Vaccine mandates are not necessary

Katelyn Pinkham, style editor

With the recent influx of enforced COVID-19 mandates, moral ethics seem to be abandoned.
A government mandate is an official order to do something, often required and obligatory. They are not optional for citizens if federal or state governments pass the order. Recently, some corporations such as schools, businesses, and the travel industry have mandated COVID-19 vaccines. Certain countries have banned entry into their territory if not vaccinated or have mandated COVID-19 tests before departure or upon arrival.
To attend various schools and businesses, some officials are requiring COVID-19 vaccination proof. If not vaccinated, the employers now have the right to fire the unvaccinated employee. This is completely unconstitutional and a violation of personal choice. A person’s contribution to a place of work should not be determined by their vaccination status.
Some countries, like Austria and Germany, have plans to mandate COVID vaccinations for their entire populations. Doing this creates a direct disconnect between the government and its people by forcing this upon them unwillingly.
On the other hand, the severity of the pandemic must be acknowledged. Of course, masks and vaccines should be encouraged for all Americans to slow the spread and save lives. However, there is a drastic difference between mandates and suggestions. Vivek Cherian, a physician at Amita Health, states that to be ethically justified, the overall benefit of a vaccine mandate needs to outweigh the risk involved. COVID-19 poses a threat, yes, but not a large enough one to completely enforce vaccine mandates.
Mandations of things such as masks or vaccines for this virus are a complete infringement on one’s personal liberties and freedom of expression. Along with this, they also potentially violate a person’s religious freedom or individual beliefs and morals. According to Cornell Law School, the First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak or act freely.
Mandates against a disease like COVID-19 explicitly contradict this by forcing people to act a certain way or do a certain thing. COVID-19 masks and vaccine mandations should not be forced upon American citizens.