California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for schoolchildren age 12 and older — and other similar mandates popping up around the country — raises the question: For a patient population that predominately suffers only mild to no symptoms, is it ethical to coerce them to receive a vaccine that provides little benefit and causes rare but significant side effects?
Why COVID-19 and Polio Aren’t The Same
During the early 1950s, my parents waited and hoped that polio, an incurable, highly infectious disease that primarily afflicts children under five years of age, would not strike. The transmission of the disease was poorly understood and one in 200 patients suffered irreversible paralysis, with 5-10 percent of that group dying due to involvement of the respiratory muscles.