OPINION: Mandatory vaccinations shouldn’t be politicized

Let me begin this column by stating the following: The virus is real and unfortunately for some, it has proven to be fatal. However, as a person of faith and common sense, I believe it should not be manipulated or politicized like it has into an object of fear (2 Timothy 1:7).

As COVID-19 vaccination efforts continue, some governments, business, and others are looking into mandating or requiring vaccines. Some may ask if that’s legal.

Let’s first look at what a vaccine mandate is, anyway. Simply put, it’s a law that says you must be vaccinated to do certain things like working, traveling, or even attending a concert. Here’s the kicker, though—the government or other authorities can’t physically force you to get vaccinated. A vaccine mandate just means that if you don’t, businesses, schools, and others can legally stop you from entering the building or using their services if they choose to.

As COVID-19 vaccines are rolled out and administered across this country, there are growing concerns about the roles that trust, belief in conspiracy theories, and spread of misinformation through social media play in impacting vaccine hesitancy. A federal mandate is an order or requirement by the federal government that a state, or a local unit of government take some positive action.

For example, the federal government can and should prohibit states and their local units of government from violating the constitutional rights of individuals. California became the first state to mandate all state and healthcare workers to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or be tested at least once a week. Hawaii allows fully vaccinated individuals to avoid certain COVID-19 restrictions.

Several states, including Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, have banned state local authorities from mandating COVID-19 vaccines or requiring proof of vaccination. There are so many factors to consider in regarding the unvaxxed numbers, like those individuals who have had the virus and fully recovered who now have developed antibodies, those individuals who are of a certain age and ethnic group, and those who simply do not trust these new vaccines.

However, I would remind that in the 2020 presidential campaign during the vice presidential debate between VP Mike Pence and then senator, now VP Kamala Harris (on the heels of Operation Warp Speed) that Harris, in my opinion, cast seeds of doubt on the vaccine when she said she would not get the vaccine if President Trump said to. Perhaps her politicized response has contributed a reluctance among African-Americans to get the shot.

As of August 2, 2021, the CDC reported that race/ethnicity was known for 58 percent of people who had received at least one dose of the vaccine. Among this group, 28.4 percent were black. When states like California and New York mandate vaccine passports to enter restaurants and businesses, the black community would be most affected by what some would call modern day segregation.

Wow! I’m so glad I live in the great state of Georgia!

Finally, and conservatively speaking, I believe the participation to become vaccinated would be significantly increased if our government and this current administration would place the greater emphasis on message consistency and transparency to garner trust from the “We The People” instead of instituting cancellation and censorship against opposing political views. There would be no need to legislate a vaccine mandate.

Stay safe, get the shot, ditch the mask. Go back to work, go back to school, go back to church, go back to life. May God bless you and America, too.

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