Should the U.S. regulate anti-vaxxers?


Johnny Silvercloud

“Vaccines Save Lives” by Johnny Silvercloud, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0)

Ji-Dan Attenborough, Photo Editor

As the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, spreads rapidly throughout the globe, cases have soared, causing panic around the world. The importance of getting vaccinated is evident, and researchers state that the booster shot can help protect against this new variant. Many international leaders have tightened restrictions on unvaccinated citizens, urging them to get the strongly recommended vaccinations.

One such leader is President Macron of France, who has passed laws that prevent anti-vaxxers from entering most public places, including public transport systems and restaurants. Infuriated by the new rules, this has caused several riots amongst the unvaccinated (NBC Chicago).

“I am not for bothering the French. I rant all day at the administration when it blocks them. Well, the unvaccinated, I really want to hassle them. And so, we will continue to do it until the end,” said President Macron.

President Macron’s perspective has dramatically impacted the country’s citizens. If the government of the United States followed his method of encouraging vaccines instead of saying vaccine mandates are unconstitutional, it would eventually cause people to get vaccinated and restore pre-COVID lives.

Furthermore, France isn’t the only country to have passed vaccine mandates. Germany, Canada, and Italy have as well, and the effectiveness of the vaccine policies is clearly shown in statistics. When Canada implemented its vaccine mandate in August 2021, first-dose vaccinations increased by 71% in two weeks. Additionally, jab uptake had risen by 12% in Italy, 8% in France, and 5% in Germany by the end of October (The Economist).

In addition to the vaccine mandates, the French government has established a policy making the booster shot mandatory for those eighteen and over to maintain their rights as a fully vaccinated person. Suppose an adult does not receive the booster shot seven months after their second dose. In that case, they will be prohibited from admission to museums, restaurants, theatres, sports activities, and more, regardless of whether they have received two doses of the vaccine (SchengenVisaInfo). President Macron is extending the significance of receiving the booster shot as vaccine companies such as Pfizer and Moderna have done studies that show the critical effect the booster shot has on COVID and this new variant.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla stated, “Although two doses of the vaccine may still offer protection against severe disease caused by the Omicron strain, it’s clear from these preliminary data that protection is improved with a third dose of our vaccine.”

On the other hand, the Supreme Court in America has blocked President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, which would’ve required over 80 million workers to either get a COVID-19 vaccine or get tested every week (The Economist). This is a big blow to the United States, as vaccine rates would’ve risen and workplaces, schools, and our general lives would’ve been much safer.

In short, the French, German, Italian, and Canadian governments have proved that restricting anti-vaxxers is a practical solution to force people to vaccinate. The Supreme Court has crucially left America without one, only causing more problems for the country and its vaccination process. The poor choices will have consequences, and the U.S. will learn the hard way.