By Michael Snyder | The American Dream
As the Ebola death toll rises and as images of bodies being abandoned in the streets of Liberia are broadcast around the globe, there has been a growing outcry for the scientific community to “do something” about this deadly virus. And as luck would have it, there is an “experimental Ebola vaccine” that is ready to be tested on humans next month. If Ebola starts to spread outside of Africa, and especially if it starts spreading inside the United States, people will be absolutely clamoring to get this vaccine. But will it be safe? And there will certainly be millions of people that do not want to take this vaccine under any circumstances. If the outbreak gets bad enough, will it be made mandatory at some point? If they do make it mandatory for all Americans to take an Ebola vaccine, what will you do?
Up until now, there has never been a vaccine for Ebola. But as Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Instutites of Health recently told “CBS This Morning”, that could soon change…
If a full-blown Ebola epidemic is raging by that time, the demand will be overwhelming. But many people will not be satisfied to just get the vaccine themselves. They will want everyone living around them in their communities to get vaccinated as well for the sake of “herd immunity”. They will argue that those that refuse to get the Ebola vaccine are endangering public health.
So could politicians make the Ebola vaccine mandatory for all Americans at some point? According to a paper by Jared P. Cole and Kathleen S. Swendiman, many states already have laws that allow for mandatory vaccinations “during a public health emergency”…
Many states also have laws providing for mandatory vaccinations during a public health emergency or outbreak of a communicable disease. Generally, the power to order such actions rests with the governor of the state or with a state health officer. For example, a governor may have the power to supplement the state’s existing compulsory vaccination programs and institute additional programs in the event of a civil defense emergency period. Or, a state health officer may, upon declaration of a public health emergency, order an individual to be vaccinated “for communicable diseases that have significant morbidity or mortality and present a severe danger to public health.” In addition, exemptions may be provided for medical reasons or where objections are based on religion or conscience. However, if a person refuses to be vaccinated, he or she may be quarantined during the public health emergency giving rise to the vaccination order. State statutes may also provide additional authority to permit specified groups of persons to be trained to administer vaccines during an emergency in the event insufficient health care professionals are available for vaccine administration.
But what about on the national level?