The results achieved by the COVID-19 vaccines over the past months have been remarkable. In the initial stages of the pandemic, societies could only defend themselves and safeguard their hospitals through draconian and ultra-defensive measures such as lockdowns and restricting non-essential outlets. This has naturally damaged economies and livelihoods. Fast-forward to almost a year within the pandemic and vaccines were being produced on a mass scale, and distributed to several countries.
The vaccines have performed a fantastic job in safeguarding the vulnerable. Although their longevity has been earmarked as a disappointing factor, due to the boosters needed, the decrease in mortality rates and hospital admissions can be appreciated. This has enabled societies to re-open to a certain degree. Following the lifting of numerous restrictions, cases spiked significantly in Europe, once again creating tension due to rising hospital admissions. Although countries can withstand higher numbers of COVID-19 cases without overwhelming hospitals due to the vaccines, some seem to have closed to their limits. Austria for one has called for a nationwide lockdown, whilst Germany has recently cancelled its Christmas markets and reinstated a lockdown for the unvaccinated.
Will the EU implement mandatory vaccinations?
One of the potential measures that European Union countries are considering is mandatory vaccinations for COVID-19. The views surrounding such a measure are controversial and contrast highly. On one side you have those advocating for mandatory vaccinations which would ease tension off country administrations and hospitals, whilst on the other hand there are those stating that people should be left at liberty to choose whether they want to get inoculated or not. Some argue that choosing not to get vaccinated is a human right and that they should not be discriminated against due to their decisions.
When considering that Germany is pondering the possibility of making vaccines mandatory by February, it could be probable that other countries follow suit. In Greece it is also being considered that fines would be imposed on those who refuse to get vaccinated. When considering the local context, such a measure may not even be necessary in view of the high rate of vaccinations in Malta. Although cases in Malta have increased substantially over the past weeks, with some days registering over a hundred, the situation within hospitals remains relatively stable, with few being admitted and even less put into intensive care. The booster vaccines are also moving at a good pace, which means higher immunity across the local population would be expected soon.
What do you think about mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations? Do you think that they are essential? Should they be made compulsory? Let us know your views in the comments section below.