The pandemic caused by Covid-19 came to shake the world. Millions of infected people, many of them with serious illnesses that led to hospitalization and death. Around the whole public health problem, an intense debate has been generated about vaccines. On the one hand, those of us who celebrate the dizzying achievement of having them in record time; On the other hand, people who resist receiving the biological for various reasons, these people today known as “anti-vaccines”, express the following arguments: “I do not trust the safety of vaccines because they are still experimental”; “I have to observe the reactions of those who have already been vaccinated”; “I’m going to get it anyway, even if I get vaccinated”; “Vaccines are just a business of the big pharmaceutical companies.” In addition to this series of arguments, there is one that is above all the previous ones, it is an argument that provokes an interesting discussion about individual freedom and its limits.
There is a group of people with a more sophisticated argument, with an argument that crosses the boundaries of freedom, rights and the limits that the state has to impose vaccination on individuals. They maintain that their freedom should be respected, and this freedom to which the anti-vaccines appeal is the freedom to decide about their body and they are right about that, everyone decides what goes into their body, however, this statement has limits, and for this it is very useful to remember the great book by John Stuart Mill entitled “On Liberty” written in 1859, in which he maintains that the individual can act on everything that does not affect or harm others, to this he called social freedom, understood as the non-intervention of the State in matters that exclusively involve the individual, and the only legitimate reason why society and the State can impose limits on a person, is when this person harms the right of the rest. No one can decide that they have the freedom to run a red light, or drive while intoxicated. I close by also recalling that famous phrase by Jean-Paul Sartre that says that my freedom ends where that of others begins.
Not getting vaccinated is an individual decision, however the state can impose restrictions on your mobility, the state can prohibit you from going to crowded places or enjoying some other activities and social benefits. The reason is simple, whoever decides not to get vaccinated not only affects their health, they are also affecting others, from the outset they are affecting herd immunity. To the extent that more people are vaccinated, it is more likely that we will stop its spread, as has been demonstrated throughout the history of humanity with other diseases that vaccines eradicated.
Today we are in the middle of the fourth wave that has led us to break the record of daily infections in our country and in our state, however and fortunately, hospitalizations and deaths are controlled, or let’s say they are not at this time in the same proportion as during the previous waves.
This for experts is very evident, vaccines have considerably reduced the risk of serious cases and deaths. Today the statistics are clear, the vast majority of hospitalized and deceased people did not have a complete vaccination schedule and many of them have not received or have not received a single dose.
In conclusion, the reality is very clear, vaccines save lives and not only those vaccinated, but also protect the people around them. Getting vaccinated is everyone’s responsibility, getting vaccinated is a social responsibility.