the “team of 5 million” has already shown, the effectiveness of any law really depends on each one of us and the decisions we make.
In the UK, the MMR vaccine was the subject of controversy after the publication in The Lancet of a 1998 paper by Andrew Wakefield and others reporting case histories of twelve children mostly with autism spectrum disorders with onset soon after administration of the vaccine. At a 1998 press conference, Wakefield suggested that giving children the vaccines in three separate doses would be safer than a single vaccination. This suggestion was not supported by the paper, and several subsequent peer-reviewed studies have failed to show any association between the vaccine and autism. It later emerged that Wakefield had received funding from litigants against vaccine manufacturers and that he had not informed colleagues or medical authorities of his conflict of interest. Had this been known, publication in The Lancet would not have taken place in the way that it did. Consequences for refusing vaccination in the UK
Wakefield has been heavily criticized on scientific and ethical grounds for the way the research was conducted and for triggering a decline in vaccination rates, which fell in the UK to 80% in the years following the study. In 2004, the MMR-and-autism interpretation of the paper was formally retracted by ten of its thirteen coauthors, and in 2010 The Lancet’s editors fully retracted the paper. Wakefield was struck off the UK medical register, with a statement identifying deliberate falsification in the research published in The Lancet, and is barred from practicing medicine in the UK.
The CDC, the IOM of the National Academy of Sciences, Australia’s Department of Health, and the UK National Health Service have all concluded that there is no evidence of a link between the MMR vaccine and autism. A Cochrane review concluded that there is no credible link between the MMR vaccine and autism, that MMR has prevented diseases that still carry a heavy burden of death and complications, that the lack of confidence in MMR has damaged public health, and that the design and reporting of safety outcomes in MMR vaccine studies are largely inadequate. Additional reviews agree, with studies finding that vaccines are not linked to autism even in high risk populations with autistic siblings. Consequences for refusing vaccination in Africa.
In 2009, The Sunday Times reported that Wakefield had manipulated patient data and misreported results in his 1998 paper, creating the appearance of a link with autism. A 2011 article in the British Medical Journal described how the data in the study had been falsified by Wakefield so that it would arrive at a predetermined conclusion. An accompanying editorial in the same journal described Wakefield’s work as an “elaborate fraud” that led to lower vaccination rates, putting hundreds of thousands of children at risk and diverting energy and money away from research into the true cause of autism. Consequences for refusing vaccination in France.
A special court convened in the United States to review claims under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program ruled on February 12, 2009, that parents of autistic children are not entitled to compensation in their contention that certain vaccines caused autism in their children.