You can be jailed if you refuse Coronavirus vaccine based on a legal precedent which dates back to 1905 says US attorney. States can compel vaccinations in more or less intrusive ways. They can limit access to schools or services or jobs if people don’t get vaccinated. They could force them to pay a fine or even lock them up in jail.
As drugmakers race to develop vaccines for treatment of COVID-19 there are several legal question that arise.
What if someone refuses to be vaccinated? Will there be any specific restrictions on people who chose not to get the vaccination? Could you lose your job or be banned from public transport? Will people who refuse to be vaccinated be jailed?
And the answer to all questions is YES.
In an interview given to ABC News, Dov Fox, a law professor and the director of the Center for Health Law Policy and Bioethics at the University of San Diego said:
“States can compel vaccinations in more or less intrusive ways. They can limit access to schools or services or jobs if people don’t get vaccinated. They could force them to pay a fine or even lock them up in jail.”
According to Fox the authorities in the United States have never ever even attempted to jail people for declining to be vaccinated. However, some countries like France have accepted the forceful tactic.
This legal precedent can be traced back to 1905. In a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the court ruled Massachusetts was granted the authority to fine people, all of the people who refused to get vaccinations for smallpox.
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This particular case established the legal basis for all the vaccine requirements at schools, and these have been upheld in all the following discussions and decisions.
“Courts have found that when medical necessity requires it, the public health outweighs the individual rights and liberties at stake,” Fox said.
A senior executive of AstraZeneca has revealed in shocking details that the company could not be on receiving end of any constitutional motion or face legal action for any possible side effects or unwanted reactions induced by its Covid-19 vaccine.https://t.co/Q53SPaHuJ5
— GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) August 4, 2020
In 2019, New York City is reported to have passed an ordinance according to which the people who refused a vaccination were fined.
All of the recent protests over the way someone covers their faces could propagate a notion of backslash to mandate a vaccine. There is much debate on this topic.
However, the fact that States have the power to do it doesn’t mean they should do it. Although states could choose to mandate vaccinations but it won’t be the best public policy. It is still unclear if the Congress could enact a federal requirement on this issue.
Federal vaccination policy is said to come in the form of a tax penalty, however this federal vaccination could be found unconstitutional.
All those who are opponents of a federal mandate are most likely to site the Supreme Court’s 2012 decision on the Affordable Care Act according to Fox. In such a scenario according to the justices, the Congress could not use its powers to govern interstate commerce that requires people to buy health insurance. That could lead to the US having a patchwork of different vaccine requirements in different states.
A similar move has already been announced by New Zealand which has announced it would put all COVID-19 patients into mandatory quarantine camps. The Prime Minister of New Zealand has said that your each and every activity will be monitored in these camps and those that refuse to be tested would be forced to stay in the camps for a longer duration.
In a move right out of George Orwell’s 1984, New Zealand has announced it would put all COVID-19 patients into mandatory quarantine camps where your each and every activity will be monitored & those that refuse would be forced to stay longer.https://t.co/apLPwX2deg
— GreatGameIndia (@GreatGameIndia) August 14, 2020
Meanwhile, a senior managerial executive of the pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca has revealed in shocking details that the company could not be on the receiving end of any constitutional motion or face legal action for any possible side effects or unwanted reactions induced by its Covid-19 vaccine. The company has agreements with governments as per which AstraZeneca cannot be held responsible and those affected will have no legal recourse.
For latest updates on the outbreak check out our Coronavirus Coverage.
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