(CNN)Now that the US Food and Drug Administration has approved the Pfizer/ BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for people age 16 and older, it’s time for all governments across the country to mandate the vaccine for people taking part in indoor activities. There are no more valid excuses for not being vaccinated other than health reasons.
One frequently heard pushback against vaccine mandates is that there is a “constitutional right” to choose whether to be vaccinated or not for adults and a right to determine whether children can be vaccinated. That is a non-starter in the midst of a pandemic.
The Constitution is not a suicide pact guaranteeing a right to harm others. The government has latitude to protect citizens from deadly conditions, especially when the science supporting vaccination is so clear.
The bioethicist, professor Arthur Caplan of New York University, has made a compelling case for the moral mandate to require vaccination. Appearing with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio in a news briefing last month to address the city mandating vaccines for all municipal workers, he argued that the new policy “makes good, ethical and public health sense” and that “it will help all of us by keeping the COVID outbreak controlled.”