Duke Law Professor, Nita Farahany, provides an insightful perspective on legal issues raised by the new COVID-19 vaccines. Even if people cannot be forced to get a vaccine, is there a risk that people who choose not to get one will be subjected to discrimination in employment or in access to public facilities, including schools, restaurants, or theatre? These are very legitimate concerns, because of the many questions that still surround the vaccines, such as their long-term safety and effectiveness.
We should let the full regulatory approval process play out, and allow people to wait until it does, before committing to a vaccine. Conditioning societal participation on taking a vaccine that’s not fully vetted won’t help rebuild trust in science and the public health system — at a time when skepticism of experts runs high.