First of all, I’d like to let clear that I am by no means an anti-vaxxer. Vaccines are one of the most important improvements in civilization, having saved countless lives in the last centuries. This article is by no means an affront to the vaccine itself, but an affront to its obligatoriness.
You may say that a vaccine should be mandatory because “it’s not only about saving your life, but it is about saving others, too”. And I tell you that this argument makes no sense whatsoever. As I said before, I will by no means question the importance of the development of a vaccine, but I can, and I will question its effectiveness. Suppose that the scientists develop an extremely effective vaccine in record time — as they say, they did — with very little to no collateral effects at all. If it is that good, is there any reason it has to be mandatory? Don’t you think people would willingly take the shot, if only they were shown concrete proof that it would work properly?
The obligatoriness of the vaccine tells us a couple of things: it can be not as good as the developers say it is, for if it was, nobody should be forced to take it; and that the developers and the governments won’t take full responsibility for unexpected negative results. Imagine if a person, with no said conditions that could trigger collateral effects — someone that had no health conditions that would interfere with the results of the vaccine — , happened to have an unpredictable severe collateral effect after taking the shot. Is that not the developer’s responsibility? And also of those who sold the vaccine to the population? Even if it happened to just one person to the day, should the victim, its family, and all the people under the state just accept the causality? Of course, every vaccine has unpredictable results for different people. But that does not mean that the institutions responsible should react to that with a shrug and a “shit happens”.
But, imagine if the vaccine is really what it was promised to be, and even then, some people wouldn’t take it. That could, in the worst-case scenario, trigger new mutations of the virus on the bodies of those who didn’t protect themselves, making the vaccine less effective as it was designed to be. And now you may say ‘yes, exactly! That’s why it HAS to be mandatory!’. And then again, you would be wrong. Now, we go into the ethics of private property, and the impossibility of “public” property in society.
The concept of private property is a derivate of the axiom of self-ownership — that means, that one is the only owner of its own body, and every action that affronts that axiom is unethical. Forcing someone to do something — as taking a vaccine, for example — is an affront to the concept of self-ownership, even if it is “for a good reason”. After all, can you really know what is best for another person better than themselves? But knowing what is best for yourself, you may say again: “But if someone won’t take the vaccine, they will be putting ME at risk!”. And now, maybe you are right. But that still does not mean you can force someone to take the shot. You could, for example, not coexist in the same places as people who don’t take vaccines. That, of course, is impossible under the existence of a State and the lie of “public” property.
The State itself is an affront to the axiom of self-ownership simply by existing, for it is supported by the appropriation of private property by extortion. It creates the lie of “public” property and services — places everyone can go and services everyone can use, for “free” — to keep destroying private property and enhancing its power over the individuals. The existence of the State itself is a contradiction, for it promises safety to individuals, and yet it exploits everyone for its own benefit. As the State bans someone that pays for the “public” properties and services to use them for any reason whatsoever, it goes from stealing from this person to give back scraps, to simply stealing and giving nothing back. In a free-market society that respects private property, one gets what it has paid for. And someone can refuse to sell a service or a product to someone, for any reason it likes, including the fact that the client hasn’t taken a vaccine.
Thereby, it is safe to say that anyone can take the vaccine if they want to, but it is unethical to force others to take it. And it can be dangerous as well, SPECIALLY in a scenario that both the government and the developers won’t take full responsibility for negative effects caused by the substance that is being forced on someone’s body. If any of the vaccines available in the market now are really effective and safe, in time, as the results appear and concrete proof emerges, most people will willingly take them. And if they don’t, people should have the right to choose with whom they relate. After all, if you’ve read properly, you should be aware that forcing people to act against their will is an affront to the axiom of self-ownership.
Autor: José Alves