Political Head-To-Head: Should the U.S, Government Mandate COVID-19 Vaccines?

In this column, the College Democrats and College Republicans of RWU go head-to-head on a different topic each week, chosen by the club members themselves.


Courtesy of Sierra Gorkun

A nurse practitioner administers a vaccine to a student on April 27, 2021 during an on-campus COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Roger Williams University. COVID vaccines were required for students, faculty and staff to return to campus for the fall semester.

College Democrats: Liz Sender

Federally mandating the COVID-19 vaccine can ensure that individuals are protecting themselves along with the health of those around them. Over 700,000 Americans have died due to COVID-19, more than the amount of Americans that died during WWII, WWI and the American Civil War combined. Many individuals believe that the vaccine was produced at a rapid rate without undergoing human trials. However, this is not true as the vaccine has been through clinical tests, backed by research while undergoing a peer review process, not to mention it has been FDA approved. In the areas where there is a high vaccination rate, COVID deaths have decreased but the opposite is seen in areas with low vaccination rates. Yet almost half the United States population has not been vaccinated. Why?

I believe that the vaccine should be federally mandated because I understand that there are times where I need to put myself second and others first, especially those who are high risk. My whole friend group is fully vaccinated and over the summer, one of my friends, who is at high risk, caught the virus, but the vaccine protected the rest of us from contracting and spreading the virus. I understand reasons for people to not get vaccinated because of religion or health issues, but mandating the vaccine will hopefully motivate more individuals to get vaccinated as well as force individuals to get vaccinated to put an end to this pandemic.


College Republicans: Elizabethann Molina

Dating all the way back to 1789, it is constituted that we the people are protected against state infringement and prohibits states from interfering with privileges and immunities. I personally chose not to get vaccinated because I believe that the school mandating me to get vaccinations interfered with my constitutional and religious rights.

The process I had to go through with the school was not only difficult but it was isolating. I was told I could not return to campus unless I gave a legitimate reason for not getting the vaccine. I fought and argued about how my religion would prevent me from getting the vaccine. I was told “Can you go deeper than ‘Free will’ so I can have more to go on? Free will, freedom of choice, is the same argument anti-vax individuals are making.”

I am Christian and I stated that I was opposed to the immunization requirements because it contradicted the freedom of will I have been given by God. No man or institution of law has the right to impugn it. I dove in deeper and included that we can make our own decisions. Some are simple and some can affect the rest of our lives. Free will, given by God, allows us to make our own choices, whether temporal or eternal. In either case, each individual is the one who must make and live with those choices.

Once again mandating the vaccine violates my individual rights from government and other interference. My right to work, under equitable and satisfactory conditions, I’m not required to have the measles and chickenpox vaccine. How can you mandate the COVID vaccine? It does not prevent you from getting COVID; All it can do is lessen your symptoms and prevent hospitalization.

In addition to the COVID vaccine, there are therapeutics that, if done before symptoms appear worse, are just as effective in preventing hospitalization. “We are working to raise awareness about monoclonal antibodies because they save lives and reduce severe illness and risk of hospitalization,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. It seems that the current administration does not care about our constitutional rights and is only interested in certain drug companies’ benefits. “The vaccines are one of our best tools to prevent COVID, but if you become sick, whether you are vaccinated or not, we need safe and effective treatment and that’s where the monoclonal antibodies come in,” said FDEM Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kenneth Scheppke.

All the COVID-19 vaccine can do is help with symptoms from worsening and it does not prevent the spread of COVID. People should be allowed the right as to what goes into their bodies. With treatments becoming accessible to those who don’t believe the vaccine should be mandated, it can essentially help lessen hospitalizations around the world.