The governments must consider incentivizing the people for giving a coronavirus or COVID-19 vaccine for achieving the needed level of herd immunity, an expert has stated. The incentive can be financial payment or in kind, the ethicist of the University of Oxford suggested.

With the rising cases regularly there have been calls for making the vaccine mandatory. While writing in the Journal of Medical Ethics Professor Julian Savulescu at the Oxford Uehiro Center for Practical Ethics stated that though vaccination should be generally voluntary, there is a strong chance for making any vaccination compulsory if four conditions are met.

The conditions are, when there is a threat to public health, the vaccine is safe and efficient, the pros are more than the cons of any alternative and the level of coercion is proportionate. Savulescu mentioned there are examples of coercion for the good of the public, which include conscription during the war, taxes, and thwe wearing of seat belts.

COVID-19 Vaccine to Be Mandatory?

Vaccine
Coronavirus vaccine Pixabay

He said the mandatory vaccination policies are there already in different parts of the globe. But the ethical issues with the approach so if voluntary vaccination does not prove to be sufficient, incentivization must be considered. A level of uptake is needed to make any vaccination program effective. "To be maximally effective, particularly in protecting the most vulnerable in the population, vaccination would need to achieve herd immunity," the professor said as reported by the Mirror.

The actual percentage of the population that is going to be needed to be immune for herd immunity to be reached depends on many factors but many estimates range up to 82 percent, he said. "Any mandatory vaccination program would therefore need to make a value judgment about what level of safety and what level of certainty are safe and certain enough. Of course, it would need to be very high, but a 0% risk option is very unlikely," Savulescu said.

The professor also argued that until the nature of any coronavirus vaccine can be assessed with the gravity of the problem and the probable benefits of alternatives it is not possible to say whether a mandatory vaccination policy is ethically justified. So according to him another way of doing it is by paying the people who are at lower risk for the sake of the public good.

But few other experts have differed with the view stating that it can turn out to be dangerous. The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 48.7 million people globally and claimed the lives of over 1.3 million people worldwide.