• Cindy Martinez

Should Employees Have the Right to Deny a Vaccine?

On September 9, U.S. President Joe Biden released a federal order in which he announced a mandate for all federal employees to be fully vaccinated. Since the COVID-19 vaccine has been released to the public and proven to be safe and effective, nationwide cases have significantly dropped. Since then, the government has officially required every federal employee, including virtual workers, to be vaccinated. If these employees are not vaccinated by November 22, 2021 they will be released from their federal position.
To be completely honest, I do not understand why anyone would choose to not receive the vaccine unless their health is at risk due to valid medical concerns. Our country is privileged enough to have access to a vaccine -- for free -- that is safe and prevents us from becoming a victim to the virus. So many countries are struggling to provide vaccines to people who actually want and need them, yet so many of us are stupid enough to refuse getting it.
Over 700,000 people have died from COVID-19 in the United States alone. So many families were affected and struggled so much. We know the stories, but some people choose to ignore them. As a country, we are stuck in this place where citizens are beginning to reject science. Effective products of scientists who have studied their whole lives are being neglected or refused. I am truly worried for the future of our country if we don't learn to understand and fulfill our responsibilities as a community.
Although I am a firm believer and advocate for the vaccine, I feel like the government is using this mandate as a tactic to encourage those who have refused to receive the vaccine, to finally get it. After gaining a different perspective, some may argue that mandating the vaccine is an infringement on rights just as it is in banning abortion. People are practically being “forced” to inject something in their bodies that they should be able to decide to receive, however, being a federal official comes with certain conditions for the job, and no exception should be made for this circumstance If you don't want to get the vaccine, that's fine. You are choosing to put yourself and others in jeopardy, but if you get sick, suck it up and stay at home, and especially don't take the hospital beds of those who take the virus seriously.
In my government class at school, we discussed this topic and one of my peers and senior Chiagozee Okoye had a strong argument. He stated, “Students are mandated by schools to be vaccinated for certain diseases. If that’s the case, then the Biden Administration may do the same for federal employees. It is not an infringement on their freedom. If they don't want to be vaccinated, then they don't have to work for the federal government.” He makes a strong point, as students attending public schools have a list of vaccines they need to have in order to attend. Parents who don't want their kids to be vaccinated enroll their kids in private schools or home school them. If these people truly wanted these jobs, they would get vaccinated. The Pfizer vaccine has just been FDA approved and deemed completely safe. If these federal employees really don't want to get vaccinated, they can go find a different career.
After seeing how many people died and how many people were affected, why wouldn't you want to get the vaccine? Rejecting the vaccine is selfish, and I truly believe that people should have full autonomy over their bodies, but in this case, everyone should do what is best for the safety and well-being of others.

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