Print Сite this

Should COVID-19 Vaccines Be Mandatory?

The beginning of the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 outbreak changed the lives of people around the world. The role of healthcare as a field became more significant since the solution to this global problem was deemed to be connected to the initiatives intended to reduce the rate of infection among the citizens. It was complemented by additional measures such as a lockdown and restriction on movement and activity which, however, did not contribute to the ultimate resolution of the issue. At present, the only existing method of combatting the infection is the introduction of a mask regime. It is clear that it is only a temporary measure since all the hopes are placed on the creation of COVID-19 vaccines (Neumann-Böhme et al. 977). The possible outcome of their emergence is their mandatory use for all people, and it evokes serious concern regarding the ethical aspect of the matter, safety reasons, and the dubious feasibility of such a decision. Therefore, while COVID-19 vaccines are highly recommended as a solution to the problem, it is not a good idea to mandate their use.

We will write a
custom essay
specifically for you

for only $16.05 $11/page
308 certified writers online
Learn More

The researchers claim that the need for the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination is defined by the necessity to prevent the spread of infection in the hospital setting in the first place. Therefore, healthcare workers, specifically clinical laboratory personnel, should receive the vaccine to protect their patients’ health (Bowen 421). In this case, particular attention is paid to phlebotomists who collect blood specimens from patients (Bowen 421). From this perspective, the compulsory COVID-19 vaccination of hospital employees should be a priority. This measure seems to be a precaution that can potentially stop the transmission of the COVID-19 virus not only to people staying at the medical facilities but also to their family members and the public as a whole. In other words, the emphasis is on the societal benefits in contrast to any personal considerations and possible objections. This approach might spare many people from the COVID-19 infection and, therefore, is widely supported by medical personnel (Bowen 421). However, despite the seeming reasonability of mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers, there is still little research on this policy’s outcomes.

Mandatory COVID-19 vaccination of hospital employees is not an optimal solution to the problem since its consequences can be unexpected and, therefore, negative. The supporters of this stance state that the potential drawbacks of the proposed measure should be approached with caution as they imply specific complications of ethical nature. According to Bowen, mandatory vaccination would violate the medical personnel’s autonomy, which is one of the central principles of healthcare ethics (421). It means individuals’ rights to self-determination and an independent decision-making process regarding healthcare decisions, including the acceptance or rejection of any medical interventions (Bowen 421). Moreover, compulsory vaccination of this kind which is largely unproven implies additional safety risks to the affected persons with little to no confirmation of its efficiency in curbing the infection (Bowen 421). The researchers also claim that there is a possibility of complications for already infected people (Bowen 421). Therefore, even though the proposed solution to the problem might be effective as a preventive measure, its mandatory use does not seem reasonable until there is a strong evidence-based justification.

Another reason presented by the people who support the mandatory COVID-19 vaccination is the previous experience of the population with the influenza pandemic which proved the need for this method. Thus, in 2009, the low rates of the anti-H1N1 vaccine were used to prevent the spread of infection, and the corresponding studies proved that the principal factor hindering its promotion was vaccination hesitancy (Neumann-Böhme et al. 978). As a result, this situation led to disease outbreaks in numerous countries which could be stopped in the case if the population did not resist the proposed vaccination (Neumann-Böhme et al. 978). Since then, no measures have been taken to adequately address this phenomenon, and the beginning of the pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus evoked the past concern (Neumann-Böhme et al. 979). From this point of view, people’s willingness to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is synonymous with the overall success of the proposed medical intervention. Most specialists believe that the so-called herd immunity gained from global vaccination is the solution to the current challenges (Neumann-Böhme et al. 978). Nevertheless, the recent data allow concluding on the inappropriateness of this decision.

The problem of people’s unwillingness to receive the vaccination is not applicable to the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes the introduction of mandatory vaccines inadvisable. The latest study showed the increased awareness of people regarding the risks of the refusal from the proposed medical intervention. It is reflected in the number of people in European countries willing to get vaccinated. Thus, the outcome of the survey conducted in Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands, and the UK showed that 73.9% of interviewees would accept this measure if such vaccines were available to them (Neumann-Böhme et al. 978). With 18.9% of respondents who were not sure if they needed it but did not explicitly reject such a possibility, only a small share of citizens would be unwilling to cooperate with medical institutions (Neumann-Böhme et al. 978). Considering the fact that, in the case of measles, 94% of vaccinated citizens were enough to stop the spread of disease, the forecasts seem to be optimistic (Opel et al.). It is clear that the situation might change, but it is unreasonable to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine until such a shift was recorded.

The final consideration resulting in the determination of the supporters of mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 is children’s role in spreading the infection. As in the case of the influenza pandemic, they were the ones who communicated more with their peers and then with their families, thereby contributing to their complications (Opel et al.). The specificity of this population group also included the lack of typical symptoms allowing to take timely measures to prevent the spread of infection (Opel et al.). This outcome is severe for seniors who face life-threatening consequences of being infected, especially since children transmit the COVID-19 virus easier than influenza (Opel et al.). This factor is complemented by the need for them to attend school, and it would be possible only after the required safety measures will be taken (Opel et al.). From this point of view, mandatory vaccination of children against COVID-19 would be related not only to health issues but also societal problems. This approach to the problem seems logical, however, the potential side effects do not justify its practical implementation.

The mild form of disease attributed to children is the main reason why it would be difficult to defend the mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 for this population group. Moreover, their role in the transmission of this infection has not been explicitly stated yet, which makes such drastic measures redundant (Opel et al.). The autonomy principles in making decisions are not applicable to this category of citizens since the responsibility is on their parents. However, this aspect of the matter also implies ethical considerations related to the unclear effect of vaccines on children’s overall health (Bowen 421). This conclusion, in turn, justifies the necessity to understand better both the role of this population group in transmitting COVID-19 and the impact of vaccination on them. Therefore, it should not be mandatory until enough evidence is received to ensure the correspondence of this preventive measure to the general provisions of safety.

Get your
100% original paper
on any topic

done in as little as
3 hours
Learn More

To summarize, the mandatory use of vaccines against COVID-19 is a measure that is not justified by a number of ethical and societal considerations and, therefore, unnecessary. The suggestion to use it for healthcare workers seems to be reasonable from the perspective of the protection of patients and the public’s health. Nevertheless, it implies the violation of the principles of autonomy and the implementation of potentially unsafe methods. The perceived unwillingness of the population to receive vaccination as another threat to the citizens is yet not confirmed since the data of recent surveys proved the opposite. In this way, it is too early to speak of this possibility as most people stated their desire to cooperate with medical institutions voluntarily. As for children’s role in the transmission of COVID-19 infection, it cannot be addressed through vaccines due to the lack of safety guarantees. Thus, the decision to mandate vaccination to stop the spread of COVID-19 will do more harm than good to the population.

Works Cited

Bowen, Raffick A. “Ethical and Organizational Considerations for Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination of Health Care Workers: A Clinical Laboratorian’s Perspective.” Clinica Chimica Act: International Journal of Clinical Chemistry, vol. 510, 2020, pp. 421-422. Web.

Neumann-Böhme, Sebastian, et al. “Once We Have It, Will We Use It? A European Survey on Willingness to Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19.” The European Journal of Health Economics, vol. 21, 2020, pp. 977–982. Web.

Opel, Douglas J., et al. “Should We Mandate a COVID-19 Vaccine for Children?.” JAMA Pediatrics. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


StudyCorgi. (2022, February 3). Should COVID-19 Vaccines Be Mandatory? Retrieved from


StudyCorgi. (2022, February 3). Should COVID-19 Vaccines Be Mandatory?

Work Cited

"Should COVID-19 Vaccines Be Mandatory?" StudyCorgi, 3 Feb. 2022,

* Hyperlink the URL after pasting it to your document

1. StudyCorgi. "Should COVID-19 Vaccines Be Mandatory?" February 3, 2022.


StudyCorgi. "Should COVID-19 Vaccines Be Mandatory?" February 3, 2022.


StudyCorgi. 2022. "Should COVID-19 Vaccines Be Mandatory?" February 3, 2022.


StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Should COVID-19 Vaccines Be Mandatory'. 3 February.

This paper was written and submitted to our database by a student to assist your with your own studies. You are free to use it to write your own assignment, however you must reference it properly.

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on StudyCorgi, request the removal.